Title page for ETD etd-08052008-090115

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Barrier, Isabelle Linda Odile
URN etd-08052008-090115
Document Title Sex determination from the bones of the forearm in a modern South African sample
Degree MSc
Department Anatomy
Advisor Name Title
Dr E N L'Abbe Supervisor
  • sex determination
  • stepwise and direct discriminant function analysis
Date 2008-04-23
Availability unrestricted
With a large number of unidentified skeletal remains found in South Africa, the development of osteometric standards to determine sex from various bones is crucial. It is imperative that a forensic anthropologist have access to a variety of techniques both morphological and metric, which can be used to establish accurate demographic profiles from complete, fragmentary and/or commingled remains. Standards for South African populations are available for the cranium, humerus, pelvis, femur, tibia, calcaneus, and talus. No research has been done on bones of the forearm, even though they are known through international studies to exhibit sexual dimorphism. The purpose of this research was to develop discriminant function formulae to determine sex from the radius and ulna for a South African population. The sample consisted of 200 male and 200 female skeletons from the Pretoria Bone (University of Pretoria) and Raymond A. Dart (Witwatersrand University) collections. Sixteen standard anthropometric measurements were taken from the radius (9) and ulna (7) and subjected to stepwise and direct discriminant function analysis.

Distal breadth, minimum midshaft diameter and maximum head diameter were the best discriminators of sex in the radius, while minimum midshaft diameter and olecranon breadth were selected for the ulna. Classification accuracy for the forearm ranged from 76% to 86%. In summary, the radius and ulna can be considered moderate discriminators for determining sex in a South African group. However, it is advised that whenever possible these formulae are used in conjunction with visual methods to determine sex from skeletal remains.

Copyright 2007, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Barrier, ILO 2007, Sex determination from the bones of the forearm in a modern South African sample, MSc dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-08052008-090115 / >


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