Three-dimensional finite element (FE) models of human pubic symphyses were constructed from computed tomography image data of one male and one female cadaver pelvis. The pubic bones, interpubic fibrocartilaginous disc and four pubic ligaments were segmented semi-automatically and meshed with hexahedral elements using automatic mesh generation schemes. A two-term viscoelastic Prony series, determined by curve fitting results of compressive creep experiments, was used to model the rate-dependent effects of the interpubic disc and the pubic ligaments. Three-parameter Mooney-Rivlin material coefficients were calculated for the discs using a heuristic FE approach based on average experimental joint compression data. Similarly, a transversely isotropic hyperelastic material model was applied to the ligaments to capture average tensile responses. Linear elastic isotropic properties were assigned to bone. The applicability of the resulting models was tested in bending simulations in four directions and in tensile tests of varying load rates. The model-predicted results correlated reasonably with the joint bending stiffnesses and rate-dependent tensile responses measured in experiments, supporting the validity of the estimated material coefficients and overall modeling approach. This study represents an important and necessary step in the eventual development of biofidelic pelvis models to investigate symphysis response under high-energy impact conditions, such as motor vehicle collisions. © 2006 Biomedical Engineering Society.