Journal of Biological Research (Oct 2017)

An anthropometric method for sex determination from the mandible: test on British Medieval skeletal collections

  • Charlotte Cole,
  • Constantine Eliopoulos,
  • Eleni Zorba,
  • Matteo Borrini

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 90, no. 1


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Sex determination is a vital part of the analysis of skeletal remains and the creation of biological profiles that aid in identification. The pelvis and skull are the regions usually employed by anthropologists and produce very good results. However, the mandible, being a very durable bone and frequently preserved has not received the attention that other skeletal elements have. There are some morphological methods for sexing the mandible, however metrics are considered to be more objective and easier to replicate. This study uses the measurements of the bimental breadth and the corpus thickness of the mandible. Univariate and multivariate analysis was carried out to create discriminant function equations. These equations can be used to sex a mandible with overall accuracy rates as high as 77.3%. The results of the present research are similar to those of other studies and indicate that mandibular metrics can be relied upon for sex determination, especially in cases where other elements are not preserved.