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Sexual Dimorphism in the Subadult Mandible: Quantification Using Geometric Morphometrics

Authors

  • Daniel Franklin Ph.D.,

    1. Centre for Forensic Science, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, Western Australia.
    2. School of Anatomy and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, Western Australia.
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  • Charles E. Oxnard M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D., D.Sc.,

    1. Centre for Forensic Science, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, Western Australia.
    2. School of Anatomy and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, Western Australia.
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  • Paul O'Higgins M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D., D.Sc.,

    1. Functional Morphology and Evolution Research Unit, The Hull York Medical School, Heslington, York Y010 5DD, U.K.
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  • Ian Dadour Ph.D.

    1. Centre for Forensic Science, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, Western Australia.
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  • *Presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Seattle, Washington.

Additional information and reprint requests:
Daniel Franklin, Ph.D.
Centre for Forensic Science
School of Anatomy and Human Biology
The University of Western Australia
Mail Bag Delivery Point M420
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley
Western Australia, 6009
E-mail: dfranklin@anhb.uwa.edu.au

Abstract

ABSTRACT: There have been numerous attempts, with varying degrees of success, to differentiate males from females on the basis of the immature skeleton. We investigate here whether the mandible can discriminate immature individuals by sex; the techniques we apply are from the field of geometric morphometrics. The application of these methods in forensic anthropology is still relatively new; thus, an important aspect of this research is that it demonstrates potential applications in this discipline. The sample comprises 96 known age and sex subadult individuals; the three-dimensional coordinates of 38 landmarks are analyzed using the shape analysis software morphologika. Multivariate regressions indicated no significant sexual dimorphism in the subadult sample; this result is supported by poor cross-validated classification accuracy (59%). Our results suggest that the subadult mandible is not dimorphic (to the extent that dimorphism is not evident within the sample we studied); thus, sex determination using previously described criteria is likely to yield poor results.

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