Volume 24, Issue 1 (January 1979)
Sex Determination with Fragmented Skeletal Remains
It is well established that the adult human pelvis offers a high degree of reliability in sexing skeletal remains. The ischiopubic index devised by Schultz  and tested by Washburn [2,3] and Hanna and Washburn  is generally reliable for 90% or more of cases tested. The ischiopubic index is derived by measuring the lengths of the pubis and ischium from a common point in the acetabulum. The success of this technique rests on the fact that, as a rule, the pubis is absolutely longer in females while the ischium is absolutely longer in males. A second and perhaps more important sexing technique elucidated by Phenice  is a nonmetrical method employing three features of the pubic bone. The first and generally most reliable feature is the ventral arc, followed by the subpubic concavity and, finally, the medial aspect of the inferior pubic ramus. The use of all three features gave Phenice in excess of 95% reliability in American whites and blacks. Kelley [6, 7] obtained similar results with this technique in California Indian material. In terms of time, energy, and reliability Phenice's visual sexing technique seems preferable over the ischiopubic index.