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Sexual Dimorphism of the Humerus in Contemporary Cretans—A Population-Specific Study and a Review of the Literature

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Sex determination is the first essential step for positive identification when a decomposed body is recovered. Taking into consideration the population aspect of sexual dimorphism of the skeleton, the present study aimed to create a sex identification technique using osteometric standards, derived from a contemporary Cretan population. A total of 168 left humeri were measured according to standard osteometric techniques. The differences between the means in males and females were significant (p < 0.0005). About 92.3% of cases were correctly classified when all measurements were applied jointly. Stepwise procedure produced an accuracy rate of 92.9%. The most effective single dimension was vertical head diameter (89.9%). The current study provides standards for a population that has not been represented so far in the existing databases. It demonstrates that the humerus is an effective bone for the estimation of sex because even in a fragmentary state it can give high classification accuracy.

Keywords: Crete; Greece; forensic anthropology; forensic science; humerus; sex identification

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Forensic Sciences, Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.

Publication date: September 1, 2009


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