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Determination of Sex from Juvenile Crania by Means of Discriminant Function Analysis


  • Richard A. Gonzalez Ph.D.

    1. Department of Anthropology, St. Lawrence University, 23 Romoda Drive, Canton, NY 13617.
    2. Current address: Department of Physical Therapy, Clarkson University, Clarkson Hall, 59 Main St., Potsdam, NY 13699.
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  • Presented in part at the 76th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, March 28–31, 2007, in Philadelphia, PA, and at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 18–23, 2008, in Washington DC.

  • Partially funded by the St. Lawrence University Jeffrey Campbell Graduate Fellowship.

Additional information and reprint requests:
Richard A. Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Department of Physical Therapy
Clarkson University
Clarkson Hall
59 Main St.
Potsdam, NY 13699


Abstract:  This study provides evidence of craniofacial growth variation between the sexes in juveniles of European descent. Data were collected from lateral cephalometric radiographs belonging to the Michigan Craniofacial Growth Study. The collection consists of longitudinal lateral radiographs that represent individuals 5–16 years of age. Each radiograph was manually traced on hyprint vellum from which eight craniometric points were identified. From these points, 20 craniofacial measurements were recorded and then analyzed by means of a canonical discriminant function analysis. Sex classification equations were then created by applying a backward stepwise procedure to the discriminant functions. The analysis demonstrates the presence of sexually dimorphic differences in craniofacial growth. The neurocranium is the most sexually dimorphic region of the juvenile craniofacial skeleton, until the onset of puberty. Size is the main source of variation with males having taller and longer heads than females. Overall, sex classification in the sample ranges from 78 to 89% accuracy.