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Lecture 28 – Sexing Human Skeletons

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Anthropology 2235A/B
Eldon Molto

Lecture 28 – Sexing Human Skeletons  General Information o 1. Most aging methods require separate standards because of sexual dimorphism in rates of skeletal change o 2. Most sexual dimorphism in the skeleton occurs after puberty - it would be risky to try and determine the sex of an individual skeleton and present the evidence in court o 3. Though any bone in the body may show sexual dimorphism in size and robusticity they are normally population specific o 4. The hip bone has difference relating to procreation that allow sex determination (with experience 95-99% accuracy with hips) o 5. Next to the os pubis the skull is the best overall region for determining sex (with experience 90% accuracy)  Sex Differences in the Hip o Os Pubis  A. Is the ventral arc which is well defined in the female and appears not as an arc but a linear ridge in the male  B. The lateral recurve (arrow) is well developed in the female whereas in the male there is little or no curve. This curving increases the subpubic angle.  C. The border below the symphyseal face (symphysis pubis) is constricted in the female and broad in the male o Ventral Arc  VA is a ridge of bone which generally occurs on the ventral surface of the os pubis in adult females  In males if a ridge occurs it is found medial to the position found in females and runs parallel to the symphyseal face  Females generally have a wider os pubis body than males  The thigh adductor muscles attach in this general area  Adolescent females have a precursor arc and
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