Difference Between Male and Female Skull

The key difference between male and female skull is that male skull is heavier due to the presence of thicker bones while female skull is lighter due to the presence of thinner bones.

The human skull is an important part of the skeletal system, which basically provides sites for facial muscle attachments and forms a cranial cavity for the brain.  The skull is made up of two parts that have different embryological differences; (1) neurocranium, which is the protective vault surrounding the brain, and (2) viscerocranium, which is composed of facial bones. A human skull comprises 22 bones. All these bones except the mandible are joined together. Thus, the mandible is the only bone in the human skull which can be moved freely.

The human skull also contains several sinuses, i.e., air-filled cavities lined by respiratory epithelium. The exact function of these sinuses is still debatable. However, they may be important to reduce skull weight, provide voice resonance, and warm and moisture inspired air. Presence of sutures is another unique characteristic of the skull. The sutures are a type of fibrous joint that occurs only in the skull. There are 17 sutures on the human skull. Both male and female skulls have 22 bones, but there are some distinguishable features between these two skulls.


1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Male Skull
3. What is Female Skull
4. Similarities Between Male and Female Skull
5. Side by Side Comparison – Male vs Female Skull in Tabular Form
6. Summary

What is Male Skull?

Male skull is the bony structure that makes the head of males. The bones in the male skull are much heavier than the those of female skull. The main characteristic features of the male skull include prominent superciliary arches, prominent glabella, eversion of the angle of mandible, large mastoid process, and bones with better muscular markings.

Figure 01: Male Skull

In addition, the eye orbits are somewhat square shaped in a male skull.

What is Female Skull?

Female skull is the bony structure which makes the female head. It is made up of much lighter bones than males, with smooth surfaces. The frontal and parietal eminences are larger than that of males.

Figure 02: Female Skull

The orbits of a female skull are rounded and larger. In addition, females show more rounded and more upright foreheads.

What are the Similarities Between Male and Female Skull?

  • Both are made up of bones.
  • The shape of the skull is similar in both sexes.

What is the Difference Between Male and Female Skull?

As mentioned in the introduction, the male skull is larger and heavier than the female skull and is made up of thicker bones. In addition, the forehead in males is slightly sloping and receding while forehead in females is vertical. Moreover, the vault of the skull is more rounded in males, whereas in females, the vault is flattened. The tympanic plate in males is large and more rounded whereas the tympanic plate is small and less rounded in females.

Furthermore, males have square-shaped, lower, relatively smaller eye orbits with rounded superior margins. But females have more circular, higher, larger eye orbits with very sharp superior margins. Males have a squarer chin while females have a V-shaped chin. Lower jaw of the male skull is square with an angle of about 90° while the lower jaw of the female skull is sloped with an angle greater than 90°. Moreover, the facial bones in a female skull are smoother compared to those in a male skull. Finally, the palate in a male skull is larger, broader and tends to be U- shaped while a palate in a female skull tends to be a parabola.

Summary – Male vs Female Skull

Skull is the bony structure which makes the head of humans. Male and Female skulls share some similarities. However, the male skull is heavier and made from thicker bones compared to the female skull. This is the main difference between male and female skull.


1.“Skull.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 May 2018, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “P.166-fig.52-Palæolithic Man and Terramara Settlements in Europe” By Robert Munro – Palæolithic Man and Terramara Settlements in Europe (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Plate V; Female Cro-Magnon skull in two views. Wellcome L0073384” By Wellcome Collection gallery (2018-04-01) (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia