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Feminization and masculinization in the looks of men

This topic doesn’t really belong at this site, but some readers have wanted me to write on this issue, to be fair if not anything else.  I agree that it is fair to also address men at some length.  I mulled including the following contents in a zipped file for anyone interested, but decided that it is best to post it online.  Before I begin, I wish to say that just as I have nothing against masculinized women, I have nothing against effeminate/feminized men.

The feminine vs. masculine page within this site extensively addresses skull and face shape variation resulting from masculinization and feminization.  There is no need to repeat it here; some pictures will suffice.  The reader can also download the demo version of facegen modeler and see, from multiple angles, how increasing masculinization alters the face.  The demo version of this program allows one to do everything except for exporting to external 3D formats and displaying the ‘SI’ logo on the forehead.

The following example is an easy contrast between an effeminate face and a masculine one.

Leonardo DiCaprio (left) and Burt Lancaster.

Fig. 1. Leonardo DiCaprio (left) and Burt Lancaster.

Confounds in judging the masculinity of men

As in women, men’s masculinity should be judged from overall looks.  One should beware of the following issues.

Gracilization as pseudo-feminization

Fineness of facial features should not be confounded with feminization.  Northern European men often have fine facial features as in the following Swedish male, but his overall face shape is clearly masculine.

Swedish male

Fig. 2. A man from Sweden.

Bizarre combination of multiple masculine and multiple effeminate characteristics

There are some scenarios in men that are difficult to find if not non-existent in women.  For example, the following individual has a masculine overall face shape but an effeminate body.  His body is not effeminate because he is short, but because of its shape.  He is not overall describable as either masculine or feminine/effeminate or even normal.

Tom Cruise

Fig. 3. Tom Cruise.

If one had a few masculine-looking features but were overall effeminate, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary since sex hormones are not the only factors shaping looks, but observing multiple masculine and multiple effeminate characteristics in the same individual is curious.  Such bizarre combinations could result from a number of scenarios.  For instance, some physical features are shaped to a significant extent during prenatal development but others are mostly shaped after birth.  Therefore, if a male’s testes are not able to produce high levels of androgens such as testosterone but this person is nevertheless exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb because his mother produced high levels of androgens when she was pregnant, then he will manifest a curious mix of masculine and not so masculine features.  An example could be a specific finger-length ratio talked about shortly being masculine even though the overall body shape isn’t.  In another scenario, prenatal developmental disturbances caused by excess testosterone exposure will lead to a strange mix of hypermasculine, normally masculine and hypomasculine/effeminate characteristics.    

Muscular build

Since having larger muscles is a more masculine-looking feature and there are very easy ways to increase muscle size without being a masculine man -- anabolic androgenic steroids, beta-adrenergic agonists and to a limited extent relatively harmless substances such as creatine monohydrate -- caution is advised in judging the masculinity of a man based on his muscularity.  Even without these ergogenic aids, a less masculine man who regularly lifts heavy weights could be packing more muscle mass than a more masculine man who doesn’t do weightlifting.  Some illustrative examples of professional male bodybuilders -- steroid-induced freaks -- will clarify this issue.

Do you see a hypermasculine man below?

Richard Gaspari

Fig. 4. Richard Gaspari.

Think again.  Look carefully at Gaspari’s shoulder width; it is unimpressive.

Richard Gaspari doesn’t have a masculine face.

Richard Gaspari

Fig. 5. Richard Gaspari; click for context.

Richard Gaspari also does not have particularly narrow hips.

Richard Gaspari

Fig. 6. Richard Gaspari.

The following picture shows Markus Ruhl, and is a good example of what very masculine shoulder width looks like.  However, note that Markus Ruhl doesn’t have a masculine face.  Also note that Markus Ruhl doesn’t have particularly narrow hips.

Markus Ruhl

Fig. 7. Markus Ruhl.

Again, look at the following individual; very large muscles, but non-narrow hips and a face that is not so masculine.

Greg Kovacs

Fig. 8. Greg Kovacs.

It should be easy to look at the following comparisons and infer who has a more masculine build.  Who has the combination of wider shoulders, narrower hips and a smaller backside?  

Jay Cultler (left) and Dennis Wolf

Fig. 9. Jay Cultler (left) and Dennis Wolf.

The following individual is a masculine male from head to toe: masculine face, wide shoulders, narrow hips.

Dorian Yates

Fig. 10. Dorian Yates.

I don’t have pictures of Dorian Yates as a young man, but judging from the following picture, he was close to looking like a Greek God in the flesh.

Dorian Yates

Fig. 11. Dorian Yates.

The take home message should be clear.  Look at multiple skeletal cues to judge the masculinity of men.  Some bodybuilders take human growth hormone (HGH), too, and on some counts HGH changes face shape in the same direction as testosterone.  So this can confound judging masculinity, too. 

If one observes obese men, they will often have heavy/thick bones and also a large amount of muscle mass, but obese men are on average among the least masculine of men in terms of testosterone levels, estrogen levels, phallus size, etc.  So, some people have a propensity to pack on lots of body mass; not just fat tissue, but also muscles and bone mass.  The physical constitution that predisposes one toward developing a corpulent/rotund body has been classically described as endomorphy, said to be a somatotype or somatype (build).  Other somatotypes include mesomorphy (tendency toward muscularity and masculine skeletal proportions) and ectomorphy (tendency toward a long, lean and thin body development).  The extent to which people lean toward these builds varies.  A man who leans toward an endomorphic build to a significant but not excessive degree (e.g., Greg Kovacs above) could pack on a large amount of muscle mass using the pharmaceutical agents described above and burn off some undesirable body fat by taking alpha-adrenergic stimulators, but this wouldn’t be making him a masculine man.

Another confound affects an important structure discussed next.

For the ladies

For the ladies.

Fig. 12. Stuff that matters.

I previously showed the following graph about the relation between mesomorphy/muscular build and body hairiness.  Starting from an effeminate physical build, as the physique becomes naturally more masculine, body hairiness increases, which appears intuitive, but beyond a certain point, greater body hairiness corresponds to a weaker physical build.  A plausible explanation of the relationship is that beyond a certain level of androgen exposure, a male fetus is developmentally disturbed, resulting in a weak physical build, but since the individual produces elevated androgens, simple structures like body hair show the effect of elevated androgens.

Body hair and body build in men.

Fig. 13. Relation between body hair and muscular build.

It is almost certain that a similar relationship exists between muscular build and phallus length, too.  The reasons are that the phallus is set well onto its developmental path when the male is in the womb, and this growth is strongly dependent on the same androgen that is a major determinant of body hair growth: dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  DHT is derived from testosterone and is more potent than it; it serves to amplify the effect of testosterone on a tissue.  The phallus is a simple structure, and is expected to show a dose-response relationship with androgens/DHT over a broader range than the more complex structure of the overall musculo-skeletal build.  Hence, the most naturally muscular men are not necessarily well-endowed.  Some of the best endowed men may have an otherwise skinny/weak physical build, but such men will usually have multiple masculine features (e.g., a short, skinny man with lots of body hair and a deep, manly voice).

There are some developmental genes (homeobox genes; Hox A, Hox B) that affect both digits (fingers/toes) and the phallus.  There is a useful proxy for prenatal testosterone exposure: the index finger-length ratio to ring finger-length ratio or 2nd finger-length ratio to 4th finger-length ratio (2D:4D).  The useful measure is on the right hand as it is more sensitive to sex steroids.  2D:4D is established prenatally.  With increasing masculinization, the index finger becomes shorter than the ring finger, i.e., 2D:4D diminishes with increasing masculinization.  Evidence for this as well as other correlates of 2D:4D can be read about here

So how could one be reasonably confident that a given man is healthy, masculine and well-endowed without looking at his phallus and giving him a medical exam?  The exclusion and selection criteria should be obvious.  Exclude the obese/overweight, those with excess abdominal fat even if they are okay elsewhere (this is a diseased constitution) and men with a strange mix of hypermasculine/masculine, normally masculine and hypomasculine/effeminate characteristics.  Select men with broad shoulders, a tiny waist, narrow hips and a small backside; and go for men in whom the index finger is noticeably/strikingly shorter than the ring finger.  The ideal masculine man would have been exposed to high levels of androgens during prenatal development, developed under high testosterone levels post-natally, possess high baseline testosterone levels and have had no trouble handling the high testosterone levels.  These exclusion and selection criteria increase the statistical odds of making the right inference; there are no guarantees; an obese man may be packing a member that would put most men to shame.


