Identifier

etd-05232016-172358

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geography and Anthropology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Considerable attention has been given to the measureable differences that exist between different human populations in the size and shape of the pelvis, with Africans having a narrower pelvis than Europeans. By collecting data on sacral breadth from a South African skeletal population, this study (1) tests the hypothesis that African blacks possess a narrower sacrum, and by inference pelvis, than whites and (2) considers whether the size variation between blacks and whites is due to nutritional, historical and social differences, to a genetic basis related to climatic adaptation, or to both. White South Africans were found to possess a significantly wider sacrum and longer costal processes for S1 than black South Africans. Two possible interpretations of the results were addressed, size variation is due to: (1) nutritional differences related to socioeconomic status, or (2) climatic adaptation based on thermoregulatory principles.

Date

2016

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Tague, Robert

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