(Received 24 October 1989; accepted 22 May 1990)
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A sample of 1284 well-documented pubic bones was studied for sex determination methods. This sample included many adolescents and could be used to expand Phenice's 1969 study, which was largely based on mature adults. In the present study, focus was placed on the ventral are which, when used alone, provided 96% accuracy in sex determination. This paper stresses the development of the ventral arc in the adolescent: a precursor condition is defined, which first appears at age 14 and becomes the most frequent condition at age 20. In mature adults, 4% show conditions that are misleading and likely to lead to sex determination errors. Practical applications of this method are discussed in relation to the forensic science setting, including three cases. A set of casts was developed to increase the reliability of the method, and these casts were then tested in interobserver error studies.
Professor of anthropology, California State University, Fullerton, CA
Medical services manager, FHP, Inc., Fountain Valley, CA
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