Variation in chin and mandibular symphysis size and shape in males and females: A CT-based study

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The chin is a unique anatomical landmark of modern humans. Its size and shape play an important role from the esthetic perspective. However, disagreement exists in the dental and anthropological literature regarding the sex differences in chin and symphysis morphometrics. The “sexual selection” theory is presented as a possible reason for chin formation in our species; however, many other contradictory theories also exist. This study’s aims were therefore to determine how chin and symphysis size and shape vary with sex, and to discuss “sexual selection” theory as a reason for its formation. Head and neck computed tomography (CT) scans of 419 adults were utilized to measure chin and symphysis sizes and shapes. The chin and symphysis measures were compared between the sexes using an independent-samples t-test, a Mann–Whitney test, and the F-statistic. The chin width was significantly greater in males than in females (p < 0.001), whereas the chin height, area, and size index were significantly greater in females (p < 0.001). Symphysis measures did not differ significantly between the sexes. Size accounted for 2–14% of the chin variance and between 24–33% of the symphysis variance. Overall, the chin was found to be a more heterogeneous anatomical structure than the symphysis, as well as more sexually dimorphic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4249
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2020


  • Chin
  • Computed tomography
  • Facial attractiveness
  • Mandibular symphysis
  • Morphometrics
  • Sexual dimorphism


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