The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)


Sexual dimorphism in human skull: the effect of size correction

TATIANA F. ALMEIDA1, DANILO V. BERNARDO2, MARIANA INGLEZ2 and WALTER A. NEVES2.

1Unidade de Genética Médica, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, 2Laboratório de Estudos Evolutivos Humanos, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo

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The differences observed among males and females of a species, the sexual dimorphism, plays an important role along the evolutionary story of a lineage. This phenomena is detected among anatomical modern humans, majoritarily expressed as differences of stature and robusticity among human males (M) and females (F). In this context, in despite of the difficulties of an accurate and reliable system of sexual assignment of human skeletal remains, mostly of the studies focused on the morphological aspects of the human history consider M and F separately. In this study, we evaluated the differences observed among M and F human crania after a size correction treatment. To reach our goal, we used a large sample constituted of 9,287 human skulls represented by means of 24 measurements. These crania are distributed into 161 populations of worldwide dispersion. Each population was represented by the coefficient of mean variation (CMV) of their centroid, after the size correction. The entire sample was classified into three analytical groups, according with their composition: A) mixed samples (n=66); B) male samples (n=42); C) predominantly male samples (n=53). The distributions of CMV observed in each analytical group was compared through t tests. The analysis did not show statistical differences (p<0.01) among these analytical groups. Additionally, the same analytical procedure showed that the differences among observations before and after the size correction treatment showed statistically significant (p<0.000). Our results suggests that samples composed by male and female crania can be considered together once their size component has been properly adjusted.

FAPESP 2008/58729-8

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