Morphological variation in the mandible of white males and females from the East Texas region for potential applications for skeletal identification

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Issue Date
2022-04-06
Authors
Varela, Lissette M.
Moss, Benjamin H.
Moore-Jansen, Peer H.
Advisor
Citation

Lissette M. Varela, Benjamin H. Moss & Peer Moore-Jansen (2022) Morphological variation in the mandible of white males and females from the East Texas region for potential applications for skeletal identification, Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal, DOI: 10.1080/00085030.2022.2043522

Abstract

The mandible is a bone that preserves well in forensic and archaeological contexts and has sound use for sex estimation techniques when the bones of the cranium and pelvis are absent. Past research has frequently used morphological assessments of the mandible, which have long been recognized as a useful means for estimating sex. This study addressed the application and effectiveness of metric and non-metric observations to illustrate the morphological variation of mandibular size and shape to explore sexual dimorphism between males and females. Three non-metric observations and fourteen metric measurements were recorded on mandibles from a skeletal sample of two-hundred and thirty-six individuals from a collection acquired in the region of southeastern Texas. The findings of this study demonstrate that the use of select metric measurements, including bigonial width, bicondylar breadth, minimum and maximum ramus breadth, transverse diameter of the mandibular condyle, maximum ramus height, mandibular length, mandibular total length, and mandibular ramus height, should be considered for sex estimation in the mandible. Two regression models were reported in this study one with eleven measurements at 81.48% accuracy and one with three measurements at 83.33% accuracy. Alternatively, the non-metric analyses exhibited no significant correlation with sex in the study sample, and therefore, non-metric observations of the mandible are not reliable in sex estimation.

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