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Keywords:

  • Skeletal maturation;
  • Aging;
  • Os pubis

Abstract

The Gilbert-McKern method for aging the female Os pubis has attained popularity following Gilbert's ('73) demonstration that the McKern-Stewart male standards are not directly applicable to females. In order to assess the reliability of the method, forensic anthropologists were asked to age a set of 11 pubes of known age. There was a great deal of variability in the responses of the 23 participants. Three, four, and five different responses (out of a 6-scale system) were given for each component of each pubic bone. Only 51% of the assessments yielded age ranges which would include the known age of the specimens. Analysis of the errors showed that one of the focal problems of the Gilbert-McKern system was the difficulty in judging whether the ventral rampart was building up or breaking down.