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Subadult sex estimation and KidStats

NCJ Number
Kyra E. Stull ; Laura E. Cirillo ; Stephanie J. Cole ; Cortney N. Hulse
Date Published
June 2020

Since subadult sex estimation is routinely advised against, as most researchers believe there are not sufficient differences between the subadult male and female skeletons, this chapter discusses the intricacies of sexual differentiation and the expression of sexual dimorphism, the obstacles that plague the progress of subadult sex estimation research, and introduce the research that has been conducted to estimate sex from numerous skeletal elements.


Subsequently, the biological and methodological mechanisms that may impede attainment of high classification accuracies are discussed. The chapter is transparent about the difficulties associated with subadult sex estimation and the consistent trend for unsuccessful validation studies. Even so, there is promise for subadult sex estimation with the incorporation of innovative techniques and virtual skeletal collections from diverse populations to address the lack of subadult material, especially where variability is concerned. Ultimately, we hope to encourage researchers to persevere, as the absence of evidence is not the same as the evidence of absence. (Published abstract provided)