Metric Assessment of the Pubic Bone Using Known and Novel Data Points for Sex Estimation*,†

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Abstract

Biological sex estimation of skeletal remains is essential in forensic and archaeological analyses. Anthropologists most often use the pelvis, which is the most sexually dimorphic element both morphologically and metrically. While nonmetric pubic bone features have been studied extensively, few metric studies have examined this individual bone for dimorphism. For this study, three observers examined three previously identified and ten novel measurements of the pubic body on a modern sample of isolated pubic bones from the Maricopa County Forensic Science Center (FSC), in Phoenix, Arizona (n = 400). A relationship between pubic body measurements and biological sex was demonstrated, with significant correlations. Discriminant function analyses found that five measurements, four of which were novel, discriminated between males (89%) and females (86%). Observer experience level did not significantly impact the results. These five measurements were reliable and show promise for inclusion in metric methods for assessment of sex.

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