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Estimation of sex from scapulae measurements in a Western Australian population

Wilson, Ellie (2019) Estimation of sex from scapulae measurements in a Western Australian population. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Identifying the sex of unknown individual remains is the first task an anthropologist undertakes towards creating a biological profile. Most bones within the human skeleton have been analysed and determined to be sexually dimorphic. As such, forensic anthropometric standards have been developed in order to aid investigators in the estimation of sex of an individual. The issue investigators have is the lack of population-specific standards available across geographically diverse populations. Similarly, there is a lack of population-specific knowledge pertaining to bones not usually examined in an investigation. This review analyses and critiques the knowledge associated to the estimation of sex using the scapula. It was determined that the scapula is a highly dimorphic bone with many populations having developed population-specific standards in order to aid investigators. In turn, the literature has determined that the use of Computer Tomographic (CT) scans in lieu of physical specimens is a reliable and accurate substitute for populations relying primarily on the use of digital skeletal depositories to store data. In conjunction, it has been determined that despite the scapula exhibiting small bilateral variations within an individual, pertaining to the estimation of sex the differences are negligible. As such, either the left or right scapulae can be analysed in order to derive forensic anthropometric standards. Specifically, this review will analyse the data pertaining to the estimation of sex in a Western Australian population, and the gaps in the knowledge regarding the scapula will be discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
United Nations SDGs: Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Supervisor(s): Franklin, D., Speers, James and Flavel, A.
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