A shorter nose length is considered a feminine feature, while a longer one is a masculine one. The nose is a pivotal feature that significantly influences perceptions of attractiveness and gender. Research by Baudouin and Tiberghien (2004) highlights that a smaller nose is often associated with feminine attractiveness. A study by Altman (2012) confirms this, stating that female noses are typically smaller, shorter, and have narrow bridges and bases. Nouraei et al. (2007) attributed this difference to females having a smaller bony framework in their noses than males. On the other hand, a study by Lakhiani and Somenek (2019) shows that male noses are characterized by larger nasal bones, a higher and narrower aperture, sharper margins, and a more pronounced ridge. These features make the male nose appear squarer and longer, aspects commonly linked with masculinity. Hence, these studies illustrate that shorter noses are considered a feminine feature, while longer noses are seen as a masculine feature, underlining the significant role nose shape and size play in gender and attractiveness perception.
The nose is the central structure of the face and plays an important role in the perceptions of femininity and attractiveness. According to Baudouin and Tiberghien (2004), certain facial features, including a smaller nose, are associated with female attractiveness. A shorter nose length contributes to a balanced facial structure and is often seen as a feminine trait. Likewise, another study by Altman (2012) found that “Female noses are smaller and shorter with narrow bridges and narrow ala bases”.
Another study by Nouraei et al. (2007) suggested the reason behind females having smaller nose by stating “the female nose has a smaller bony framework than the male nose”.
Similarly, another study by Lakhiani and Somenek (2019) suggested that the typical male nose is characterized by larger nasal bones, a higher and narrower nasal aperture, sharper margins, and a more pronounced or noticeable ridge of the nose. All these features contribute to the male nose appearing squarer at the base and generally longer – attributes often associated with masculinity.
In contrast, female noses are typically smaller and shorter. They have narrower bridges (the upper part of the nose) and bases (the lower part of the nose), which makes the nose appear more delicate. The nasolabial angle, which is the angle between the upper lip and the bottom of the nose, is also more obtuse or rounded in women, giving the nose a softer appearance. This smaller and softer nose structure contributes to the perception of femininity, making a shorter nose length a feminine feature. Thus, the gender differences in nose size and shape reinforce the idea of longer noses being a masculine feature and shorter noses being a feminine feature.
Baudouin, J. Y., & Tiberghien, G. (2004). Symmetry, averageness, and feature size in the facial attractiveness of women. Acta psychologica, 117(3), 313-332.
Nouraei, S. R., Randhawa, P., Andrews, P. J., & Saleh, H. A. (2007). The role of nasal feminization rhinoplasty in male-to-female gender reassignment. Archives of facial plastic surgery.
Lakhiani, C., & Somenek, M. T. (2019). Gender-related facial analysis. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics, 27(2), 171-177.
Altman, K. (2012). Facial feminization surgery: current state of the art. International journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery, 41(8), 885-894.