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Indian Journal of Clinical Anatomy and Physiology

Assessment of indices used for sexual dimorphism of skull

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Author Details: Anant Dattatray Dhanwate, Dope Santoshkumar Ankushrao

Volume : 4

Issue : 2

Online ISSN : 2394-2126

Print ISSN : 2394-2118

Article First Page : 241

Article End Page : 246


Introduction: Skull is the preferred bone for identification of sex of the deceased as it resists decomposition, mutilation and fire. Cranial Index, Nasal Index and Orbital Index are commonly used for sexual dimorphism of skull. Previous studies present large variations in these indices due to genetic and environmental factors, racial and ethnic differences, different measurement methods and sample size. To know the reliability of these indices for sexual dimorphism of the skull, the present study was conducted.
Materials and Method: The study was performed on 98 adult Indian skulls consisting of 60 male and 38 female skulls of known age and sex. Parameters measured were Cranial Index (CI), Nasal Index (NI) and Orbital Index (OI) which were expressed in descriptive statistics i.e. mean, range and standard deviation. For all the three indices, ‘identification points’ and  ‘demarking points’ were calculated and then percentage of skulls identified by these points were recorded. Results were compared with available literature.
Results- In the present study, mean CI in male and female skulls was 74.68±4.21 and 77.12±4.92 respectively while their NI was 50.76±5.61 and 56.86±6.65 respectively. In male skulls the mean OI was 87.47±8.09, while it was 87.88±5.55 in female skulls. The identification points and demarking points were calculated for all these three indices. Using identification points of CI and NI, 5% to 33% skulls were identified correctly as male or female. However, no sex could be determined from demarking points of three indices.
Conclusion: None of the three indices namely CI, NI or OI were promising individually in identifying sex as a very low percentage of skulls could be identified. The study concludes that the reliability of these three cranial indices is doubtful in sexual dimorphism of the skull.

Cranial Index; Nasal Index; Orbital Index; Sexual dimorphism; Demarking points; Skull