The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)

Sex estimation using pubic bone morphology in a modern South African sample: a test of the Klales et. al method


Anthropology, University of Alaska Fairbanks

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The morphology of the human innominate is often cited as the most reliable skeletal elements for sex estimation. Establishing sex of an unknown individual is a vital component of biological profile estimation and is necessary for the assessment of the other components of the profile. The Klales et. al method (in press) expands upon the three morphological traits of the pubic bone (medial aspect of the ischio-pubic ramus, subpubic concavity, and ventral arc) described by Phenice (1969) and separates each of the traits into five expressions that are scored on an ordinal scale. The present study tests the utility of this newly proposed method on a modern South African population.

A total of 105 (44 female, 61 male) left os coxae from the Pretoria Bone collection housed at the University of Pretoria, South Africa were scored following the descriptions and images presented by Klales (2009). All adult individuals scored were above the age of 18 at the time of death and did not exhibit any pathological conditions affecting the bone. The scores were compiled and examined through discriminant function analysis in Fordisc 3.1’s custom database (Jantz and Ousley 2005). A cross-validated accuracy of 96.2% correct sex classification was achieved and is comparable to the results found by the original authors. The Klales et. al method has been shown to be applicable to a modern South African sample and in populations beyond the original study sample.

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