Greater sciatic notch morphology: Sex, age, and population differences
Article first published online: 3 FEB 2005
Copyright © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 127, Issue 4, pages 385–391, August 2005
How to Cite
Walker, P. L. (2005), Greater sciatic notch morphology: Sex, age, and population differences. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 127: 385–391. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.10422
- Issue published online: 19 JUL 2005
- Article first published online: 3 FEB 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 SEP 2003
- Manuscript Received: 21 MAR 2003
- sexual dimorphism;
The accuracy of a method for visually scoring sex differences in the greater sciatic notch was tested on 296 skeletons of known age and sex. The proportion of correct sex assignments is 80% when all specimens are classified, and 89% when os coxae assigned the score in which the sexes show the greatest overlap are excluded. Although many os coxae (35%) have this sexually intermediate morphology, excluding them has the advantage of substantially reducing sex biases in sexing errors. For both sexes, there is a strong relationship between age at death and sciatic notch score. People who die at a younger age tend to have wider, more feminine-appearing sciatic notches than people of greater longevity. There are also significant population differences. The 18th–19th century English sample from St. Bride's Church has a more feminine morphology than Americans of European or African ancestry. Environmental influences on skeletal development (vitamin D deficiency) appear to provide the most likely explanation for these population differences. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.