Date of Award

5-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Anthropology

Major Professor

Murray K. Marks

Committee Members

Tricia Redeker Hepner, Walter Klippel

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to test Weaver’s method of sex estimation using the auricular surface on neonatal skeletal remains of varying ages. The age of the individual was used to examine whether or not there existed a stronger correlation between age and elevation than sex and elevation. By assessing these relationships, it could be determined if Weaver’s method is more appropriate for individuals of certain ages more than individuals of other ages. Juvenile skeletons (n = 167) ranging in age from fourteen weeks post-conception to twenty years of age were assessed from two skeletal collections, and the results were analyzed using 2x2 contingency tables and logistic regressions. Weaver’s method yielded a 45.16% accuracy for determining sex in females and a 56.14% accuracy for estimating sex in males. These accuracies, close to chance, do not compare to Weaver’s original study which generated a 75% accuracy for determining sex of female fetuses and a 92% accuracy for determining sex in males fetuses. When age was incorporated into the analyses, unlike suggestions made by previous researchers, there was no correlation between it and auricular surface elevation.

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