As in women, it is important to look at multiple characteristics in men to assess how masculine/feminine they are.  Unlike in women, it is harder to judge how masculine a man is because of the ease with which less masculine men can pack on more muscle mass given current technology, and the phenomenon of some men with a mix of multiple masculine and multiple effeminate characteristics.  Men’s masculinity assessment should focus on multiple skeletal characteristics/proportions.



Hey Eric, this is really cool. You should post more articles like this. Why don't you compare men who look effeminate, who look normal, with above average masculinity, and those who are hypermasculine?

Is it really in the realm of normal sexuality to find people that extremely muscular attractive?

Dorian Yates does not look like a Greek God; he just looks like a freak, as well as the rest of the men on this page, with the exception of the first four.

Leo is too feminine for my tastes, but he's still a good-looking man, Burt is alright, and Tom Cruise would look close to perfect if it weren't for his nose.

"Fineness of facial features should not be confounded with feminization. Northern European men often have fine facial features as in the following Swedish male, but his overall face shape is clearly masculine."

Not really. He looks quite effeminate, Erik, especially his nose.

Just curious - what do you think is the definition of a "pretty boy?" Do you consider pretty boys to be attractive men who look feminine (Ryan Phillipe, for example) or attractive men who look masculine, and are called "pretty boys" only because they look good (Fabio Cannavaro)?

My friend calls any guy she thinks is attractive "pretty," even when they're very masculine, and that confuses me since I associate the word "pretty" only with women.

Brenda: Going into details about men isn’t what this site is about. The article should do a decent job of emphasizing the importance of skeletal structure in judging men’s masculinity in light of various confounds.

BPS: Some women find the extreme muscularity shown above very appealing, and this is not so unusual, but most women find extremely muscular men unappealing or repulsive.

Sarah: I have told you before not to bother with understanding masculine vs. feminine variation. The Swedish male does not look effeminate. Discussing a “pretty boy” with you would be a waste of time. The term can apply to effeminate but appealing (to those using the term) men or cute men or men who are masculine but have smooth/blemishless skin, nice hair, and a well-groomed plus generally pleasing appearance.

I always thought Christopher Walken looked like a woman. People say he's 'creepy' ect, I'm like nope, he's f.e.m.i.n.i.z.e.d. yikes!

Apparently David Bowie moved on from his androgynous phase. His hips say otherwise. Good god.

So why don't you make a website on this? This is just as interesting as feminine beauty, or maybe even more for women. I don't think the feminized men will complain as much as the masculinized women who chance upon this site. Anyway, does the ring finger-index finger ratio as indicator of testosterone levels also apply to women?

That reminds me Erik- you mention how robustness shouldn't be confounded with feminization. I've always suspected this, but I've never fully noticed it until recently when you pointed it out. It comes back to that one white nationalist blog that prompted me to write to you- he made that mistake, which led him to dismiss nearly all non-white females as hideous. Still, why would you say that women in western countries with large jaws and cheekbones are so rare in fashion, while there's a strong mixture of it in east asian countries? Are their certain extremities on these features where they're considered unattractive outside femininity, or are these considered feminine no matter what, regardless of their size? And exactly what contributes to these facial features looking masculine if size plays no role? It's easy to see, but I'm not sure of the term.

Also, would you say there's a lack of models and the like with large jaws and cheekbones in the US? (though strongly feminine as well?) What could this be attributed to? There seems to be alot of variation when it comes to east asia in terms of that, but they're just pretty uncommon in western markets.

Also, one other thing to note about your site- in that one 7-part series, when you're comparing asian and european models to women from tribal and tradition societies, that's pretty..... poor. "Attractive" individuals are hard to come by in those societies due to how tightly-knit those populations are and thus leading to little pressure for truly attractive traits. There's also how those stressful lifestyles accentuate ageing and testosterone levels, contributing to greater masculinity.

Erik, what do you make of this?

I've heard there's somewhat of a debate over this in regards to male beauty. And what's the deal with that comment about facial hair? That seems rather neutral, unless in extremities.

I think a good way to look at that would be to see what the maximum size of these are in normal human phenotype variation- not sure how that's possible though.

can u please please show me pix of guys who are not body builders. I want to see what a "normal" masculine guy looks like, and more face pictures please.

show a range please. show a skinny guy who is masc. vs. a skinny guy who is fem.

show a chubby guy who is masc. and a chubby guy who is fem.

a short man and a tall man, please.

and of course an average guy who is masc and one who is fem.

show body and face.

and graphs dont do much for me, can you show pictures of normal mens body hair pattern, over masc. body hair, and can u describe or show the result of too much exposure to male hormones (fetus) in an adult

you have also focused mostly on the masc./fem. characteristics of Caucasoid males can you show these effects in other races if possible

thanks would appreciate this so soooo much!!!

Brenda: I don’t have the time or motive to come up with an equivalent site that addresses men. I can barely handle this site. The finger length find also applies to women.

BSP: There are plenty of women with prominent cheekbones among Western fashion models, and some of them also have large/wide jaws, but on average their jaws and cheekbones will be smaller than in East Asians because they descend from populations with smaller faces. The features that contribute to a masculine or feminine look are primarily shape variables; size is a factor only when a change in size alters shape variables (allometry) that are also altered in different ways by androgens and estrogens.

You shouldn’t be looking at pictures of European/Asian models and African tribals on the same page as a type of comparison. The comparisons are based on anthropological data. The pictures are merely illustrative examples of the arguments in the text. It was necessary to avoid using pictures of sub-Saharan Africans with other-population mixture, which explains the use of tribals’ pictures, though some models of predominantly sub-Saharan African ancestry are also used. As to attractive individuals hard to come by in tribal societies, this is your opinion, and your explanation that this is so because of how tight-knit they are doesn’t apply. Why should attractiveness in a mate be less important among tribals? Whereas chronic stressors will cause premature aging, I did not address skin health. I have mostly focused on skeletal features. Chronic stress decreases testosterone levels in men but does not have a clear effect on testosterone levels in women.

The sensualism site has cited the results of a study on male facial attractiveness in relation to how masculine or feminine it is, but there have been many such studies and there is no clear find to sum up. Some such studies have reported a preference for more overall masculine faces, others for less overall masculine faces, and some others have documented little relevance of masculinity-femininity in the neighborhood of average norms. In many of these studies there has been a confound between masculinization and robusticity. Findings are clearer for preferences regarding individual features such as longer chin length and higher cheekbone placement in men, both associated with greater masculinization. There are also finds that women prefer more masculine looking men when they are close to ovulating, more attractive women prefer more masculine looking men, and more promiscuous women prefer more masculine looking men.

Justagirl: I do not have the time to come up with the images you are looking for. This website is not about men, but I was able to come up with this article to be fair. Keep in mind the skeletal proportions issue. Among thin men, those with more overall masculine skeletal proportions will tend to be more masculine, just as this will be the case among obese men or men in any specific non-European population. What constitutes average, below average or above average body hairiness depends upon the population considered, and you will have to observe enough men in a given population to get an idea of the distribution of body hairiness in it.

