Evaluation of Skull Base Parameters in Sex Determination Using Anthropometric Measurements among a Sample of Egyptians

Document Type : Original Article


1 Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department,Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.

2 Anatomy Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.


Determination of sex is a vital element in forensic and anthropological examination. In certain circumstances, such as in explosions, warfare and other mass disasters, sex prediction may be a difficult task as a result of loss of important body parts. The skull base bones have a high resistance to adverse environmental conditions. Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate the accuracy of different anthropometric measurements of the skull base for sex determination, to establish parameters that can reliably determine the sex of an unidentified skull.
Material and methods: Eighty Egyptian adult skulls were subjected for the following anthropometric measurements; palatal measurements; incisive foramen to greater palatine foramen (right and left), right to left greater palatine foramen and incisive foramen to basion,  mastoid notch measurements; incisive foramen to mastoid notch (right and left) and right to left mastoid notch and foramen magnum measurements; sagittal and transverse diameters, area and circumference. All measurements were taken using Vernier caliper and the circumference was measured by a flexible tape. Results: The results showed significant sexual difference in all the studied anthropometric measurements. The resulting formula using palatal measurement had the highest accuracy (94.1%), followed by mastoid notch that revealed 90.2% accuracy while the least accuracy was that of foramen magnum (89.2%). All measured parameters of skull base gave an accuracy of 96.1%. It was concluded that the skull base is a good basis for sex determination in adult Egyptians.