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Lecture 19

FORS 3331 Lecture 19: Dr. Ferraro - FORS 3331 - Spring 2017 - Lecture 19

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Forensic Science
FORS 3331
Joseph V.Ferraro

Baker | FORS 3331 | Spring 2017 | Lecture 19 | Page 1 LECTURE 19: SEX DETERMINATION Overview – In this lecture, we'll tackle techniques for determining the sex (not gender!!) of select skeletal materials – We'll focus on the head (cranium and mandible) and hips (innominates and sacrum) – Humans are somewhat sexually dimorphic o As a result, we can often determine sex (not gender) from skeletal remains – Sexual differences appear after maturity so determining the sex of juveniles is incredible difficult and next to impossible using skeletal clues – Adult female skeletal elements are generally smaller and lighter in construction (i.e. gracile) – Adult male skeletal elements are generally larger, more robust, and rugose (i.e. have strong muscular relief) – Sexes will overlap near the center of the distribution(s) – There is also variation between populations, as some have larger males and females (e.g. Caucasians) – Skeletal sex differences are most extreme in the skull and pelvis, with the pelvis being a preferred/better indicator – Metric methods (not really covered in this class - come back for Forensic Anthropology) discriminate based on the lengths and breadth of long bones, etc. o With the results compared against population samples of males and females – Sex can only be determined after puberty o Can age a skeleton to within days before puberty but you can't determine sex o Can sex a skeleton after puberty but aging is much harder – Females are the "right size" o Built for energy conservation and making babies o Guys are only larger because they have to fight for mating rights – There's variation between geographic populations too o Caucasians are relatively large (rich, Western diet) – The skeletal differences are most extreme in the skull and pelvis o The pelvis is the preferred/better option – Remember, in forensics it's generally better to give no answer than the wrong answer o We're dealing with murderers here Baker | FORS 3331 | Spring 2017 | Lecture 19 | Page 2 Sexing the Skull – Male crania are larger and exhibit more robusticity o Related to overall body size differences o Male crania are 150-200cc larger • Above 1450cc = male • Below 1300cc = female o Larger skull means larger brain • Larger brain does not mean smarter – Male crania have more prominent supraorbital ridges o Kinda like a Neanderthal – Male frontals and parietals are less bossed and their foreheads are more threatening o Females have a more vertical forehead and a smoother and more rounded head o Females have to fit a lot into a smaller package – Males have more muscle which means they need more muscle attachments o Higher, stouter, more rugged zygomatic bones o Larger, more rugged zygomatic processes of temporals o Broader mandibular rami • May have some eversion (flared out like bony sideburns) – Male crania have heavier temporal and nuchal lines and external occipital protuberances o Males have a larger mastoid process – Males have large, broad palates (meaning larger mouths) – Males have squarer orbits with a more blunt superior border o Creates a bar across his eyes o Sharper superior border in females – Male crania have a more prominent glabellar region – Males have squarer chins whereas females have pointy, almost sharp chins – You can determine sex based on skull with about 80% accuracy if you're good o There's a lot of overlap between males and females and different populations o Have to know what counts as "big" or "small" Baker | FORS 3331 | Spring 2017 | Lecture 19 | Page 3 Sexing the Postcranium – Sexual dimorphism in the pelvis largely reflects the ana
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