Sex determination by three-dimensional geometric morphometrics of the palate and cranial base
Chovalopoulou, Maria-Eleni; Valakos, Efstratios D.; Manolis, Sotiris K.
The purpose of this study is to assess sexual dimorphism in the palate and base of adult crania using three-dimensional geometric morphometric methods. The study sample consisted of 176 crania of known sex (94 males, 82 females) belonging to individuals who lived during the 20th century in Greece. The three-dimensional co-ordinates of 30 ectocranial landmarks were digitized using a MicroScribe 3DX contact digitizer. Generalized Procrustes Analysis (GPA) was used to obtain size and shape variables for statistical analysis. Three discriminant function analyses were carried out: (1) using PC scores from Procrustes shape space, (2) centroid size alone, and (3) PC scores of GPA residuals which includes lnCS for analysis in Procrustes form space. Results indicate that there are shape differences between sexes. In males, the palate is deepest and more elongated; the cranial base is shortened. Sex-specific shape differences for the cross-validated data give better classification results in the cranial base (77.2%) compared with the palate (68.9%). Size alone yielded better results for cranial base (82%) in opposition to palate (63.1%). As anticipated, the classification accuracy improves when both size and shape are combined (90.4% for cranial base, and 74.8% for palate).