Published Online: 1 November 2003
Page Count: 6
(Received 19 June 2003; accepted 7 June 2003)
The skull and some postcranial elements, such as the humerus, femur, and tibia, have been used in their intact states for sex determination in forensic and archaeological cases. But, in practice, these bones are often recovered in fragmented states, which render them unsuitable for use in sex determination. The calcaneus is a compact bone that is able to withstand high tensile forces. Some of its parameters have been used for sex determination in American whites and blacks (1) and Italians (2). This bone has not been used for sex determination in the South African white population. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the degree of sexual dimorphism of the calcaneus of the South African white population sample, derive discriminant function score equations for use in sex determination, and determine the level of accuracy of its sex-determining ability. Nine parameters were measured on each pair of 53 male and 60 female calcanei of known South African white skeletons, obtained by a random sampling technique from the Raymond A. Dart Collection of Human Skeletons, School of Anatomical Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Basic statistic and discriminant function analysis was performed on the acquired data. The basic statistics showed that all measured parameters were sexually dimorphic. Discriminant function score equations were generated for use in sex determination. The average accuracy of sex classification ranged from 73 to 86% for the univariate method, 81 to 91% for the stepwise method, and 82 to 92% for the direct method. It is concluded that the calcaneus is useful for sex determination in the South African white population.
Paper ID: JFS2003104