Q:

What is the difference between male and female skeletons?

A:

Quick Answer

Compared to female skeletons, male skeletons are larger and heavier, and they have more bone development around muscle attachment points. Male bones are longer, thicker and more robust. However, the biggest difference is in the pelvis. The pelvis on a female skeleton is larger and more open, the direct result of the childbearing role.

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Full Answer

A female pelvis has a large, circular pelvic inlet compared to a male's narrower, heart-shaped pelvic inlet. A female has a broader sciatic notch, and her hip bones are flared outward compared to a male's skeletal structure. A female pelvis also has a wider angle where the two pubic bones meet in front.

There are differences in skulls as well. Male skulls are usually heavier, larger and thicker in relation to female skulls. Their facial structure is more rugged in general. Males also have a more pronounced forehead ridge that is almost entirely absent in females, and they have prominent eye sockets.

It is important to note that there can be overlap between male and female characteristics, even though there is a natural sexual dimorphism. Men can still be short with slight frames, while women can have narrow pelvic girdles that do not allow for natural childbirth. In the absence of these ambiguities, male and female skeletons are able to be differentiated through scrutinizing the bones.

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