Donna Harrison

A comparison of morphological and metrical methods used to estimate sex in adult and juvenile skeletal material

The theory that sex can be determined by observing or measuring differences in specific bones of the human body has been studied for over a century. Methods of sex estimation have been tested on skeletal material of unknown and known sex quite extensively, but these studies usually assess either one method on a particular bone or one method on multiple features of one bone. These sex estimation methods are not used on juveniles because of the longstanding belief in the anthropological community that sexually dimorphic features do not present themselves in the bones before puberty. Thankfully, this has not prevented some research from being attempted to find reliable methods to sex juveniles with a few showing promising results. The inclusion of juvenile material in studies would provide enormous benefits to understanding the early development of the human body as well as enhancing demographic information in population studies.


 Educational background

  • MSc, Skeletal and Dental Bioarchaeology, UCL, 2011
  • Diploma, Field Archaeology, Birkbeck University, 2009 Diploma in Classical Studies, Open University, 2004
  • BA (Hons) English, Kean College (NJ, USA), 1976
  • Professional Degree, Psychology, Kean College (NJ,USA), 1976

Poster at BAHID Conference April 2011, “Sex Estimation Using the Robusticity Index”

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