I read somewhere, that black man have higher testosterone levels,hence broader shoulders and narrower hips .

Is it true Erik ???

The top bodybuilder is Ronnie Coleman -who's black .
Jay Cutler -white one is next .

Dont know ,but it seems easier for black man to build muscle ?

I read some journal that says it .
Broader shoulders ,and larger penises and also longer slenderer calf muscle ideal for sprinting events .

True ????

dot: Whereas Ronnie Coleman was the #1 bodybuilder for many years and a massively muscular individual at that, the most muscular bodybuilders are disproportionately white males. White males have a muscle bulk advantage but the following disadvantages compared to West African males when it comes to bodybuilding competitions: higher subcutaneous fat (leading to less definition), fuller muscle bellies (leading to reduced separation between adjacent muscles) and lighter skin (reflects more light and doesn’t bring out shape minutiae). The skin color problem is easily addressed via a fake tan, but the other problems remain. Many really massive white bodybuilders never make it to the top because they just cannot get “cut” or defined enough. For instance, Greg Kovacs shown above was much more massive at his peak than Ronnie Coleman (and 3 inches taller, too), but never came close to winning a Mr. Olympia. Another bodybuilder shown above, Markus Ruhl, has competed at a bulk much greater than Ronnie Coleman’s in spite of being an inch shorter. West Africans tend to have more bone mass than whites, and so you can guess how much more muscular some of the white bodybuilders really are.

The evidence regarding testosterone levels is unlcear. The only testosterone-related study representative of the American population did not find a difference in testosterone levels between American white men and African-American men. In this study, if you look at the unadjusted values, it seems that African-American men tend to have slightly higher testosterone levels, but this was not statistically significant, and adjustment for age, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity revealed no statistically significant differences between these two groups. However, more of the testosterone was being converted to DHT (more potent than testosterone; it amplifies the effect of testosterone) in white men, and African-Americans had higher estradiol levels. This study did not report on the distribution of the sensitivity of the androgen receptor to testosterone in the groups, but there have been one or two reports that forms of androgen receptors that are the most sensitive to androgens such as testosterone are somewhat more prevalent among African-Americans (greater sensitivity translates to stronger effect of testosterone on target tissues). So a clear picture awaits more research.

Sub-Saharan Africans tend to have narrower hips than whites, but this appears to be an ethnic feature unrelated to testosterone levels. I am not aware of shoulder width differences among these two groups of men.

The evidence regarding penis length differences between whites and Africans is unclear (also this) though I think it is slightly longer in the Africans.

The slender calf muscles, more precisely calf muscles with shorter bellies, are better suited to sprinting because of a greater proportion of fast-twitch fibers, but this also makes them less suitable for long-distance running.

Has anyone seen this man - the music artist David Jordan? It looks as if he has an androgynous face.

Evo and Proud:More on Rohrmann et al has taken this study apart.
The subject is central to Peter Frost's work and (as you say) peripheral to your superbly executed site, however I am a little surprised you did not notice some anomalies - testosterone increasing with age especialy - your too trusting.

Roy: The Rohrmann et al. study on testosterone levels in a nationally representative sample of Americans reported values on a cross-sectional sample and Table 3, which reported the hormone levels by age, listed values that were adjusted for age, body fat levels and other factors such as smoking, physical activity, etc. If they had reported unadjusted values, you would have seen an age-related decline. The results were:


Total testosterone levels by age (tendency):

White males: 20-44 > 45-69 or 70+
African-American males: 45-69 > 20-44 > 70+
Mexican-American males: 70+ > 20-44 > 45-69

If they look odd, keep in mind that you are looking at a cross-sectional sample and values adjusted for body fat levels, age and other factors.

I think you are making the same point rebutted here in the comments at Evo and Proud

" Your referring to the linear regression model... (but)the serum concentrations of each age group as listed in table 3 'Serum concentrations of sex steriod hormones'.. are simply geometric means. Yes the age ajusted linear regression model failed to find a black-white difference. There are two reasons.First testosterone levels do not decline linearly with age. The decline is much steeper in the mid to late twenties and is steeper for blacks than for whites.

...the black-white difference is wider in the 45-69 year olds. That is to be expected if T levels are higher in 45-69 year old black men than in 20-44 year old black men. Both of these findings indicate that a disproportionate number of high testostrone individuals were removed from the younger age group."

"The 'adjustment for age' in Table 3 is the breakdown of the data into three age groups.This point is explained in the Statistical Analysis section:

'We evaluated racial/ethnic differences in the hormones and SHBH (a)overall after adjusting for age and (b) within three age catagories reflecting hypothesized hormonal transitions though life; early adulthood(20-44 years old), mid-adulthood (45-69 years old), and late adulthood(70+ years old'.

An authority on bodybuilding said blacks had an advantage over whites in the colour of their skin. Whites must agree, some of the them apply so much tanning solution they look like Al Jolson.

I commented on your citing Rohrmann in a superior tone, Erik that stuff is way over my head I can only understand P.Frosts conclusions, regression analysis ect. is beyond me. I forgot some people like to work things out for themselves and have the expertise to do so. Please don't waste time on this issue.

Burt Lancaster has a lack of baldness, more importantly his lower lip is too big, how about replacing him with

Sexual selection gives men relatively shorter upper faces for their breadth compared to females I have seen some photos of the XYY Syndrome afflicted who had very long upper faces.

Using leading men has a confound associated with it; photogenic people such as Leo and especialy Burt tend to have rather large faces and heads (eg Marilyn Monroe). Lancaster's facial skeleton is robust for sure, I just don't think that the masculine face should have thicker hair and a much bigger lower lip.

Looking masculine could have the reproductively benificial rational of being attractive to women (and perhaps intimidating other men), but for much of evolutionary time men were in short supply especialy in northern Europe so one would expect this relaxed selection of men.
Relaxed sexual selection would result in men looking less masculine; being in short supply they did the choosing and the women were selected for attractiveness, which as you say is feminimity largely.
Given that north European men exibit gracilization how can you be so sure that this is pseudo-femininity. Might it just be the price paid for more feminine beauty in north Europe. The finger ratio for blonds is said to be higher.

Mather,F.,Manning,JT.,&Bundred,PE Evidence for blond hair as a correlate of high prenatal oestrogen prenal(unpublished)on Evo and Proud

Christopher Walken might be a better choice for the least masculine face. Top catwalk models may be masculine but I don't think Leonardo DeCaprio could have made it as a top leading man if he looked effeminate. The most striking thing about him is his very short upper face which is appealing to women (see Sexual selection for less threatening looks in men) above. A study on female assesment of male face shape (Johnston ,Victor S. et al 2001) found that moderately masculine features are associated with an attractive , exciting, virile, healthy and protective man. When the shape became too masculine their perception turned negative and the man was seen to be threatening, volatile, controlling, manipulative, and selfish. (quoted from Fair Women, Dark men ) Laurence Tierney had a long upper face and conformed to the perceptions in real life. Maybe you could put find someone to replace DeCaprio

Story, last paragraph, first line - "Unlikely women"

My last word, I think it is a tactical mistake to use DeCaprio as a clear cut example of an effeminate face, it will hurt this sites credibility with many women who might agree with you about fashion models. Just as his broad jaw (which women like) makes his chin look more pointed, his large head makes his lower face look shorter than it is - until someone is beside him his taste is improving

Roy: If you are going to criticize some point, then don’t sign off as “evo and proud” because at first I assumed that you were describing yourself. Link to the criticism.

Here are the two links on testosterone and ethnicity by Peter Frost you were referencing –

The first link explains the context or why it is important for Peter Frost to maintain that West/Central Africans and African-Americans have higher testosterone levels than white men.

You said that you are not familiar with regression analysis. So how can you be so sure that Peter Frost has refuted my arguments? Let us look at his arguments.

