Sex Estimation In Forensic Anthropology Using the Radius, Femur, and Scapula




Longe, Simone

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One of the most essential aspects of conducting a forensic anthropological analysis is estimating the sex of an unknown individual. This can narrow down missing persons lists by a large margin. Research continues to show that the pelvis is the best indicator of sex due to the morphological differences between males and females. However, the pelvis is not always available. Forensic anthropologists are often left with an incomplete skeleton, leaving other bones to be relied upon to estimate the sex of a person. According to Spradley and Jantz (2011), the metric use of the postcranial skeleton for estimating sex provides more accurate results than both metric and nonmetric traits of the skull. Further, some postcranial elements prove to be more accurate than others. In their findings, the radius, femur, and scapula were among the highest scoring estimators for sex. The purpose of this research is to compare the sexing accuracy of the radius, femur, and scapula with the Texas State University Donated Skeletal Collection to those results found among the same postcranial elements in Spradley and Jantz’s research. The sample used for Spradley and Jantz was taken from the Forensic Anthropology Data Bank (FDB) which is comprised of donated individuals and forensic cases in the Southeastern United States. This study will serve as validation to ascertain if Spradley and Jantz’s results can be used on other skeletal remains from around the country by using the Texas State University Donated Skeletal Collection.



forensic Anthropology, sex estimation, postcrainial, radius, femur, scapula, osteometrics, human osteology, skeletal measurements, Honors College


Longe, S. (2015). Sex estimation in forensic anthropology using the radius, femur, and scapula (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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