Golden Proportion

What makes a shorter chin more attractive than a longer one for females?


Chin length is distance from the lower edge of the lower lip to the base of the chin. Research from the University of St Andrews shows that attractive female faces typically possess more feminine features such as a smaller chin and higher cheekbones. A study suggested that broader and longer chin, often seen in males, is usually perceived as less attractive in females. A study by Cunningham et al. (1986) observed that men favor women with baby-like features, including a small chin, nose, and larger eyes, influencing their dating and attraction preferences. Sexual differences during fetal development, according to Valenzano et al. (2006), result in a smaller, more forward-positioned chin in females, contributing to what is considered an attractive facial shape. This shape often features a small, sharp chin without an overly forward upper jaw or sharp jawbone angle.


According to Cunningham et al. (1986), chin length is distance from lower edge of lower lip to base of chin.

A study at School of Psychology, University of St Andrews, UK by Perrett found that “very attractive female faces have more feminine features (a smaller chin and higher cheekbones)”.

The scientific paper by Thayer et al showed that males typically have “larger and more projecting lateral tubercles at the base of the chin” and this longer and broader chin phenotype is used to help us discern males from females. It should come as no surprise then, that females with longer chins are typically rated as less attractive, as this is more fitting with the attractive male face shape. 

When men were asked to rate the attractiveness of women in a study (Cunningham et al 1986), an interesting observation developed: they preferred baby-like features. A small chin, a small nose and big eyes were not only preferred, but dictated the men’s likelihood to date, help and be sexually attracted to these women. The study quotes  “Smaller chins were found to be desirable for women”. 

Valenzano et al (2006) show that, Sexual differences in the female during their foetal development usually result in “horizontal reduction of the chin, [and] forward movement of the gonion (jaw angle)”. This aesthetic change in the developing female’s chin, helps create an ‘attractive shape’. Moreover, the study pointed out that attractive facial shapes often feature a small and sharp chin, without an overly forward upper jaw or a noticeably sharp angle where the jawbone turns upwards towards the ear. 


Perrett DI, May KA, Yoshikawa S. 1994. Facial shape and judgments of female attractiveness. Nature 368:239–42

Thayer, Z. M., Dobson, S. D., (2013). Geographic Variation in Chin Shape Challenges the Universal Facial Attractivenss Hypothesis. PLOS ONE, 8 (4).

Cunningham, M. R., (1986). Measuring the physical in physical attractiveness: Quasi-experiments on the sociobiology of female beauty. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 50 (5), 925 – 935.

Valenzano, D. R., Mennucci, A., Tartarelli, G., Cellerino, A., (2006). Shape analysis of female facial attractiveness. Vision Research, 46, 1282 – 1291.

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