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A new multivariate method for determining sex of immature human remains using the maxillary first molar

Aris, Christopher, Nystrom, Pia, Craig-Atkins, Elizabeth (2018) A new multivariate method for determining sex of immature human remains using the maxillary first molar. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 167 (3). pp. 672-683. ISSN 0002-9483. (doi:10.1002/ajpa.23695) (KAR id:69754)


Objectives: This study investigated the use of sexually dimorphic metrics of the first permanent

maxillary molar (M1) to determine sex in adult and immature individuals within and between


Methods: Ten M1 dimensions were measured in 91 adults (19–55 years) and 58 immatures (5–-

18 years) from two English populations, one of documented sex (Spitalfields crypt) and another

of morphologically-assigned sex (Black Gate). Preliminary statistical analysis was undertaken to

explore bilateral differences and variation by age and sex, followed by multivariate analyses to

predict sex from dental metrics.

Results: Both cross-validated linear discriminant analysis and binary logistic regression predicted

biological sex consistent with known sex in 94.6% of adults and 90.9% of immatures. When

functions extracted from the Spitalfields data were used to assign sex to Black Gate adults, consistency

with morphological sex varied from 83.3% to 57.7%. A new function developed on

Black Gate resulted in only a 4.8% increase in maximum accuracy but reduced bias. The immature

cohort comprised 19 (52.8%) males and 17 (47.2%) females.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates substantial sexual dimorphism in a single tooth which is

commonly preserved in archaeological and forensic contexts. It successfully assigns biological

sex to immatures from 5 years of age with substantially greater accuracy than any other morphological

or metric method. We suggest that accurate cross-population functions based on

dentition require a trade-off between accuracy and applicability, and that functions extracted

from populations of documented sex can be used to assign sex to other archaeological and

forensic remains.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/ajpa.23695
Uncontrolled keywords: dental metrics, juvenile, permanent dentition, sex assessment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Christopher Aris
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2018 10:01 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 23:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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