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Tara Chapman, Philippe Lefevre, Patrick Semal, Fedor Moiseev, Victor Sholukha, Stéphane Louryan, Marcel Rooze and Serge Van Sint Jan (2014)

Sex determination using the Probabilistic Sex Diagnosis (DSP: Diagnose Sexuelle Probabiliste) tool in a virtual environment.

Forensic Science International, 234:189 (e1-8).

The hip bone is one of the most reliable indicators of sex in the human body due to the fact it is the most dimorphic bone. Probabilistic Sex Diagnosis (DSP: Diagnose Sexuelle Probabiliste) developed by Murail et al., in 2005, is a sex determination method based on a worldwide hip bone metrical database. Sex is determined by comparing specific measurements taken from each specimen using sliding callipers and computing the probability of specimens being female or male. In forensic science it is sometimes not possible to sex a body due to corpse decay or injury. Skeletalization and dissection of a body is a laborious process and desecrates the body. There were two aims to this study. The first aim was to examine the accuracy of the DSP method in comparison with a current visual sexing method on sex determination. A further aim was to see if it was possible to virtually utilise the DSP method on both the hip bone and the pelvic girdle in order to utilise this method for forensic sciences. For the first part of the study, forty-nine dry hip bones of unknown sex were obtained from the Body Donation Programme of the Universite´ Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). A comparison was made between DSP analysis and visual sexing on dry bone by two researchers. CT scans of bones were then analysed to obtain three-dimensional (3D) virtual models and the method of DSP was analysed virtually by importing the models into a customised software programme called lhpFusionBox which was developed at ULB. The software enables DSP distances to be measured via virtually-palpated bony landmarks. There was found to be 100% agreement of sex between the manual and virtual DSP method. The second part of the study aimed to further validate the method by analysing thirty-nine supplementary pelvic girdles of known sex blind. There was found to be a 100% accuracy rate further demonstrating that the virtual DSP method is robust. Statistically significant differences were found in the identification of sex between researchers in the visual sexing method although both researchers identified the same sex in all cases in the manual and virtual DSP methods for both the hip bones and pelvic girdles.
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