Popularization of the modern Cesarean section in the United States and its effects on female pelvic morphology
Leach, Rose S.
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The shift in locomotion of our predecessors to obligate bipedalism caused significant changes in our pelvic morphology. However, these morphological changes had an adverse effect on the ability of women to successfully give birth without complications, referring specifically to the issue of obstructed labor. AL 288-1 had a platypelloid pelvis, making it extremely difficult for neonates to pass through the birth canal due to an ovular inlet with a long transverse axis. Anatomically modern females have a gynecoid pelvis, consisting of a rounded inlet with a larger subpubic angle. This shape better facilitated natural birth, but obstructed labor was still a significant issue in modern populations.The advent of the modern cesarean section throughout the United States in 1882 revolutionized labor processes, allowing women who would not have survived the natural birthing process to contribute to the morphology of future generations. Research has acknowledged changes in female pelvic anatomy, but these have yet to be detailed. This research utilized two samples from the United States (pre and post introduction) to determine if the popularization of the modern cesarean section has any correlations with changes in female pelvic anatomy. The collected pelvic data was put through statistical analyses to test for significant changes. Principal component analysis and F-tests were used to explore shape variation and levels of diversity. The results detail changes in female pelvic morphology following the introduction of the cesarean section.