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Morphometric Criteria for Sexing Juvenile Human Skeletons Using the Ilium

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Previous attempts to sex juvenile skeletons have focused on the application of qualitative or semi-quantitative techniques. This study applies a variety of geometric morphometric methods, including eigenshape analysis, to this problem. Six metric criteria for the ilia were tested with the aim of investigating previous ideas concerning sexually diagnostic characters. This study uses 25 ilia from juveniles of known age and sex from Christ Church, Spitalfields, London. Ninety-six percent of juvenile ilia were correctly identified as male or female using the shape of the greater sciatic notch. Identification accuracy is shown to improve with age for several criteria. Males were identified to a higher accuracy than females. Application of geometric techniques improves the understanding of the relationship between age, sex, and shape and the clarity with which these relationships can be quantified. Archaeological and forensic relevance of the results are discussed with recommendations for future application.
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Keywords: forensic anthropology; forensic science; geometric morphometrics; ilium; juvenile osteology; sex determination

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K.

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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