A small ratio of Interpupillary-Width to Bi-zygomatic-Width is considered attractive for males, whereas, a larger ratio is considered as attractive for females. Research spanning various journals has delved into facial differences between males and females. Velemínská et al. (2012) in the Journal of Comparative Human Biology discussed how puberty in males, influenced by testosterone, leads to facial elongation, smaller eyes, and wider cheekbones, among other features. This suggests males have closer-set eyes compared to females. This observation aligns with Cunningham et al. (1990) from the University of Louisville, where male drawings with smaller eyes were deemed more attractive and dominant. Contrarily, Schmid et al. (2008) in The Journal of Pattern Recognition Society found wider eye spacing to be attractive in females. Such differences have given rise to terms like “aggressive hunter eyes” in males and “submissive dove eyes” in females. Another dimension to facial differences is the cheekbone width. Lakhiani and Somenek (2019) and Velemínská et al. (2012) both concur that males possess wider cheekbones. In summary, males typically have closely set eyes and broader cheekbones than females.
In the Journal of Comparative Human Biology, Velemínská et al. (2012) highlighted that during puberty in males, the influence of a high testosterone-to-oestrogen ratio results in various facial changes. Among these changes are “an overall elongation of the face, relatively smaller eyes, a larger nose, the lateral growth of the cheekbones, mandible and chin…” This contrasts with females, implying that females generally have wider-set eyes. Similarly, the research carried out at University of Louisville by Cunningham et al, (1990) found that “women rated male drawings with the combination of four mature features of thick eyebrows, small eyes, thin lips, and square jaws, as more dominant and more attractive than faces with thin eyebrows, large eyes, thick lips, and round jaws.”
On the other hand, another research in The Journal of Pattern Recognition Society by Schmid et al. (2008) while analyzing the role of symmetry, neoclassical canons, and golden ratio in the determination of attractiveness of a face suggested that “a larger distance between the eyes” are desirable traits for females.
Therefore, this close set of eyes in males, colloquially termed “aggressive hunter eyes”, contrasts with the more “submissive dove eyes” seen with wider-set eyes among females. The “hunter eyes” are thought to denote dominance and assertiveness, traits historically associated with male roles, especially in hunter-gatherer societies.
As far as bi-zygomatic width is concerned, according to Lakhiani and Somenek (2019), the inter-zygomatic distance, which essentially measures the width between the cheekbones (zygomatic width), is typically larger in males. This means that males generally have wider cheekbones compared to females, who have a slightly less wide zygomatic width. Velemínská et al. (2012) also indicate that the high testosterone-to-oestrogen ratio in males results in “the lateral growth of the cheekbones”, further reinforcing the observation of wider cheekbones in males.
Therefore, these studies shows males generally have closely set eyes (small interpupillary width) and a wider zygomatic width, which would result in a smaller ratio of interpupillary-width to bi-zygomatic-width.
Velemínská, J., Bigoni, L., Krajíček, V., Borský, J., Šmahelová, D., Cagáňová, V., & Peterka, M. (2012). Surface facial modelling and allometry in relation to sexual dimorphism. Homo, 63(2), 81-93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchb.2012.02.002
Lakhiani, C., & Somenek, M. T. (2019). Gender-related facial analysis. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics, 27(2), 171-177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsc.2019.01.006
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. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-35184.108.40.206
Schmid, K., Marx, D., & Samal, A. (2008). Computation of a face attractiveness index based on neoclassical canons, symmetry, and golden ratios. Pattern Recognition, 41(8), 2710-2717. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.patcog.2007.11.022