Testosterone and white male – West African male differences

Frost has a strange interpretation of age-adjusted values. When someone talks about reporting values that have been adjusted for age, it means that all ages have been taken into consideration. Just because the authors choose to present the hormone level statistics by three broad age groups, it doesn’t mean that the hormone values are adjusted for membership in one of the three age groups. A related point by him is that “the black-white difference in t levels shrinks after 24 years of age, is gone by the early 30s, and seems to reverse at older ages,” but given that the literature has shown results all over the map and null finds, how can he use one study, using non-representative sampling, to insist on this statement so definitively? And the reason he brings out this point is because of his misinterpretation that the age adjustment was by broad age group rather than all ages. This mistake also prompts him to invoke [small] differences in median ages between the groups.

He ignores various kinds of adjustments on the data. For instance, let us say that over a 10-year period, an adult man reduces his average daily production of testosterone but also gains percentage body fat, and that the percentage increase in body fat is greater than the percentage decrease in testosterone. Thus, at the end of the 10-year period, this man would be producing more testosterone when adjusted for level of body fat even though his actual testosterone values have declined. And again, the sample is cross-sectional.

He does not address the higher estrogen levels in African-American men, something that numerous studies have reported. He also does not address higher AAG levels in white men, which is an indicator of greater conversion of testosterone to DHT (roughly conceptualize DHT as a more potent form of testosterone). He has pointed to higher rates of prostate cancer among African-American men as suggestive of higher testosterone levels but it is known that estrogens are a major culprit in up to half of prostate cancers.

Rohrmann et al. indicated that they only had access to 1479 out of 1998 blood samples. Frost speculates that the unavailable samples had been removed for further study after they were found to have been infected by a herpes virus (sexually transmitted). Then he figured that the African-Americans, being more promiscuous, were more likely to have gotten infected, and inferred that their greater promiscuity was a result of higher testosterone levels i.e., the higher testosterone African-American men were disproportionately not analyzed. This is wild speculation, but more importantly it reflects Frost’s unfamiliarity with the literature.

Look at the following from Booth et al. (1999). They examined testosterone levels and various behaviors in a random sample of 4,393 men that had served in the U.S. army during the years 1965 and 1971. The average age was 37 and the age range was 30-48. These men were representative of American men in the same age group. The first dataset indicates the percentage increase in the likelihood of sexually transmitted disease and promiscuity with increasing testosterone levels. The testosterone levels are reported in nanograms of testosterone per deciliter of blood (ng/dl). The great majority of men lie in the 300-1000 ng/dl range. We observe that with every 200 ng/dl increase in testosterone, the likelihood of having experienced a sexually transmitted infection increased by 16.5%, which is appreciable.

Testosterone in men and sexually transmitted infections plus promiscuity.
Percentage increase in behavior(s) for a range of increase in testosterone levels in men.

But what proportion of the variation in sexually transmitted infections and promiscuity was accounted for by testosterone? Here is where regression analysis enters in, but you don’t have to worry about understanding it. Just look at the R2 values below.

Regression analysis for the effect of age and testosterone on sexually transmitted infections and promiscuity in men.

The R2 value explains the proportion of the variation in the dependent variable (behavior) accounted for by the variable(s) entered (age and testosterone in our case). For sexually transmitted infections, this value is a mere 0.006 or 0.6%, and for promiscuity this value is a mere 0.010 or 1%. In other words, testosterone is accounting for very little of the variance in promiscuity and sexually transmitted diseases in the sample (because too many factors affect these variables, which in turn suggests that it is a naïve assumption on Frost’s part to assume that greater promiscuity in African-Americans is due to higher testosterone levels). So even if we assume that all unavailable blood samples in the Rohrmann et al. study were removed due to herpes infection and that African-Americans were strongly overrepresented in the omitted samples, it wouldn’t follow that the omissions have prevented the average testosterone levels in African-American men from registering above the white average.

Frost has made weak arguments, and I will have more to say in other replies to your comments.

Roy: You mentioned lack of baldness in Burt Lancaster. How is this relevant to masculinization? Male pattern baldness results from a combination of genetic susceptibility and androgens, but if genetic susceptibility is there then even men with low testosterone levels will become bald.

You also mentioned that Burt has thicker lower lips that Leonardo and hence is not a good example of a masculine male face but this point is irrelevant. Faces are shaped by many factors apart from sex hormones and it is the overall appearance that matters. A more overall masculine face is not necessarily more masculine looking on every count; it simply needs to look more masculine in the majority of feature comparisons.

You cited a study showing that “sexual selection gives men relatively shorter upper faces for their breadth compared to females,” better stated as men have wider face for the same upper face height, where upper face height is roughly the distance between the point where the forehead meets the nose and the upper lip. You cited this find because this is how Leonardo differs from Burt. The authors (Weston et al.; Biometric Evidence that Sexual Selection Has Shaped the Hominin Face) have chosen to present their data in a poor manner, and it is misleading. Their find can be summed up in this figure showing that men have wider faces but similar upper face height compared to women. Their example contrasts a normal woman with an effeminate man. On the other hand, I have cited studies (see the feminine vs. masculine page) where masculinization makes the face shape narrower (example 1, example 2). So why the difference? The studies that I cited used European individuals whereas the Weston et al. study used Southern African populations, and I wonder if this is relevant because the Khoi-San people appear facially less sexually dimorphic than Europeans, and sexual dimorphism of individual features is not necessarily similar across populations. But importantly, in the studies that I cited, the results are shown for face shape, which is evaluated after adjusting for face size, and face size was adjusted by computing centroid size. But Weston et al. have a poor proxy for face size, namely the basicranial or basion-nasion length (shown by the distance between ba and n in this figure) rather than computing the centroid size from several such inter-landmark distances. In addition, even for the same face size, the basion-nasion length is increased with masculinization. Their statistics comprise of comparing how all combinations of the relative growths of two inter-landmark distances change from childhood to adulthood in men and women. So what they found is that the absolute width of the male face at the level of the cheekbones is greater than in the female whereas the absolute height of the upper face is similar. Since sexual selection acts on how all parts of the face fit together, it is clear that they should evaluate changes in a particular feature in relation to the rest of the face (e.g., face size as in centroid size). For instance, increasing the length of the lower jaw in men will make the face look overall narrower.

Another issue is that the upper face height metric used by the authors comprises of nose length + distance between nose tip and upper lip. In both illustrations that I have shown, where the comparisons keep face size constant, you can see that the distance between nose tip and upper lip increases with masculinization. One of these figures even shows that the region where the nose meets the forehead moves slightly upward with masculinization. The nose length comprises of the bony part plus the soft cartilage part. For the same face size, the cartilage part is longer and the bony part shorter in men, corresponding to the air intake part being larger in men.

Leonardo DiCaprio is clearly much more effeminate than Burt Lancaster.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s appeal among many women results from his being cast as a romantic lead in big films such as the Titanic, and it would be naïve to believe that Hollywood simply caters to the demands or preferences of the public. For instance, there is a strong market for Christian-themed movies in the U.S., but how many such films do the big-budget Hollywood studios churn out? I would be surprised if very many feminine and attractive young adult women would be interested in men with the looks of Leonardo DiCaprio.

I have already mentioned that studies examining women’s preferences for facial masculinity in men reveal results all over the map: a preference for above average masculinization, normal faces or below average masculinization, but studies examining specific features such as chin length or the physique have found a preference for above average masculinization. There is bound to be an upper limit of masculinization beyond which appeal to women diminishes, but this article does not deal with this topic; it address how shape varies with varying levels of masculinization.

Typo: Thanks for pointing out the typo. I corrected it.

Re 'signing off' - point taken.

(I am in the UK and have been reading this site since the first week it was up)

How can I admit to ignorance of regression analysis yet not be convinced by your - logicaly valid - arguments about Rohrmann et al ?

