Analysis of sexual dimorphism in human face

Ashok Samal, Vanitha Subramani, David Marx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Human beings can easily distinguish between a male and a female face without much difficulty. The science of recognizing and differentiating different faces by humans is not completely understood and is still under research. Sexual dimorphism is common in humans and indeed in other species of animals as well. Significant differences between males and females exist in many aspects like size, color, body shapes, and weight. In this research, we characterize and analyze the sexual dimorphism in human face as a function of age and of face features. Features are grouped into six categories: head, eyes, orbits, nose, lips, and mouth, and ears. We demonstrate that the face of adult males is significantly different from adult females. We also identify the features that significantly contribute to the dimorphism of the face. This provides a basis for gender-based classification of faces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-463
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Visual Communication and Image Representation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Face classification
  • Face recognition
  • Gender classification
  • Human face
  • Sexual dimorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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