Are Metric Methods Really User-Friendly? A Methodological Study of Sex Estimation Techniques for the Talus and Calcaneus
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Skeletal sex is most commonly estimated using the pelvis and the skull. These elements, however, are not always available in archaeological and forensic situations as they may be missing or damaged as a result of burial practices or poor preservation. Anthropologists have developed sex estimation methods that utilize other skeletal elements, and many of these alternative methods rely on statistical analyses of bone metrics. Because metric methods are seen as more objective and less dependent on examiner experience, most have not undergone the independent validation to which morphologic methods have been subjected. The purpose of this research is to validate two previously developed metric methods for the talus and the calcaneus using a different population than the ones on which these methods were developed, and explore potential issues of precision and validity when these methods are applied by external users. This thesis recommends several areas for improvement in the development and publication of metric methods, including the necessity for more external validation studies, greater standardization of variables and methodology, an increased use of probabilistic estimates, and a re-evaluation of how symmetry and error are conceptualized and assessed.
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Grace Chan (2022). Are Metric Methods Really User-Friendly? A Methodological Study of Sex Estimation Techniques for the Talus and Calcaneus. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17875