Date of Award

5-1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Anthropology

Major Professor

Lyle W. Konigsberg

Committee Members

William M. Bass, Walter E. Klippel

Abstract

Weiss (1973) documented the existence of a bias in skeletal sexing. Through the use of 43 archaeological populations he discerned that there was a bias towards males. The purpose of this research is to determine if the bias in skeletal sexing is still in existence today if not, to determine what factors may be explain the disappearance of biased sex ratios.

This study examines 49 archaeological site reports from North and South America. Four different factors were gathered from each site report because they are believed to affect sex ratios. Those four factors are: (1) when sites were excavated; (2) when demographic analysis was completed; (3) whether visual or metric techniques were utilized by examiners; and ( 4) the geographic region where the material was found.

Analysis of this data through the use of logistic regression showed that overall, since Weiss' article problems with biased sex assessments are not as prevalent today. Each of the four factors tested are believed to play some part in biased sex assessments. It is concluded here that anthropologists apparently have become more aware of the bias that exists and are employing sexing techniques with greater accuracy.

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