The key difference between male and female bones is in the pelvic region. The male pelvis is narrower and heart-shaped whereas the female pelvis is wider and circular in shape. This is mainly due to the function of childbirth in females.
In general, the total number of bones is similar in both genders, but they show differences in structure and morphology. This is to facilitate various functions that are specific to each gender. Hormonal involvement in bone development is also a difference between male and female bones.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Male Bones
3. What are Female Bones
4. Similarities Between Male and Female Bones
5. Side by Side Comparison – Male vs Female Bones in Tabular Form
What are Male Bones?
Male bones show distinct features with respect to specific bones. The pelvic bone of males shows a distinct difference in comparison to the female pelvis. The male pelvic bone is narrower and has a heart-shaped pelvic inlet. The angle in which the two pubic bones meet is narrower in comparison to the female.
Figure 01: Male Bones – Pelvis
When considering the limb bones, males have much thicker and longer limb bones. This includes the humerus, ulna, and radius of the arm and femur, tibla, and fibula of the legs. Moreover, there is more deposition of calcium in male bones. The skull bone of males has a more pronounced external occipital protuberance and the jaw bone is more angular and square shaped in males. In addition to these morphological features, the male hormone testosterone is involved in bone development, which has a positive effect on the shape of the male bone structures.
What are Female Bones?
Female bones are mainly structured in a way to facilitate the function of childbirth. Thus, the pelvic bone arrangement differs much in females in order to perform this reproductive function. The female pelvis is wider and has a circular shaped inlet. The angle between the two pelvic bones is also much wider.
Figure 02: Female Bones
In general, the female limb bones are thinner and shorter with less calcium deposition. The skull bone of females has a less pronounced external occipital protuberance and the jaw bone is more rounded and pointed in females. Similar to males, in females, the bone development is influenced by the female sex hormone oestrogen which in turn determines the shape of these bones.
What are the Similarities Between Male and Female Bones?
- Both male and female bones are equal in number.
- They are composed of calcium and other bone proteins.
- Bones help in giving shape to the body, protection and in locomotion.
- Sex hormones assist the bone development in both male and females.
What is the Difference Between Male and Female Bones?
Male bones include bones of different shape and morphology specifically designed for male functions whereas female bones include bones of different shape and morphology specifically designed for female functions. The pelvic bone in males is narrower with a heart-shaped pelvic inlet while that of females is wider with a circular shaped pelvic inlet. Moreover, the limb bones in males are longer and thicker than females. Male bones also have more calcium depositions than female bones.
The skull of males has a more pronounced external occipital protuberance while the skull of females has a less pronounced external occipital protuberance. Furthermore, males have a square shaped jaw bone while females have a round and pointed jaw bone. The sex hormone responsible for bone development in males is testosterone while oestrogen is the sex hormone responsible for bone development in females.
Summary – Male vs Female Bones
The male and female bones are very similar except for a few characteristics which show a difference in structure and shape in the genders. The structure of pelvic bone, limb bone, skull and the jaw bone is the major difference between male and female bones
1.Favors, LaTasha. “Male Vs. Female Skeleton.” Healthy Living, 30 Sept. 2017, Available here.
1. “Pelvis (male) 01 – anterior view” By BodyParts3D is made by DBCLS – Polygondata is from BodyParts3D (CC BY-SA 2.1 jp) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “3D Female Skeleton Anatomy” By Bernhard Ungerer – Own work (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia