Monday, December 14, 2009

Grumpy men and glowing women - gender and facial expressions

Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Quebec have been looking into the links between gender and facial expression. They showed people a series of androgynous faces and asked them to say whether they were men's or women's. The faces with grumpy expressions - lowered eyebrows and tight lips - were more likely to be identified as male while those with more cheerful expressions were more likely to be identified as female. Another study showed people's faces with a variety of different expressions. Male faces were easier to recognise than female ones while female faces that expressed anger took the longest to identify. Male features such as a high forehead, a square jaw and thicker eyebrows have been linked to perceptions of dominance while more 'female' features such as a rounded baby face with large eyes have been linked to perceptions of people being approachable and warm.

You can find out more about this research at

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