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