An Investigation into the Relationship between Human Cranial and Pelvic Sexual Dimorphism

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When faced with commingled remains, it might be assumed that a more “masculine” pelvis is associated with a more “masculine” cranium, but this relationship has not been specifically tested. This study uses geometric morphometric analyses of pelvic and cranial landmarks to assess whether there is an intra-individual relationship between the degrees of sexual expression in these two skeletal regions. Principal component and discriminant function scores were used to assess sexual dimorphism in 113 U.S. Black individuals. Correlation values and partial least squares regression (PLS) were used to evaluate intra-individual relationships. Results indicate that the os coxae is more sexually dimorphic than the cranium, with element shape being more sexually dimorphic than size. PLS and correlation results suggest no significant intra-individual relationship between pelvic and cranial sexual size or shape expression. Thus, in commingled situations, associations between these skeletal elements cannot be inferred based on degree of “masculinity.”

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