Moscow University

Age variability of sexual dimorphism of body dimensions in infancy (based on Moscow sample of 1970s)

Gorbacheva A.K., Fedotova T.K.

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Anuchin Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology, Mokhovaya st., 11, Moscow, 125009, Russia

Gorbacheva Anna K., PhD.; ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5201-7128;; Fedotova Tatiana K., PhD., D. Sc.; ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7750-7924;


Introduction. The goal of study is analysis of dynamics of sexual dimorphism, SD, of a big block of anthropometric dimensions in infancy, its quantitative description and estimation of its pithiness in growth studies of infants. Materials and methods. Variability of SD is analysed using data of the sample of Moscow infants aged 0-12 months, 357 boys and 348 girls, examined in 1973-74 according to the program embracing body mass, body height, leg length, foot length, biacromial and pelvic diameters, transversal and sagittal chest diame-ters, girths of wrist, ankle, neck, chest, waist, upper arm, forearm, hip, shin; skinfolds - subscapular, triceps, biceps, chest, abdomen, hip, shin. Quantitative estimation of the value of SD is realized using Kullback di-vergence, analogue of Makhalanobis distance. Results. Patterns of SD dynamics of most dimensions under discussion have the uniform sinusoidal shape with maximums at 3-5 and 12 months and minimums at 8-9 months. The values of SD of skeletal dimensions – body length, leg length, transversal diameters - through the whole interval 0-12 months are positive, reaching the level of 1 standard deviation for body length and biacromial diameter in some ages. The level of SD of skinfolds through the whole age interval is, on the contrary, negative, most distinctly through 3-10 months, reaching the level 0,3-0,4 standard deviations. Dynamics of SD of girths, which variation is con-nected mostly with the development of skeletal/muscle soma components (chest girth), follow the pattern of SD of skeletal dimensions. Dynamics of SD of girths, which variation is connected mostly with the devel-opment of adiposity (thigh girth), follow the pattern of SD of skinfolds. Discussion. The form of dynamics of SD of somatic dimensions is the valid parameter of heterogeneity of infancy ontogenesis period. The quantitative level of sexual differences witnesses to the heterogeneity of parameters of skeletal development and adiposity as well. The vector of these differences reveals the dif-ferent strategies of growth of sexes in infancy – more intensive skeletal development of boys (positive SD) apart with more intensive adiposity accumulation of girls (negative SD).


human biology; auxology; monitoring of physical status of children; infants; longitudinal and transversal skeletal dimensions; skinfolds and girths; Kullback divergence

DOI: 10.32521/2074-8132.2021.4.047-058

Цит.: Gorbacheva A.K., Fedotova T.K. Age variability of sexual dimorphism of body dimensions in infancy (based on Moscow sample of 1970s) // Moscow University Anthropology Bulletin (Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seria XXIII. Antropologia), 2021; 4/2021; с. 47-58 (Published: December 22, 2021)

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