Q:

How can you identify girl skulls?

A:

Quick Answer

Forensic scientists use many clues to identify the sex of a person's skeletal remains. The physical characteristics of bones, including the skull, help them to determine the sex of the individual; however, some of these characteristics do not develop until after puberty.

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Full Answer

  1. Check the size and weight of the skull

    In general, the skull of a man is thicker and larger than that of a female. Consider the comparative size and weight of the remains as compared to those of known male and female skulls. Remember these characteristics alone do not provide a full answer but are important in the overall picture.

  2. Examine the chin line

    Use the shape of the chin to determine the sex of the skull. Men generally have a squarer jaw line than women.

  3. Use forehead clues

    In males, the forehead tends to slant backward, while in females, it is rounded. Males also develop a slight ridge above the eyes that is not visible on the female skull.

  4. Test for DNA

    Test a sample of the bone that forms the skull. While physical characteristics provide clues as to the sex of the individual, DNA testing of the bone offers a definitive answer. DNA tests are especially useful for the skulls of young children that have not yet developed sex-related physical differences or for bone fragments of skulls that do not provide enough physical information for identification.

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