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Pelvic Inlet Shape Is Not as Dimorphic as Previously Suggested

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It is well known that there are significant differences in the pelves of males and females due, in part, to differing constraints. The male and female pelves must be suitable for upright posture and locomotion, but the female pelvis must also be suitable for reproduction. These differing requirements lead to differences in the shape and size of various pelvic dimensions. These differences are reflected in the pelvic inlet, midplane, and outlet. Current research has documented dimorphisms in the posterior and anterior spaces in all three of these planes. One measure however, that is calculated from the relationship between the length of the anterior–posterior diameter (APD) and the transverse diameter (TD) of the inlet, is not as dimorphic as previously suggested. This computed value is used to describe four main categories of inlet shape: android, gynecoid, anthropoid, and platypelloid. Current textbooks in anatomy and midwifery describe these forms and identify the typical male inlet shape as android and the typical female inlet shape as gynecoid. In this study, however, using skeletonized pelves of 378 adult individuals from three identified skeletal collections, the most common inlet shape for both males and females was android. In addition, when examining shape as a continuous variable, inlet shape is not sexually dimorphic in two of the three populations examined in this study. Based on the results of this study, the inlet shape for males and females is less dimorphic than previously thought, and we need to discontinue using pelvic categories to describe typical inlet shape. Anat Rec, 300:706–715, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Keywords: android; gynecoid; pelvic morphology; pelvic type; pelvis; sexual dimorphism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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