Intersecciones en antropología
On-line version ISSN 1850-373X
BEGUELIN, Marien; LOTTO, Federico P and GONZALEZ, Paula N. Sex estimation of South american hunter-gatherers using humeral measurements. Intersecciones antropol. [online]. 2011, vol.12, n.1, pp. 61-68. ISSN 1850-373X.
The purpose of this study is to develop discriminant functions for sex estimation in hunter-gatherer South American populations, using humerus metric variables. Three Late Holocene aboriginal population samples were selected from: a) South Patagonia (n= 64), b) Northeastern Patagonia (n= 47) and c) Northeastern Pampa and Entre Ríos (n= 35). Only those individuals showing pelvic or cranial diagnostic structures were included, in order to obtain reliable and independent sex estimation. Six humeral variables were measured (Maximum Length, Epicondylar Breadth, Vertical Diameter of Head, Maximum and Minimum Diameter at Midshaft and Minimum Diaphyseal Circumference) and discriminant functions were generated from them through stepwise forward method, which selected different combinations of these variables for each sample. In order to assess the accuracy of estimations, both pelvic and humeral sex results were compared. Cross-validation percentages of correct sex assignations were high, ranging between 82 and 100 percent. In turn, other functions were tested, generated from different populations worldwide, and results for the three samples showed mostly lower percentages. Therefore, it is concluded that Southern-South America population-specific standards were obtained through this method, allowing for reliable sex determination in samples from the studied areas.
Keywords : Sexual dimorphism; Postcranial skeleton; South American populations; Discriminant functions.