Sexual dimorphism of the thoracic vertebrae in a modern Cretan population: a comparison of the individual vertebrae in terms of accuracy in estimating sex.

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Gambaro, L
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: musculoskeletal system | musculoskeletal diseases

Estimation of sex is one of the first steps when developing a biological profile for recovered human remains. Several studies have been concerned with sexual dimorphism in the human vertebrae in general, yet few are concerned specifically with the thoracic vertebrae. This thesis examines the presence and extent of sexual dimorphism in the thoracic vertebrae of a documented Greek population from the island of Crete, and establishes a method for sex assessment. A total of 16 linear measurements were taken from all twelve thoracic vertebrae, using a sample of 70 adult individuals. Out of the 16 measurements, the minimum number of dimorphic variables in a vertebra was eleven. The univariate discriminant function analysis yielded results with up to 89.4% total accuracy. Using a stepwise method of discriminant function analysis, two variables in T1 predicted sex with 90.6% total accuracy. In comparison to previous research on other vertebrae, the current study yielded similar results in terms of accuracy and significance of individual variables. Nevertheless, comparative data for thoracic vertebrae are only available for T12. The applicability of this method to other collections cannot be drawn, as no similar studies exist. It is concluded that the thoracic vertebrae of the Greek population are sexually dimorphic and that the method used in this study shows great potential. Nevertheless, it needs to be tested in other populations in order to further evaluate its applicability.
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