Golden Proportion

Gazing Deep: Unraveling the Magnetism of Men’s Short Eye Height.


Three studies explore the role of eye size in perceptions of attractiveness and personality in males. Paunonen et al. (1999) suggest that larger eyes, associated with babyface features, are perceived as feminine, leading to personality attributions like honesty, agreeableness, and low dominance. Conversely, smaller eyes enhance perceived masculinity by lessening these associations.

Cunningham et al. (1990) highlight that smaller eye height in males, alongside mature features like thin lips, thick eyebrows, and a square jaw, relates to attractiveness due to its connection to dominance and maturity. A combination of these features results in higher ratings of both dominance and attractiveness.

Lastly, Mogilski and Welling (2018) report a preference for smaller eyes, a masculinized feature, particularly in short-term relationship contexts. This study reinforces the notion that smaller eyes, associated with maturity and social dominance, enhance a male’s desirability as potential sexual partners. These studies collectively underscore the influence of eye size on attractiveness and masculinity perceptions.


The study by Paunonen et al. (1999) discusses the influence of eye size on perceptions of attractiveness and personality. The researchers in this study speculate that larger eyes, which contribute to neonate or babyface features, lead to personality attributions associated with high levels of honesty, agreeableness, and low levels of dominance. Observers may interpret larger eyes as being more feminine and assign the person feminine behavioral characteristics, such as nurturance, empathy, and submissiveness. In this context, smaller eye height (or narrower eyes) in males may be seen as more attractive because they are less likely to evoke feminine and babyface perceptions, and instead align more with traditional views of masculinity. Smaller eyes may imply less of the traits associated with femininity and youth, thereby enhancing perceived masculinity.

The study of Cunningham et al. (1990) suggested that smaller eye height, along with other mature features like thin lips, thick eyebrows, and a square jaw, is perceived as attractive in males due to its association with dominance and maturity. The authors cited a study where male faces with mature features such as small eyes and thin lips were rated higher in terms of dominance. 

When combined, four mature features – thick eyebrows, small eyes, thin lips, and square jaws – led to higher ratings of both dominance and attractiveness. These faces were rated more attractive and dominant than faces with thin eyebrows, large eyes, thick lips, and round jaws. Thus, smaller eye height, when viewed as a mature feature, can contribute to the perceived attractiveness of males.

Another study by Mogilski and Welling (2018) suggested that smaller eye size, seen as a masculinized feature, is preferred in certain contexts, particularly in short-term relationship scenarios. Individuals with smaller eyes may be perceived as more mature and socially dominant, traits associated with masculinity, which could make them more desirable as potential sexual partners. The reference to Keating’s study from 1985 backs up this assertion, indicating that smaller eyes could be seen as a signal of maturity or social dominance, traits traditionally associated with masculinity. This aligns with some theories of sexual selection, where signs of masculinity can be considered attractive due to their association with strength, protection, or genetic fitness.


Paunonen, S. V., Ewan, K., Earthy, J., Lefave, S., & Goldberg, H. (1999). Facial features as personality cues. Journal of personality, 67(3), 555-583.

Cunningham, M. R., Barbee, A. P., & Pike, C. L. (1990). What do women want? Facialmetric assessment of multiple motives in the perception of male facial physical attractiveness. Journal of personality and social psychology, 59(1), 61.

Mogilski, J. K., & Welling, L. L. (2018). The relative contribution of jawbone and cheekbone prominence, eyebrow thickness, eye size, and face length to evaluations of facial masculinity and attractiveness: A conjoint data-driven approach. Frontiers in psychology9, 2428.

Keating, C. F. (1985). Gender and the physiognomy of dominance and attractiveness. Social psychology quarterly, 61-70.

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