Analysis of dorsal pitting in the Os pubis in an extensive sample of modern American females

Judy Myers Suchey, Dean V. Wiseley, Richard F. Green, Thomas T. Noguchi

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Pubic bones from 486 modern American females between the ages of 13 and 99 were studied in an attempt to explore the relationship between the degree of dorsal pitting and the following variables: (1) number of full term pregnancies, (2) interval since last pregnancy, (3) age of decedent. A statistical association was found between the number of full term pregnancies and the degree of dorsal pitting. However, the correlation is not strong; 17 females reported as being nulliparous have “medium to large” dorsal changes whereas 22 females having from one to five full term pregnancies have an absence of dorsal changes. Females who had their last child 15 or more years prior to death are more apt to have “medium to large” dorsal changes than are females who have more recently given birth. This effect appears to be independent of the number of full term pregnancies, but is probably related to age. When the data are analyzed by multiple regression analysis, it is found that age and number of pregnancies are most important in predicting the degree of pitting and the effect of interval on pitting is not significant. Age is found to be an important variable independent of the number of full term pregnancies. In nulliparas, an absence of dorsal pitting is far more frequently found in females younger than 30 than in those over 30.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-539
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1979



  • Birth scarring
  • Dorsal pitting
  • Os pubis
  • Parturition
  • Pubic symphysis

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