Metric determination of sex from the humerus in a Guatemalan forensic sample

Forensic Sci Int. 2005 Jan 29;147(2-3):153-7. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2004.09.077.


The absence of population-specific standards for sex, age and stature estimation for rural Guatemala is problematic for the forensic analysis of skeletal remains recovered from clandestine graves attributed to the recent armed conflict in that country. In order to increase the reliability of the forensic analyses being undertaken in Guatemala, standards for metric determination of sex were developed. Data was collected on several bones; the results for the humerus are presented here. A sample of 118 complete humeri (68 male and 50 female) was studied; maximum length, maximum diameter of the head, circumference at midshaft, maximum diameter at midshaft, minimum diameter at midshaft and epicondylar breadth were measured and subjected to discriminant function analysis. The classification accuracies for the univariate functions range from 76.8% for the maximum diameter at midshaft to 95.5% for the maximum diameter of the head. The classification accuracy for the stepwise procedure was 98.2%.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Forensic Anthropology / methods*
  • Guatemala
  • Humans
  • Humerus / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Metric System
  • Sex Characteristics*