Volume 30, Issue 4 (October 1985)
Osteometric Analysis of Sexual Dimorphism in the Sternal End of the Rib
Although there have been a number of radiological studies of the entire anterior thorax, no attempt has been made to establish a method of sex determination based on direct metrical analysis of an isolated rib. The present study attempts to determine sex from the sternal end of the fourth rib. The sample (144 males, 86 females) was obtained from individuals of known age, sex, and race autopsied at a medical examiner's office. Three measurements (height, width, and sternal articular pit depth) were taken from each bone. The sample was divided into three groups: young, old, and the combined total and analyzed by means of stepwise discriminant function statistics. It was found that the accuracy of sex determination varied from 82% in the young and 89% in the old groups to 83% for the combined group. However, when a discriminant function formula developed for a different age group was used the accuracy of correct assessment diminished considerably. It was, therefore, concluded that sexual dimorphism can be detected by metrical analysis from the teens to the 70s and this dimorphism increases with age.