Determination of Sex in South African Blacks by Discriminant Function Analysis of Mandibular Linear Dimensions

Daniel Franklin, P. O'Higgins, Charles Oxnard, Ian Dadour

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32 Citations (Scopus)


The determination of sex is a critical component in forensic anthropological investigation. The literature attests to numerous metrical standards, each utilizing diffetent skeletal elements, for sex determination in South A frican Blacks. Metrical standards are popular because they provide a high degree of expected accuracy and are less error-prone than subjective nonmetric visual techniques. We note, however, that there appears to be no established metric mandible discriminant function standards for sex determination in this population.We report here on a preliminary investigation designed to evaluate whether the mandible is a practical element for sex determination in South African Blacks. The sample analyzed comprises 40 nonpathological Zulu individuals drawn from the R.A. Dart Collection. Ten linear measurements, obtained from mathematically trans-formed three-dimensional landmark data, are analyzed using basic univariate statistics and discriminant function analyses. Seven of the 10 measurements examined are found to be sexually dimorphic; the dimensions of the ramus are most dimorphic. The sex classification accuracy of the discriminant functions ranged from 72.5 to 87.5% for the univariate method, 92.5% for the stepwise method, and 57.5 to 95% for the direct method. We conclude that the mandible is an extremely useful element for sex determination in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263 - 268
JournalForensic Science, Medicine and Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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