The belevability of the conclusion indicates whether - given logical validity in the arguments - it was reached from true premises.
Its what I meant by saying you are too trusting, many people dislike studies showing certain racial differences, biological scientists doing the studies and providing your premises included.

Lower DHT in black men might result in more T being coverted to estrogen via aromatase, would rise with increased bodyfat? Estrogen promotes cancer - agreed.

The Booth study would not have the potential for unwelcome racial results being massaged and strikes at the heart of Peter Frost's "wild speculation", very well chosen study, you are indeed familiar with this area.
Here it comes:
It is not wild speculation to point out that Booth et al being done on men who had served in the US army, was done on a unrepresentative sampling
US army induction tests.

Higher IQ men are much less likely to be influenced by high T to engage in risky behaviour, need I say more.

John Manning from The Finger Book (2008)
"A Californian study of African-American and Caucasian students (Ellis,L and Nyborg,H 1992 Racial/Ethnic variations in Male Testosterone Levels: a Probable Contributer to Group Differences in Health Steroids 57:72-5) showed 15% higher testosterone concentrations in the former than the latter. This was after socio-economic status and lifestyle factors were taken into account."
Prenatal testosteronisation may not have much of a correlation with T levels in adulthood still, white men in north-east England have mean ratio of 0.98, the mean for Jamacan men 0.93.

The results of studies are all over the place; very well then show me one that has whites having 15% higher T levels than blacks.

I was trying to paraphrase an argument of Dr. Frost's I altered the meaning by using "lack of baldness" instead of "thick hair" which is what I meant. Baldness is very relevant to masculisation in a negative sense though. Bald men are seen as less assertive and total lack of baldness is seen as a sign of aggressiveness in my opinion. Baldness is said to be related to high DHT and perhaps estrogen, it often goes with thick body hair which you think relevant in the context of masculinisation and muscularity at another site where you also mention scalp hair worls. From 16th cent. skinhead German mercenaries to Mohawk Indians to Marines and cage fighters short hair is associated with intimidation. Monks shaved the top (the very opposite of the Mohawk) to simulate baldness; so you are rightbaldess is
Women have thicker hair than men and thicker hair diameter,judging by the height of his hairstyle Burt inclines towards the feminine condition in both these

Burts face is far more masculine overall, his lower lip can't take that away - point taken
(I am not carping, I admit you are right I just am curious; if someone looking like Burt had lips like a young Sophia Loren (unlikely as that would be) could that alone make him rather effeminate.
You seem to have destroyed Weston et al I will study your criticism carefuly it spells out some things I didn't get from looking at the face shape illustrations.
I knew the Khoi-San have almost the broadest cheekbones in the world but I forgot the ancestral population had a wide range.
Erik consider giving references for what you say on this site many people will assume you have less to back it up than you ovoiusly do

Roy: You cited an unpublished study that reported blond hair as a correlate of exposure at high prenatal estrogen levels (inferred from 2D:4D) to suggest that the finer facial features of Northern European men might reflect reduced masculinization. Since this is an unpublished study, I don’t know whether the higher 2D:4D (more feminine) was found in [British] men or women or both, but let us look at what published studies say.

The first one is an international comparison.

Finger length ratios across multiple populations.
Population (P = Poland; S = Spain; E = England; H = Hungary [EH = ethnic Hungarians, HG = Hungarian Gypsies]; G = Germany; Z = Zulu; J = Jamaica; F = Finland) and sex differences (f = female and m = male) in mean 2D:4D with standard error bars).

In this study, Finnish men had the lowest 2D:4D among the white men and all men sampled, and the male-female gap was greatest among the Finnish.

In another study on some European populations, Swedish men had the lowest 2D:4D, Swedish women the highest 2D:4D, and the male-female gap was greatest among the Swedes (the Swedish/London sample included Swedes born in Sweden and living in London;

Another study on a Lithuanian sample found 2D:4D ratios lower than in most white/other populations and did not report higher 2D:4D values in individuals with lighter hair:

An odd find has been from Denmark, where the male 2D:4D was higher than in all other reported populations, including values higher than in women in most populations:

The 2D:4D literature in general is not very good and one shouldn’t make much of an individual study here and there. Finger lengths are affected by many factors apart from sex hormones, and some men are going to have higher 2D:4D than many women in spite of being more masculine than women in general just as the typical man who is shorter than the majority of women still has much higher testosterone levels than the majority of women.

Nevertheless, the general find is that Nordic men, except for the odd Danish find, have the lowest 2D:4D in Europe, and two studies show the greatest male-female gaps among the Scandinavians.

This literature should be seen in light of other evidence. Northern European men are on average taller and more muscular than other European men. The most massive white bodybuilders and white men who dominate strong man championships are usually Northern European. If you look at the history of warfare within Europe, the general picture is one of the dominance of Northern Europeans. Defeat for Northern Europeans has typically been at the hands of other Northern Europeans (e.g., the Northern European-derived Franks from France, led by Charlemagne, defeating the Saxons of Germany). The Roman patricians were of Northern European descent. The nobility in Classical Greece was of Northern European descent (Northern Europeans comprised 25% of the Greeks then; reported by J. Lawrence Angel, and he documented from skeletal remains that the Nordics in ancient Greece were taller and more muscular than other European types there). So even some famous periods of Southern European military dominance had Northern Europeans as the people primarily responsible. Then there is the centuries-long occupation of the Balkans by the Ottoman Turks, but a big reason for their success was the Janissaries, their army, which comprised of kidnapped European boys raised as Muslim and turned against the Europeans, but they still couldn’t advance north of Austria.

So it is unlikely that the finer facial features of Northern European men reflect greater feminization. Selection for more feminine women doesn’t mean that the men will get more feminized also. The requirements for hunting large game and fighting for resources in Northern Europe would have selected for masculine men. After all why was there a shortage of men? Because the men were disproportionately dying while hunting big game. Even if harsh conditions prevented men in Northern Europe from supporting multiple wives, this doesn’t mean that the better off men did not get some on the side or that the women who did not have much of a choice but to settle with a less desirable man because there weren’t enough men around didn’t try to get their children secretly fathered by more desirable men.

Frost talks about the higher prevalence of polygyny in Africa, but what does polygyny do? If some men are taking multiple wives then some men are ending up with no women. So, many men will try to ensure that their wives are not taken by higher status men, i.e., they will tend to restrict how much of their women they expose in public. Of course, the men with multiple wives/harems will try to prevent lower status men from secretly dallying with their women. And, if there are plenty of men around, then women will be more restrictive with their sexuality. This will tend to lead toward the situation you see in the Middle East (extreme case). How conducive is this system to strong sexual selection? The women have little choice and the men don’t need to develop myriad abilities that one would normally need to court desirable women (obviously because the women will not be doing much choosing); all the men need is wealth/power to convince a prospective father in-law. One is even looking at war/treachery to acquire wealth/resources or at worst stealing other men’s women.

A variant of a polygynous system is that few people are married, one is expected to be faithful while married, but unmarried individuals are free to have sex with multiple unmarried partners, and only a minority of well-off men get to have multiple wives. In this system, most men and most women get a shot at reproduction and no sex has a large number of individuals that face death without reproduction. So no especially strong sexual selection here.

Now what happens in Northern Europe? Men die disproportionately while hunting big game. So the surviving men are being selected for masculinization. There is an excess of women. The women are forced to be less restrictive with their sexuality because an interested but rejected man will simply move onto another woman. The men are not especially motivated to restrict the sexual opportunities available to women because there are so many of them. The only advantage of restricting women’s sexuality for men is increasing the certainty that who they think are their biological children are indeed so, but this comes at the great cost of undermining one’s sexual pleasure. Diminishing one’s sexual pleasure by restricting women’s sexuality when there are plenty of women around doesn’t make any sense, and no red-blooded man would be so inclined. So the women have full partner selection choice, even though limited, but no matter how limited the choice, women will be more selective than men in a comparable situation. They simply have to, given their limited childbirth capacity. This is a crucial point. Even with a shortage of men, women will still be significantly selective, and the men are of course being selective because there are so many women to choose from, and the men are typically not in a position to support multiple wives. Choice for women means that they are free to try to secretly get their children fathered by men more desirable than their husbands and not come close to risking assault/death in the process. How can you beat this when it comes to strong sexual selection under natural conditions?

