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Facial Gender & FFS:
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Body Dysmorphic Disorder and FFS



My Facial Feminisation Thesis


Part 4:

Sexual Dimorphism of the Face, Feature by Feature


Here are the prototypes I have created including the profile prototypes:


The easiest way for a human to see the differences between 2 faces is to superimpose them and flick between them so I have animated the images to do this

Lets now look at the differences between male and female faces feature by feature as revealed by the prototypes combined with the established scientific research.


1. Hairline:
The female hairline is higher in the middle, lower in the corners and has a rounded shape. The male hairline is lower in the middle, higher in the corners and has more of a square or “M” shape. It seems to be widely believed in FFS circles that the male hairline is lower in the middle but as we can see, it is not.


2. Forehead:
The male forehead has a bony ridge running across it at about eyebrow level (brow bossing) while the female forehead is smoother and flatter. The female forehead is also more vertical while the male forehead tends to slope backwards a little. Male foreheads are more likely to have more pronounced vertical ridges (temporal lines) running up either side. The profile prototype suggests that the area above the bossing in the male may be slightly indented but I would want to see more profile prototypes to be sure about that.


3. Eyebrows:
The top edge of the eyebrows is at about the same height (or very slightly higher in females in a minority of prototypes) but female eyebrows are thinner so that the bottom edge of the eyebrow sits in a noticeably higher position and creates a bigger gap between the eye and the eyebrow. This gives the erroneous impression that women's eyebrows are significantly higher than men's rather than mainly thinner. The gap between the eyebrows is wider in females but this is likely again to be down to plucking.


4. Eyes:
Females have larger eyes in proportion to the face and the eyes have a more open expression with the top lid lifted a little more than in the male. The prototypes suggest that females have a stronger “canthal tilt” than males which means that female eyes are more slanted from the outer corners down to the inner corners than male eyes are. Internally, female orbits tend to be larger in proportion to the rest of the face and more rounded while male orbits tend to be smaller and more square. The inner edge of the orbit is sharper and rougher in females than in males. These differences in the orbits are unlikely to be relevant to FFS. In white people, the base of the nose seems to be about the same width as the eye for females but somewhat wider than the eye in males.


5. Cheeks:
The fleshy part or “apple” of female cheeks contains more fat than the male and is therefore fuller and rounder – male cheeks tend to be much more hollow here. The width of the cheekbones is about the same in men and women when compared to the distance between the eyes. Internally, the female cheekbone reaches back as far as the opening of the ear and the male cheekbone reaches a little further back than the opening of the ear. The male cheekbone is also thicker. These internal differences are unlikely to be relevant in FFS – I believe the apple of the cheeks is the key and therefore that the emphasis in FFS should be on fat grafts to the apple of the cheeks rather than augmentation of the cheekbone with implants.


6. Nose:
In the front view, the nose is narrower in females with smaller, less flared nostrils. There is some evidence from prototypes that the columella (the bit between the nostrils) sits a little lower relative to the nostrils in females. In the profile view, the base of the female nose has more of an upwards angle than the male. The female nose has a shorter (more blunt) tip than the male. The male nasion (the area where the nose meets the forehead) stands further forwards of the eyes than in the female because the nose is larger. Internally the nasal aperture in the skull in higher and narrower in males with a sharper angle where the 2 sides meet at the top.


7 Mouth:
The female mouth sits in a higher position than the male mouth. In the frontal view, the prototypes suggest that the female's lower lip has slightly more of a "V" shape while the lower lip of males is a little more "U" shaped. I have not seen that mentioned in any other studies. However, this difference is very small and may be irrelevant in FFS. Male and female mouths are actually very similar in the frontal view with very similar sized areas of vermilion exposed. This lead me to question why fuller lips “seem” more feminine but we can see the answer to that in the profile view of the prototype where the female lips are fatter, bulging forwards (anteriorly) a little more than male lips despite the amount of vermillion exposed being pretty much the same in the frontal view. I have not seen this mentioned in any other studies. In real life we would see the additional fullness from the front also because we see in 3D - it's only in a 2D frontal picture that the fullness is invisible. A lip lift which rolls the top lip out exposing more vermilion is still relevant in FFS because although women don't actually have a greater exposure of vermilion, having a little more exposed could help give the impression of fullness.

