Sex and stature estimation: a virtual pilot study on the Hispanic population

Giorgia Benedetta Mittino, Julieta G García-Donas, Helen Langstaff

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Introduction: Sex and age estimation are two fundamental pieces of information for the biological profile. Morphological and metric methods have been developed in different populations and different skeletal elements have been tested. The tibia is a robust long bone that can provide useful information in the identification process as it is resistant to taphonomic influences.
Purpose: The present project aims to test three metric parameters exploring stature and sex estimation on virtual data from the tibia on a Hispanic sample.
Materials and Methods: The sample consists of 50 postmortem CT-scans (25 males and 25 males) from the New Mexico Decedent Imaging Database including individuals who originate from Central and South America. The CT-scans were processed for 3D reconstruction using the free software 3D Slicer following standard protocols. Tibia length, and distal and proximal breadth parameters were collected. Intra-observer error was tested using intra-class correlation coefficient. The parameters were explored for their potential for stature and sex estimation using simple linear regression analysis and univariate discriminant function analysis, respectively.
Results: Intra-observer error results confirmed agreement between observations. Regarding stature estimation, all the parameters produced similar standard error of the estimate, with tibia proximal breadth provided the lowest standard error of the estimate (for 5.54 cm). Sex estimation correct classification rates ranged from 88% to 92%, with the highest accuracy being produced by tibial proximal breadth.
Conclusion: This study suggests that the tibia has potential to provide accurate information regarding sex and stature estimation, indicating that tibial proximal breadth might be the optimal segment of the bone. This study is the first exploring both stature and sex for identification purposes using the New Mexico virtual data, and although a larger sample is required to verify our preliminary results, this is the first steps to explore population-specific methods in an area with high criminal incidence and subject to large events of mass migration
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2021
EventVirtual Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe (FASE) Advanced Course and One-Day Symposium -
Duration: 11 Nov 202113 Nov 2021


ConferenceVirtual Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe (FASE) Advanced Course and One-Day Symposium
Internet address


  • Forensic anthropology
  • stature estimation
  • sex estimation
  • virtual anthropology


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