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Postcranial Sex Estimation of Individuals Considered Hispanic§


  • Presented at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 22–27, 2010, in Seattle, WA.
  • This project was supported by Award No. 2008-DN-BX-K464 awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
  • §The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

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Meredith L. Tise, M.A.

Department of Anthropology

University of South Florida

4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SOC 107

Tampa, FL 33620



When forensic anthropologists estimate the sex of Hispanic skeletal remains using nonpopulation specific metric methods, initial observations cause males to frequently misclassify as female. To help improve these methods, this research uses postcranial measurements from United States–Mexico border migrant fatalities at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner in Tucson, Arizona, as well as Hispanic individuals from the Forensic Anthropology Data Bank. Using a total of 114 males and 28 females, sectioning points and discriminant functions provide classification rates as high as 89.43% for Hispanic individuals. A test sample assessed the reliability of these techniques resulting in accuracy up to 99.65%. The clavicle maximum length measurement provides the best univariate estimate of sex, while the radius provides the best multivariate estimated of sex. The results of this research highlight the need for population specific data in the creation of a biological profile, especially when working with individuals considered Hispanic.

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