• Preschool;
  • Guatemala;
  • Bone;
  • Ladino;
  • Growth;
  • Sexual dimorphism;
  • Metacarpal II


The sexual dimorphism in second metacarpal bone growth was investigated in 710 malnourished Guatemalan children one to seven years old to determine if the sex differences seen are only the result of differences in stature and weight. The study sample was mixed-longitudinal and consisted of 1,586 annual examinations. Boys have greater mean stature, weight, periosteal diameter, medullary diameter and cortical area than girls the same age, while girls have greater age specific mean cortical thickness and percent cortical area than boys. When the effects of stature, weight and age are removed boys still have significantly larger periosteal and medullary diameters and less cortical thickness and percent cortical area than girls. These differences between boys and girls therefore cannot be explained by sex differences in body size. However, no sex differences in cortical area remain after accounting for differences in stature, weight and age.