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

The Subpubic Angle: A New Method for Assessing Sex in a Single Os-coxa


Physical Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara

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The pubis is extremely reliable for determining the sex of an individual, with methods that return accuracies of up to 96%. However, these methods can be time consuming, and portions of the pubis are often broken and render the bone useless for sexing. The method introduced here seeks to remedy these issues by providing a simple and reliable way to sex an individual using a singular os-coxa by analyzing one half of the subpubic angle. To test this new method, the sex of unidentified os-coxae were determined using Phenice and other qualitative categorical methods and the Ischium-Pubic Index. The os-coxae were placed into male and female groups and the angle of the pubic symphysis with the ischiopubic ramus was calculated. A student’s t-test demonstrated that male and female means are different with a p-value of 0.034 (method was considered successful if the t-test returned a p-value less than 0.05). The success of this pilot study demonstrates that this method has great promise for being a quick, efficient, and easily reproducible way to accurately sex an individual on both whole and fragmented os-coxae.

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