European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 19 - Number 1
Eur J Anat, 19 (1): 73-83 (2015)

Sexual dimorphism of the clavicle in a modern Spanish sample

Mireya Alcina, Carme Rissech, Ana Clavero and Daniel Turbón

Unit of Physical Anthropology, Department of Animal Biology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

ABSTRACT The main objective of this study is to analyze the sexual dimorphism of the Spanish clavicle taking into account lateral asymmetry. A total of 77 adult individuals (45 males and 32 females) from the documented collection of Madrid were used. Twelve measurements were taken: four direct measurements on bone (Maximum length, midshaft circumference, sternal epiphyseal width, acromial epiphyseal width) and eight indirect measurements based on orthogonal photographic images of the clavicles placed on a light box (maximum depth of the lateral and medial curvature, angle of the lateral and medial curvature, lateral and medial curvature, area and perimeter). The asymmetry and sexual dimorphism were analyzed using Student’s t-test. Posteriorly, a PCA was applied to evaluate the contribution of each variable to sexual dimorphism. Finally, and taking into account previous results, a discriminant analysis was carried out on each clavicular side. Results indicate that the variables that contribute most in sexual dimorphism were five: perimeter, area, maximum length, midshaft circumference, and medial curvature. With them, fifteen formulae for each clavicular side were obtained: five by using individual variables and ten using combinations of two variables. The functions with highest accuracy were those constituted by two variables, specifically those comprising the midshaft circumference and the medial curvature. The obtained results and derived functions are important as they are the first to be obtained using Spanish clavicles to diagnose sex taking into account asymmetry. The new formulae are especially useful for skeletal remains from the Mediterranean area and in particular from the Iberian Peninsula.

Keywords: Sex determination, Bilateral asymmetry, Clavicle, Osteology, Adult clavicle

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)