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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


CANTIN LOPEZ, Mario; SUAZO GALDAMES, Iván Claudio; ZAVANDO MATAMALA, Daniela Alejandra  and  SMITH, Ricardo Luiz. Sexual Dimorphism Determination by Piriform Aperture Morphometric Analysis in Brazilian Human Skulls. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2009, vol.27, n.2, pp.327-331. ISSN 0717-9502.

The sex determination of human skeletons is important in forensic and anthropological research. It can be carried out through qualitative or quantitative analysis of morphological parameters of dimorphism. The shape of the piriform aperture is one of the classic indicators of sexual dimorphism since it describes differences between males and females according to strong population-specific behavior. The purpose of this study was to analyze the presence of sexual dimorphism in the size of the piriform aperture and its relationship with individual skin color. We used 90 human skulls from the Collection of the Federal Universidad de Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), with registered data on sex, age and skin color (classified as white, black and brown). The dimensions studied were: height, upper width and lower width of piriform aperture. All dimensions were greater in males than females, however, only the piriform aperture height was found to be significant with p <0.01. By analyzing differences and grouping them according skin color, the piriform aperture height was found to be significantly higher (p <0.05) in white, black and brown males. In the group of black individuals skulls, we found significant differences in the upper width (p <0.05). The main differences, related to the piriform aperture height and the low influence of skin color in the presence of sexual dimorphism in the piriform aperture size, are in contrast with what has been reported in the literature and justify the revision of the classic indicators used for diagnosis of sex in specific populations.

Keywords : Sexual dimorphism; Piriform aperture; Skulls.

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