Roy: Your criticism of the Booth et al. study using American soldiers is that it was done on an unrepresentative sample. The authors compared numerous demographic characteristics of their sample with those of men in the general population in the same age range and found them to be similar. Besides, the sample is from 1965-1971 but you cited an article by Peter Frost who is mentioning the shortcomings of a decades-earlier sample. The major shortcoming being addressed by Frost is the intelligence distribution, which is not an issue in the Booth study. Frost reiterates that the IQ cutoff for joining the U.S. army, presumably 90, eliminated from consideration the majority of African-American men. However, during 1965-1971, American men aged 30-48 were overwhelmingly white, including in the army. Additionally, the relationship between testosterone and IQ is at best weak. Hence, the results of the regression analysis presented would be unaffected by including lower IQ African-Americans. Even if it were affected, the effect would be so small that the conclusion would not change.

You are interested in a study showing white men having 15% higher testosterone than sub-Saharan African men. Frost himself has cited some, but he dismisses them because they involve sub-Saharan African populations who are not sufficiently masculine or are older populations. So if Frost is going to pick his masculine sub-Saharan populations and ignore the rest, then it is only fair that I be allowed to pick the more masculine European male populations rather than all whites. I pick Nordics. You mentioned a study where the English men had a 2D:4D of 0.98 and Jamaican men had a 2D:4D of 0.93. I mentioned a study where Finnish men had a 2D:4D of 0.93. This ratio reflects prenatal testosterone exposure, which is not strongly related to testosterone levels in adulthood, as you have cited. Prenatal testosterone exposure is a combination of self production and maternal contribution. Finnish women are more feminine than West African women and hence to arrive at a 2D:4D similar to that of the most masculine West African populations, Finnish male fetuses are producing higher testosterone levels than the West African male fetuses. In reality it is not clear how comparable cross-ethnic 2D:4D comparisons are and anyone familiar with the literature on 2D:4D ratio would know better than to make much of individual studies, but if I am dealing with Frost or you then I might as well use similar reasoning. Heck, I can even go ahead and argue that the 0.95 2D:4D in Swedish men is indicative of high fetal testosterone production on their part comparable to the Finns’ and higher than the Jamaicans’ because Swedish women are more feminine than Finnish women and are raising the Swedish male average even though the fetal testosterone production is similar.

Regarding baldness, again, it is a non-issue. I already mentioned that male-typical androgen levels are required for male pattern baldness, and levels in the effeminate range of the human male are enough, and hence saying that DHT is a culprit is basically reiterating this point, but the main issue is the genetic susceptibility to baldness. Unless you have evidence that the majority of instances of genetic susceptibility to baldness not involving androgen production are related to masculinization or a more manly look, don’t bring baldness or hair thickness into the picture. My discussion of a combination of baldness, body hair and muscularity issues has been in the context of an odd mix of hypermaculine and hypomaculine features in the same individual, not in terms of a straightforward judgment of a man’s masculinity.

If Burt Lancaster has Sophia Loren’s lips, he would look odd but still not effeminate. Regarding the citations of the figures I displayed in reference to Weston et al., I mentioned that they are taken from the feminine vs. masculine page. Look there.

Anyway, don’t waste my time with these issues. They are not relevant to this site.

Reading your responses is time well spent, so I rattled your cage about N. European psuedo-feminisation in men (It was genuinely my point of veiw, it seemed plausible from what I knew). I don't think you can take umbrage at this observation which is relevant to this site; Swedish women are the most beautiful in the world. (Even Swedish female bodybuilders juiced to the gills look more feminine than their fellow competitors) Swedish women are in demand all over the world as models, non Swedish men of the highest status men often marry them. Sexual selection is the obvious explaination (counterbalanced by some kind of selection for men as you say) perhaps we might find some support for the expectation of a higher ratio of Y-chromosome to X-chromosome variability Irish women do not seem to be in as much demand

In Pakistan the houses with the smallest highest windows (where the women are) belong to the wealthiest families advertising the fact that their women are the most secluded. (incidently, marrying cousins is a common practice in the middle east). As you say this can only have a bad effect on the quality of both sexes though Razib on gnxp did not thank you for this observation. Marrage practices explain a lot and vary a lot even within those called polygyny As I understand it Dr. Frosts explaination for relaxed sexual selection of women in some African populations involves on hoe farming so you have a point, sexual selection for women would not automaticaly loosen selection for men.

"Don't waste my time with these issues. They are not relevant to this site"

Quite so, its what you should have said to Dot when he asked about the T. levels of black men, that or ignored him. Please bear in mind; the less relevant an issue is to this site the more likely someone might think you're wrong about it and say so.

If you wander off your turf expect a challenge.

Comments on Decaprio, face shape studies and gracilization are as relevant to this site as this page is, if it's a wasting your time perhaps it you ought to be taking it down. I admit to going on a bit - sorry - I was thinking out loud. The site design encourages comments. You answered all my points. Although I made them forcefully I didn't want them to be true, I don't look like DeCaprio. Anyway, thank you for sharing your knowledge.

"Don't waste my time with these issues.They are not relevant to this site"
Quite so, but you ought to have told this to Dot when he asked about Testosterone levels ect. in black men, that or ignored him. Please bear in mind that the less relevant an issue is to your site the more likely someone will think you are wrong about it and say so.

If you wander off your turf expect a challenge.

"Sub-Saharan Africans tend to have narrower hips than whites, but this appears to be an ethnic feature unrelated to testosterone levels"

Yes it is because non-Africans (especially Europeans and East Asians) tend to have bigger brained babies and thus demand broader pelvises from their mothers. Women tend to have wider pelvises compared to men due to childbirth.

If you removed all of the muscle from Dorian Yates' body, he has a worse shoulder to waist ratio than tom cruise. Yates' steroid induced muscle mass is tricking your visual system. BTW, Cruise does not have an 'effeminate' body LOL. It is not as masculine as Mike Tyson, but it is actually MORE masculine than Yates if you compare the actual skeleton.

Why not put a picture of yourself up for us all to decide on what side of the scale you sit "Erik"?

I came to the site looking for Olivia art. What I found was far more than I could have imagined.

As a former bodybuilder in the the 1980-1983 era (then a back injury), in the pre-growth hormone stage
(when it had to be sucked from cadaver pituitaries - and some were dying of CJ / mad cow as a result!) -
and even after, when people didn't learn the IGF connection, I found your postings above to not only be
EXCELLENT observations, but even observations I, myself, had not made, in evaluating competition, at the
time and again in 1993 - when I made a "comeback" to the extent that injuries would permit - with a new
round of androgens (and again tweaked the old injury and took myself out!).

There is much to look at and compare - and even the rules change with regard to judging, in order to keep
interest in the sport high - (too many repetitive wins is not good, when the personalities are not at all like
Ahnold!). And so you have a change that means Coleman OUT, Cutler IN.

All in all - I agree with you about the masculine aspect of things -- Gaspari was the youngest Mr. America - at 19,
chances are real that he suffered epiphyseal closure much earlier - and that changed his shoulder width dramatically
for those final growing years. Yates only real negative was the insanity of a tattoo - but again, also no personality,
something critical to a "sport" like bodybuilding.

