Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



This study assesses sexual dimorphism of the skull in samples of African-Americans (AA) and European-Americans (EA). Morphology of the cranium is classically referenced as an indicator of sexual dimorphism in the fields of bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. Variation in size and shape of cranial elements has been found to differ significantly between ancestral populations. Abundant research suggests that patterns of sexual dimorphism also vary between ancestries. This study uses a sample of 55 AA females, 50 AA males, 49 EA females, and 49 EA males from the Hamann-Todd Collection at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the WM Bass Donated Collection at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Twenty linear measurements were taken on the cranium and mandible, and 19 variables were analyzed. MANOVA determined that four variables (i.e. maximum cranial length, maximum cranial height, cranial base length and mandibular angle) have significant interaction between sex and ancestry, thereby, corroborating the evidence that there is ancestral variation in sexual dimorphism. The results of this study have implications for understanding evolution among anatomically modern humans after having migrated out of Africa. Additionally, the knowledge gained from this study further assists forensic anthropologists and bioarchaeologists in reconstructing biological profiles of individuals and pre-historical populations by providing a detailed description of the variation in sexual dimorphism between African-Americans and European-Americans.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Tague, Robert G.