The height of the pubic tubercle as an indicator of parturition
Aurigemma, Tracy Ann
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Parity status is a supplemental element of the biological profile in forensic anthropology. The pelvis is thought to exhibit alterations to the bone from pregnancy. Two features of the pelvis have been studied for signs of parturition or past pregnancy. The features have been studied with varying results. They include the pubic bone (Bergfelder and Herrmann, 1980, Cox and Scott, 1992) and the preauricular sulcus (Houghton, 1974, Dee, 1981). Maass and Friedling (2014) also looked at the interosseous groove and the iliac tuberosity. This study was modeled on Snodgrass and Galloway (2003) that investigated whether or not parity status can be determined by analyzing several areas of the pubic bone for different traits. Snodgrass and Galloway assessed the dorsal surface of the pubic bone for pitting and measured the height of the pubic tubercle. They also rearticulated the pelves of each subject and measured the arcuate angle. For the current study, a sample of 75 females from the William M. Bass Skeletal Collection at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville was examined. The height of the pubic tubercle and its distance from the symphyseal face was measured bilaterally for each individual. Also, the dorsal surface of each pubic bone was visually assessed for the presence or absence of pitting. Data analysis was then conducted comparing each of these features with parity status. BMI was also calculated for each individual and compared with the three features listed above. There were no correlations found between height of the pubic tubercle, distance of the pubic tubercle, dorsal pitting and parity status. The lack of a correlation between any of the features and parity status make them unusable in forensic applications.