People - this site and Erik's commentary on the whole range of anthro questions are not about putting anyone down,
they are about observing. Even when Lou Ferrigno made his big comeback - weighing nearly 75 pounds more than he did
in his 1975 contest with Arnold (75 pounds of pure muscle at under 2% fat!) - he didn't place in the FIRST round of Olympia.
He was OUT. He was more monstrous at 345 pounds (and 6'5") than he had ever been.

I like your use of study, statistics, references, etc. Really - for a hobby site, and attributing so much to art - for which I know
absolutely nothing about (in terms of anatomical study for painting/drawing), you provoked a great deal of thought and
I did send a link to someone I know with a Fine Arts degree - because as she gets back into creating - a long lost love of hers,
there is no such thing as "too much information" - and every opinion has the value of creating a new pathway of thought.

(unless it's just a moron posting!)

So, again - my many thanks! You made this a VERY interesting Thursday Morning!!!


interesting, open-minded perspective; more examples might be helpful.

Ok Erik,

All those men look really gross. No woman wants a man like that, trust me! Dorian Yates does not look like a Roman God, rolls eye. Facial structure and body structure, maybe he does look like a Roman God. BUT, Roman Gods were never built to look like they were going to explode. The muscle is revolting... no woman wants a man that muscular.

Let me post some photos of men that women generally find attractive:

First of all, a man that is slightly darker is always a bit more charming. Ever heard of tall, dark and handsome? However, lighter men are attractive as well, but I think women and men alike associate lighter hair,skin,eyes, etc. with greater feminity, even though it doesn't relate to hormone levels.

This guy is muscular, but its not too much! not for me at least... however for some girls it MAY be too much.

guy model Pictures, Images and Photos

Another muscular attractive guy. Honestly, if it gets more muscular than this, the attractiveness goes down...

Me With A Guy Model Pictures, Images and Photos

This guy doesn't have that much muscle. However, he is bulky and wide shouldered. This is more attractive than someone who is bulky and has a shit load of muscle. His face has feminine features, but he is attractive nonetheless. In fact I find that feminine features such as slightly fuller lips, bigger eyes, etc. on a man attract women even more. After all they want to see those attractive qualities in their children boy or girl don't they?

Steven Strait Pictures, Images and Photos

Same guy, only thinner:

Steven Strait Pictures, Images and Photos

Steven Pictures, Images and Photos

What would help Steven straights appearance? A slightly finer nose from the frontal view, while side profile is alright

Paul Walker is extremely attractive:

Paul Walker Pictures, Images and Photos

paul walker Pictures, Images and Photos

Are you getting the drift?

The men I picked I find very attractive. However, for example some women find even leaner less muscular, or men with a less masculine build even more attractive. I know absolutley NO women that like overly muscular overly masculine guys. This is the truth:

That men on the masculine side of the scale are considered more attractive, however once that scale goes to far a man on the feminine side would do better even

Same with women: A woman on the feminine scale is more attractive, but once she gets too feminine no one finds her attractive anymore.

Besides, the whole feminine masculine scale in my opinion doesn't have to do as much with attraction as you claim. A woman with nice features that isn't particularly feminine can be more attractive than a feminine woman with boring, bland, or just bad features. And many times even androgynous women can look good, is it rarer? Yes, but not possible.

And also we all like to see feminine qualities in both males and females. If a man has big eyes, or pouty lips, etc. That is attractive to a woman. Similarly if a woman has a combination body type, such as an hourglass/athletic type, this may be more attractive. This woman is curvy, has a small waist and large breasts, however, her shoulders may be a tiny wider and her legs or something more athletic. Who cares? This woman can be very athletic and stunning at the same time.

Let me give you an example:

Keeley Hazel

You haven't responded to my questions about her by the way. Anyways, she has huge shoulders, but an amazing hourglass figure with amazing breasts? However, she looks better than most of the feminine women you post up that are moe feminine than her? Why? Is it because she looks stronger and healthier due to the fact that she has better defintion combined with feminine features such as hips,large breasts, and a small waist? Yes. This is more attractive because she looks better made, healthier, stronger, while maintaining her feminine attributes. This will beat out any other just plain feminine girl.

Mike: The article is about not being tricked by muscle mass. I am not being fooled by the muscle mass of Dorian Yates. Tom Cruise does not have an effeminate physique in terms of muscle mass. Tom Cruise has made an effort to work out and attain decent muscle mass, but take a look at his shoulder width, especially in relation to hip width.

Godis: The article is not about what women find attractive in men. It is about the subtlety of masculinity-femininity in men.

You said, “Besides, the whole feminine masculine scale in my opinion doesn't have to do as much with attraction as you claim.” The evidence suggests, cited within this site, that in the absence of physical defects, the extent of femininity is the most powerful correlate of beauty in women for a given ethnic group. I agree that “a woman with nice features that isn’t particularly feminine can be more attractive than a feminine woman with boring, bland, or just bad features.” Nothing within this site refutes this notion and the site also offers plenty of evidence in its favor. Why don’t you read enough of this site before leaving comments?

There is nothing for me to say regarding your bringing in Keeley Hazell. I have passed her as an attractive woman, which doesn’t mean that all aspects of her looks have to be in the feminine range.

those with excess abdominal fat even if they are okay elsewhere (this is a diseased constitution)
What do you mean by diseased constitution?

Also, with regard to supermodels. Gay men or lower testosterone males predominantly control the fashion industry. Those type of men are more likely to be attracted to, or simply tp prefer for asthetic reasons, more masculine or androgenous female faces.

Also, do you think there is any truth to the idea that higher testosterone results in the asymmetry of facial features?

"Higher IQ men are much less likely to be influenced by high T to engage in risky behaviour, need I say more"
- Does testosterone influence intelligence? Does more testosterone make you dumber?
- Or, as is known higher testosterone makes men more likely to engage in risky, spur of the moment, and stupid behaviour. Does higher intelligence actually reduce the chances of this due to the greater ability of the man in question to reflect on the potential consequences of his actions?
In short - Men with high T and high intelligence do not do the same stupid things that men with high T and low intelligence do?

What sort of body type would you consider John Wayne with his wide shoulders and wide hips?

"When the shape became too masculine their perception turned negative and the man was seen to be threatening, volatile, controlling, manipulative, and selfish. (quoted from Fair Women, Dark men )" -

I think this is the failure of the survey method. Remember, women find bikers, criminals and dangerous and abusive men hot, yet will never admit to it. In fact they might not know themselves what they are attracted to. It may be the greater levels of attraction and masculinity they are attracted to DESPITE the bad behaviourof the man. Ergo women are not attracted to assholes, per se, but are attracted to highly testosteronised or masculinised men and these types are more likely to engage in asshole behaviour. Unfortunately I have no evidence for this besides what I've seen. Any study trying to understand this would be better off trying to study a woman's actions and not listen to her words.

On a related note, its well known that prison populations are full of men who are highly testosteronised or masculinised. No one would call these men pretty or attractive yet women seem to love them. All this boils down to is basically, women are attracted to high levels of testosterone. High levels of testosterone lead to higher levels of aggression and more risk taking behaviour, which as I said before, means women are attracted to men who display threatening, volatile, controlling, manipulative, and selfish behaviour but it is not this behaviour that attracts them. It is the high levels of masculinity they are attracted to despite these negative personality traits. So of course they will give these men bad ratings, but still jump into bed with them.

Concerning big hair, baldness and mohawks: Baldness is a sign of intimidation in some men. Consider bikers, gang members and so forth who shave their heads. Consider also soldiers have very short hair.

Are fish lips and mono-brows examples of masculinisation?

Also, is there any truth to the idea that high testosterone lowers the immune system?

High testosterone improves facial symmetry in men. High testosterone also strengthens the immune system.

