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Longitudinal analysis of deciduous tooth emergence: III. Sexual dimorphism in Bangladeshi, Guatemalan, Japanese, and Javanese children


  • Darryl J. Holman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195
    • Department of Anthropology, Box 353100, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
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  • Robert E. Jones

    1. Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706
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Previous studies, mostly in European populations, found sex differences in the pattern of deciduous tooth emergence. Most studies find that the anterior dentition in males is precocial relative to the female dentition, and the pattern reverses so that females lead males in the emergence of the posterior deciduous dentition. Less is known about sex differences in the dental development and emergence of non-European populations. Here we examine the pattern of sex differences in deciduous tooth emergence in Japanese, Javanese, Guatemalan, and Bangladeshi children. The data come from four longitudinal or mixed longitudinal studies using similar study protocols. Survival analysis was used to estimate parameters of a log-normal distribution of emergence for each of the 10 teeth of the left dentition, and sexual dimorphism was assessed by sex-specific differences in mean emergence times and by Bennett's index. The results support the pattern of developmental cross-over observed in other populations. We conclude that there is little evidence to support the hypothesis of Tanguay et al. ([1984] J. Dent. Res. 63:65–68) that ethnic factors mediate sex differences in the emergence of deciduous teeth. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.