• human pelvis;
  • sex determination;
  • morphological traits;
  • method


A new visual method for the determination of sex using the human hip bone (os coxae) is proposed, based on a revision of several previous approaches which scored isolated characters of this bone. The efficacy of the methodology is tested on a sample of 402 adults of known sex and age of French and Portuguese origins. With the simultaneous use of five characters of the hip bone, it is possible to provide a correct sexual diagnosis in 95% of all cases, with an error of 2% and an inability to identify sex in only 3%. The advantage of this new method is a reduction in observer subjectivity, since the evaluation procedure cannot involve any anticipation of the result. In addition, this method of sex determination increases the probability of a correct diagnosis with isolated fragments of the hip bone, provided that a combination of elements of one character is found to be typically male or female. Am J Phys Anthropol 117:157–168, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.