Male and Female Differences – Bony Pelvis

by James Pickering, PhD

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    00:01 The male and female pelvis are not the same. Although the same structures are located, the actual position and size of these structures is somewhat different. So, here, we can see we have a male pelvis and here we can see we have a female pelvis. So, let's try and indicate some important differences between these two pelvis. Again, we can see we have got a male pelvis here and we have got our female pelvis here. We got the general structure down on this side and then we can see the differences, comparisons between the two listed here. So, the structure of the male pelvis is that much stronger and thicker compared to the more delicate and thinner female pelvis. The pubic arch, which we can recognise here is narrower in the male, in the female it is that much wider. That means the pelvic outlet is bigger. This is important for childbirth. If we look at the greater pelvis, it is fairly deep in the male, in the female it is a lot shallower. These are a lot flatter, that is why female hips are that much wider. This is important to increase space allowing for the developing foetus. The lesser pelvis in the male is narrower, it’s wider in the female. Again, this increase in the size of the birth canal allowing the baby to pass through. The pelvic inlet is heart shaped. It is more round in the female. Pelvic outlet is small in the male, I beg your pardon, in the female, it’s that much larger. And the sacral promontory, in the male, it’s more pronounced, in the female, it’s less pronounced.

    01:47 It is not pushing into the actual cavity of the pelvis. The sacral promontory here in the female is flatter, it’s not as pronounced in the male. Generally, these are important differences that the pelvis is that much flatter, it’s that much bigger, the openings are wider and that’s really important when you bear in mind that within this space, we find the uterus and the developing foetus grows in this space. So, it needs to be able to accommodate that large developing foetus. It needs then to be able to accommodate its passageway through the pelvis. So, the larger pelvic outlet is key to allow the vagina to expand into this space for the baby to pass through.

    02:33 Some important differences. The pubic arch in a dry skeleton is quite an obvious way to differentiate the male and female and if you were to hold your fingers like this where you can see you have a slightly narrower pubic arch and that indicates a male whereas positioning your fingers like this where you have the slightly wider pubic... pubic arch could indicate a female. So, just putting your fingers against the dry pelvis, if you have access to one, can differentiate a male from a female.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Male and Female Differences – Bony Pelvis by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Pelvis.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Narrow pubic arch
    2. Wide lesser pelvis
    3. Large pelvic outlet
    4. Less pronounced sacral promontory
    1. The pelvic inlet is round in women.
    2. The pelvic outlet is bigger in men.
    3. The pubic arch is narrow in women.
    4. The pelvic inlet is heart-shaped in women.
    5. The sacral promontory is more pronounced in women.

    Author of lecture Male and Female Differences – Bony Pelvis

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD

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