A method for visual determination of sex, using the human hip bone

Am J Phys Anthropol. 2002 Feb;117(2):157-68. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.10012.


A new visual method for the determination of sex using the human hip bone (os coxae) is proposed, based on a revision of several previous approaches which scored isolated characters of this bone. The efficacy of the methodology is tested on a sample of 402 adults of known sex and age of French and Portuguese origins. With the simultaneous use of five characters of the hip bone, it is possible to provide a correct sexual diagnosis in 95% of all cases, with an error of 2% and an inability to identify sex in only 3%. The advantage of this new method is a reduction in observer subjectivity, since the evaluation procedure cannot involve any anticipation of the result. In addition, this method of sex determination increases the probability of a correct diagnosis with isolated fragments of the hip bone, provided that a combination of elements of one character is found to be typically male or female.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropology, Physical / methods
  • Anthropometry
  • Female
  • Hip / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Determination Analysis*