When a woman's mouth is open, her upper incisors are more likely to be exposed by a few mm than in the male. Internally, the male palate is proportionately wider than the female palate though this is largely irrelevant in FFS.

Males tend to have more pronounced and therefore more noticeable muscles around the mouth. The particular muscles that show are the obicularis oris which encircles the mouth and to a lesser extent, the triangularis which sits outside and below the corners of the mouth. The projection of the obicularis oris is emphasised by the hollowness of the apple of the cheeks in males.


8. Chin:
The female chin is shorter and narrower than the male chin. The prototypes suggest that the female chin is rounded rather than slightly pointed or almond shaped as some people believe. This mistaken belief may be based on the fact that internally, the female chin is somewhat pointed and this is therefore how it is often described in studies. The more relevant view for us in FFS is the external view and in that, the female chin is rounded. The male chin tends to be more square with a flat base an 2 corners.

The prototypes suggest that the male chin projects forwards a little more than the female chin if you compare to the nearest relevant landmark which is the area between the nose and top lip (this is relevant because it gives a clear vertical line by which the eye can judge the chin protrusion). I have not found any other studies yet giving male and female chin protrusion figures.

I have made a small study that suggests chin clefts might be a little more common in men than women. This simply involved counting the chin clefts on 50 male and 50 female faces – all randomly selected and I found that 58% of males had a visible cleft against 38% of women. This may be partly to do with the extra layer of fat that women have although that is just a guess. If it is down to that then hormones might reduce a mild cleft a little. More importantly, although they are a little more common on men they are still very common on women – so common in fact that a chin cleft can not really be considered a masculinity in my opinion. For this reason I do not think that they are an important consideration in FFS and are really more of personal preference issue. I would like to see more studies on the frequency of chin clefts in males and females as I feel my study is too small at the moment to be fully reliable.

The profile prototypes also suggest that the line between the chin and neck is fairly flat in females and slopes down a little from front to back a little in males. I suspect this is not particularly relevant in feminisation as it is not an area we see clearly in most interactions. This may be an anomaly in my prototypes so I would like to see more profile prototypes to verify this.


9. Jaw:
The female jaw is more delicate being vertically shorter and narrower. If you look at a male jaw from the side, the ramus (the vertical part at the back) is taller and more upright making the jaw into a right angle with a sharp corner. The female ramus is shorter, slopes backwards a little and has a rounded corner. Males often have more pronounced masseter muscles. Many people expect mens jaws to be wider in relation to their cheeks than women's but in fact women's cheeks are actually only a tiny bit wider than male's in relation to the jaw. This is too small a difference to really be significant and reduction of the masseter muscles from estrogen is likely to be enough to bring an average jaw to cheek width ratio into female norms. As I mentioned in part 1, I believe that the importance of the jaw is sometimes overstated in FFS because the corners are reasonably well hidden; they do not play a major role in gender recognition and wide jaws with aquare corners are very common on attractive women.


10. Neck:
The male neck is thicker than the female neck and males often have a visible Adam's apple. However, despite what many people believe, women often have a small but visible Adam's apple


11. Ears:
The prototypes suggest that male ears stick out more. I feel this is largely irrelevant for FFS but It is interesting.


12. Skin:
Female skin is paler than male skin in all ethnic groups and has a softer texture. Male skin is thicker and more oily than female skin,


13. Beard:
Males generally have a beard and therefore a beard shadow.


14 Other Differences:
The ridges and protrusions where muscles attach to the bones are generally more pronounced in the male skull. Examples include the "mastoid process" that protrudes below the ears and and the "inion" which is a bump on the back of the head and the female skull overall is smaller and more delicate than the male.


Well possibly: firstly I've shown that the male hairline is not higher than the female in the middle; secondly that female eyebrows are not or are only very slightly higher than the male; thirdly that male jaws are not significantly wider in proportion to the cheeks than female jaws.

There is more to male and female facial differences than individual features and in the next section we will look at how features relate to each other.



Please use the links below to navigate around the thesis:



Part 1: Common Misconceptions

Part 2: The Established Research

Part 3: Prototypes

Part 4: Sexual Dimorphism of the Face Feature by Feature

Part 5: Relative Proportions

Part 6: Female Neoteny and Feminisation as a Subtractive Process

Part 7: Objective and Subjective Femininity

Part 8: How Feminine is Feminine Enough?

Part 9: Beauty

Part 10: The Man in the Mirror/Self Perception