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The International Journal of Adult Orthodontics & Orthogathic Surgery
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International Journal of Adult Orthodontics and Orthognathic Surgery

Year 1994
Volume 9 , Issue 4

Pages: 303 - 310

A three-dimensional study of sexual dimorphism in the human face

Ferrario/Sforza/Poggio/Serrao/Miani, Jr.

The sexual dimorphism in three-dimensional facial form (size plus shape) was investigated in a sample of 40 men and 36 women by using Euclidean-distance matrix analysis. Subj ects ranged in age from 19 to 32 years, had excellent dentitions, and had no craniocervical disorders. For each subject, 16 facial landmarks were automatically collected using a computerized system consisting of two infrared CCD cameras, realtime hardware for the recognition of markers, and software for the three-dimensional reconstruction of landmarks' x, y, z coordinates. Euclidean-distance matrix analysis confirmed the well-known size difference between adult male and female faces (men's faces being 6% to 7% larger than women's faces), while it demonstrated no significant gender differences in three-dimensional facial shape. This result contrasted with the shape differences previously found when separate two-dimensional frontal and sagittal plane projections were analyzed. It could be explained by a relative three-dimensional compensation between the different facial dimensions.


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