Dorian Yates is ugly, I have a better body without exercising.
I measured my index ratio, it is high (1.01) - effeminate, but I have wide shoulders narrow waist, narrow hips and good muscles, I was somewhat effeminate and cowardly as child then turned 180 after puberty does that mean I have been exposed to little testosterone in the womb but high testosterone after puberty? What does that say about my penis size I have no clue ? BTW my penis is very straight. What does that say about my sexual performance ? I have been told I'm amazing but I could have been lied to so as not to be hurt.

In this linkkkkkkkk it is writter that high prenatal testosterone contributes to robustness more that masculinity, white pubertal testosterone contributed to masculinity more that robustness.

Considering women, I heard that high testosterone women have higher libidos, more prone to cheating, more promiscuous and prefer masculine men, low testosterone/high estrogen women are the contrary of the above.

BTW this Swedish man is so beautiful I love this pic

Here many suggest the femininity is the ace of base when it comes to attractiveness and a post by Erik said there was a research that indicated this. Can you post the research? This is weird because I've always believed and witnessed that proportionality and symmetry come before femininity when it comes to attractiveness in a woman and most guys would pick a beautiful child faced woman (child features are attractive in women) over a plain feminine face and body.

What you mean by 'child features'? thats just lack of prominent zygomatic bones, especially the zygomatic process.

Erik I've noticed this dimorphism throughout my life, yet seems to contradict pop culture's ideal beauty with both men and women. I'm curious is the cheek bones higher along the vertical plane or are they shorter with the brow reaching lower and nose reaching longer to give the cheek a high effect also, about the arches, if the arches are placed higher then would this cause elevation of the ears and a different mandible/maxilla relationship in regards to bite. I would love to see a frontal comparison of masculine and feminine skull shapes. Any links would be appreciated. Thanks keep up the good work.

There is absolutely no such thing as biologically defined beauty.
As you should know or promptly ignored in favor of racial biases, beauty is a cultural fenomenon and genetic diferentiation between sexes varies naturally among diferent generations. To say otherwise is (ironically enough) to contribute to the real underappreciation of beauty.

my body shape is more like a womans than a man,I`m 5ft-7ins tall I weigh just 10stone my chest measures 33ins,my waist is 27ins but my hips are 38ins, 11ins more than my waist,and 5ins more than my chest.I`m not as physically strong as most men,Ialso have an exceptionally tiny penis and testicals,and most men and even some women can lift me off the ground and carry me as though I were a small child but I cannot lift them an inch off the ground.The women say they find me to be very effeminate.

What can you guys say about me??? Levels of androgen, handling of chemicals, masculine/feminine features, etc.!
I'm curious.
Ignore the incredibly distracting cute puppies.

The puppies are quite masculine:)

Very interesting site. Keep up the good work. BTW, some comments seem a bit dense.

"Unlike in women, it is harder to judge how masculine a man is because of the ease with which less masculine men can pack on more muscle mass given current technology, and the phenomenon of some men with a mix of multiple masculine and multiple effeminate characteristics."

No kidding! I'll give it a try, though . . .

Am I correct in judging:

Daniel Craig to be overall masculine in appearance?

Pierce Brosnan, Alan Rickman, David Boreanaz, Clint Eastwood, and Brad Pitt to be average overall in terms of masculinity/femininity?

Hayden Christensen, Ewan Mcgregor, Jensen Ackles, Alain Delon, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, and Edward Furlong to be in the effeminate range?

Ted Danson to have a hyper-masculine face? (Couldn't find any clear pics of his body.)

Sean Connery to have a masculine face + normal body?

Godis misses the point yet again.

Question -

Erik, you've said that Northern Europeans disproportionately have the most feminine looking and also the most masculine looking women. Does this entail that they also disproportionately have the most masculine looking and also the most effeminate looking men?

61 | Submitted by ? on Thu, 01/26/2012 - 01:49 | Question -

Question -

''Erik, you've said that Northern Europeans disproportionately have the most feminine looking and also the most masculine looking women.''

Erik never stated that. Erik stated Europeans women are Overall MORE feminine looking not the MOST feminine looking. There is a huge difference between the two statements. Europeans may have a higher percentage of feminine looking women (women classifiable as feminine not taking into consideration how feminine they are on the femininisy scale) though within that percentage of feminine looking women they may have less/least on the 'most' or higher end of the femininity scale but due to having a high percentage overall of women on the femininity scale they may be classifiable as overall more feminine looking comapred to the overall of another culture but not the 'most' feminine looking women. Another culture may have a higher percentage of women on the higher end of the femininity scale than the europeans but due to a smaller percentage of feminine looking women in general on the scale of feminity there overall average on the feminine scale doesnt balance out as good as the europeans would, so there overall average on the femininity scale would not be as high as the europeans though they may still possess a higher percentage of the 'most' feminine looking women than the europeans. Thats is what Erik is stating. He is not and has never stated that european women are the 'most' feminine. In fact alot of what he has stated has not been understood correctly.

What's that bullshit that you've just written? A BIG population with more feminine looking women necessarily has the most feminine women, unless there's a different magnitude of standard deviation in femininity in the two populations which is unlikely. Because outcomes diverge to the values expected by probability laws when sample numbers are big, and in this case we are talking about populations

I'm fascinated with this topic as I am a queer woman with a very low digit ratio (.94), and some very masculine facial features (heavier brow ridge, eastern euro cheekbones). I was prowling the web in search of more inspiration for my blog, and found this site. I've also got some other interesting stuff in my blog regarding gender and the way the lines can be blurred, coincidentally.

There seems to be evidence that biological characteristics are also related to personality and psychology (for instance, low 2d Ratios in both men and women are related to more aggressiveness, especially in men.)


do you think i have masculine face or feminine face? too masculine or just average? or maybe on the feminine side?

I think I have high broad cheekbones but my jaw is weak, maybe because I still have fat on my face, but on this page says that the mandible doesnt have to do with masculinity

Orlando: The mandible is affected by masculinizing and feminizing factors. You must have misunderstood something.

Your face is masculine. Don’t let the cheekbones confuse you as they reflect part-Indian and utlimately Asiatic ancestry; ancestry aspects mostly do not involve population differences in masculinity-femininity.

Yeah i know the cheekbones is common in natives and south asians, im mestizo ... i mentioned because i read that high broad cheekbones gives the person a more masculine and aggresive look this is why many female models look masculine, because of cheekbones, also all the bad guys in movies have high cheekbones ... i like to have them, makes me look exotic so to speak lol but i still have fat on my face so they dont look that defined female models with hi

I think the most genetically gifted are Mulattos or (half black, half white) because they have the full muscle thickness most usually from some sort of alpinic european descent and the "cut-ness" or muscle seperation from their black side. The reigning Mr Olympia is mulatto 5'9, 250lbs Phil Heath @ 2% bf. He looks like afro-germanic with a predominately alpine body structure....

I think you should have picked a better example to illustrate the type of male beauty that women like. Most women find hiper-muscular men unappealing. The physical male ideal for women is a man athletic muscled but not extremely as bodybuilders. We prefer male fitness models type. Men of your photos also show a low rating of facial attractiveness. I'll use an example more appropriate prototype of male beauty.

I posted the pictures of fitness model Marc Fitt. Great body and a very attractive face.


Staci: The article is not about illustrating what kind of men are liked by women, but about issues in evaluating the masculinity of men. Some of these issues are best clarified by using examples of extremely muscular men.

Erik, I don't really understand where you concluded from that Swedish or Northern European women are on average more feminine than Asian or Black women?
Do they have higher estrogen levels than Asian or Black women?


You say:

"As in women, it is important to look at multiple characteristics in men to assess how masculine/feminine they are".

"Finnish women are more feminine than West African women" "Swedish women are more feminine than Finnish women"

Do you have a source for this, or is this based on your personal views/observations/opinions?

I am very interested in how you got to this conclusion,

~a Dutch female

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