Volume 44, Issue 4 (July 1999)
Anterior Femoral Curvature Revisited: Race Assessment from the Femur
The increasing need for accurate race assessment from postcranial skeletal remains has emphasized the lack of simple, replicable methods by which to accomplish the task. Several techniques have been proposed, but without adequate results. Anterior femoral curvature was first suggested and researched by T. Dale Stewart in 1962 (6). The technique used in that study was subjective at best. He provided no substantial discrimination between whites or blacks. Two later studies only reused Stewart's technique and/or data. This study was assumed to address these issues and provide an improved technique.
Skeletal collections at the Smithsonian, as well as the forensic collections at the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee, provided the specimens for this study. The historical collection of the First African Baptist Church of Philadelphia, PA, and the modern forensic collection at Louisiana State University provided the test samples. Only black and white individuals were used, and those were selected based on previous soft tissue or positive identification. Thirteen measurements were taken, including six newly developed measures. Age, race, and sex were also documented.
Discriminant analysis was used to develop functions for race assessment. After analyzing the data through SPSSx using Discriminant, the variables selected provided an accuracy of 88.15% using the right femur and 86.10% with the left femur. Age was divided into two groups: under 30 and over 30. Most skeletons can be easily aged into these categories.