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Sex determination using humeral dimensions in a sample from KwaZulu-Natal: an osteometric study.

Authors
  • Ogedengbe, Oluwatosin Olalekan1, 2
  • Ajayi, Sunday Adelaja1
  • Komolafe, Omobola Aderibigbe1
  • Zaw, Aung Khaing1
  • Naidu, Edwin Coleridge Stephen1
  • Okpara Azu, Onyemaechi1, 3
  • 1 Discipline of Clinical Anatomy, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. , (South Africa)
  • 2 Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. , (Niger)
  • 3 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia. , (Namibia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Anatomy & cell biology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2017
Volume
50
Issue
3
Pages
180–186
Identifiers
DOI: 10.5115/acb.2017.50.3.180
PMID: 29043096
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The morphological characteristics of the humeral bone has been investigated in recent times with studies showing varying degrees of sexual dimorphism. Osteologists and forensic scientists have shown that sex determination methods based on skeletal measurements are population specific, and these population-specific variations are present in many body dimensions. The present study aims to establish sex identification using osteometric standards for the humerus in a contemporary KwaZulu-Natal population. A total of 11 parameters were measured in a sample of n=211 humeri (males, 113; females, 98) from the osteological collection in the Discipline of Clinical Anatomy, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. The difference in means for nearly all variables were found to be significantly higher in males compared to females (P<0.01) with the most effective single parameter for predicting sex being the vertical head diameter having an accuracy of 82.5%. Stepwise discriminant analysis increased the overall accuracy rate to 87.7% when all measurements were jointly applied. We conclude that the humerus is an important bone which can be reliably used for sex determination based on standard metric methods despite minor tribal or ancestral differences amongst an otherwise homogenous population.

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