Volume 44, Issue 5 (September 1999)
Osteometric Analysis of Sexual Dimorphism in the Sternal End of the Rib in a West African Population
This study, and others, are being carried out in order to establish a Forensic Anthropology databank on age estimation and sex determination of skeletonized remains in Ghana. An osteometric study of sexual dimorphism in the sternal end of the right fourth rib on 346 consecutive coroner's autopsy cases (221 males, 125 females) of known age, sex, and race was conducted. The height and width of the sternal end of the rib were measured in each case. The sample was analyzed in three groups: young (<30 years), old (≥30 years), and total sample (total group). Stepwise discriminant function analysis showed that the accuracy of sex determination varied from 80% in the young and 74% in the old groups to 78% for the total group. Statistical analysis of the results obtained when the functions derived from the study were tested using another batch of ribs showed the functions to be effective and reliable in determining sex. When functions derived from a previous study of American Whites were used to determine sex in our study sample, the vast majority of males were misclassified as females. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that a Black African population has been studied osteometrically to evaluate sexual dimorphism in the sternal end of the fourth rib.