Sexual dimorphism of the ilium and iliac crest: A quantitative approach

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Vetter, Joy H.
Moore-Jansen, Peer H.

This study examined indicators of male-female differences in the os Coxa, specifically in the shape of the ilium and iliac crest for the purpose of skeletal sex estimation. The iliac crest is a curved, or “S” shaped, epiphysis which extends along the cranial margin of the ilium, posteriorly from the anterior superior iliac spine to the posterior superior iliac spine of the os Coxae. Forty two metric variables characterizing the shape of the os Coxa and iliac crest were derived from a digital database of 150 adult White human os Coxae, including 75 males and 75 females, from the Hamann-Todd osteological collection at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The os Coxae were all digitized using a MicroScribe-3DX digitizer, and the data was stored in an excel spreadsheet, which facilitated further mathematical analysis to define and calculate all variables. A single point of origin defined as the most superior point in the midline of the pubic symphysis, was common to each variable. This study hypothesized that these variables will better define variation in form, and that they will better characterize sexual dimorphism in the iliac crest. Thus serve as an aid in sex estimation. Additionally, the qualitative observation of the sciatic notch was compared to the quantitative observations. Statistical analyses, including descriptive statistics, univariate sectioning points, independent t-tests, and proportional analyses, were used to test the potential application of the findings of this study to sex identification in osteological investigation. The results of this research suggested that there were slight indications of sexual dimorphism in several of the iliac blade dimensions along with the central chords of the iliac crest and their associated angles. Despite indications of differences in the female and male form, the measurements proved to be too variable, thus making accuracy and reliability unattainable. Further investigations are required to better understand the presented findings.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Anthropology