Physical Geography and Sciences



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Eric Frauenhofer, INS 495: Independent Project
Faculty Mentor: Professor Julie Wieczkowski, Anthropology

The objective of this research was to derive discriminant functions from patella measurements to determine the sex of adult human skeletal remains in African American and European American populations. The sample consisted of 400 individuals (100 females and 100 males of African ancestry; 100 females and 100 males of European ancestry), ranging in age from 18 to 89 years old, from the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection, a documented human skeletal collection at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Seven measurements were taken of each individual’s left patella. If this bone exhibited an abnormality, the individual’s right patella was measured instead. The measurements taken were the maximum height, maximum width, maximum thickness, heights of the lateral and medial articular facets, and widths of the lateral and medial articular facets. Statistical analyses showed that each measurement was sexually dimorphic, and males had higher mean values than females for each measurement for both ancestries. Demarking points were established for each measurement and then applied to the sample for sex determination. The overall accuracy of this method ranged from 71% to 81% and 66% to 84% for African Americans and European Americans, respectively. Due to these low accuracy rates, using demarking points associated with patella measurements should be used with caution in forensic contexts. SPSS will be used to derive discriminant functions from the patella measurements. It is expected that discriminant functions will be more accurate than demarking points to classify sex, which would be consistent with the literature.

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Determination of Sex from Patella Measurements in African American and European American Populations
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