Sexing of human clavicles using length and circumference measurements

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1991 Jun;12(2):175-81. doi: 10.1097/00000433-199106000-00017.


Measurement of clavicular length and circumference, and computation of clavicular robustness and length-circumference product from 724 autopsied adults of known age, sex, and body length between the ages of 15 and 96 years produced useful sex-predictive values. This predominantly North American white population contained 560 males and 164 females with intact, nondeformed clavicles. Clavicle length and circumference and particularly their product have been found useful in sexing, but robustness as a single trait has not. Despite a significant overlap of male and female values, the use of single cutoff values allowed correct sex assignment of up to 93% of the entire study population, including 94% of males and 89% of females. The ratios of body length to clavicle circumference and to clavicle length are on average greater in women than in men. The former ratio yields male predictive values greater than 95% for those individuals with ratios falling below the cutoff value of 43, whereas the latter ratio is a relatively poor sex predictor.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Height
  • Clavicle / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microcomputers
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Software