Do you remember your Dad as being a dominant male? There’s something in the faces of brown-eyed white men that makes them seem more dominant than blue-eyed men, and it ISN’T their eye color.

Researchers asked a group of over 60 people to look at photos of 80 faces: 40 men and 40 women, and rate them for dominance. They then altered the faces on a computer so the brown eyes were replaced with blue ones and vice versa. A separate group of participants rated the altered images for dominance.

The results? Faces of brown-eyed men, whether natural or altered, were rated more dominant than those of blue-eyed men. The effect wasn’t true for female faces.It may have something to do with genetics: The SHAPE of brown-eyed men’s faces may be more craggy and forceful. The naturally brown-eyed men had broader chins and mouths, larger noses, more closely spaced eyes and larger eyebrows than blue-eyed men.

It could be the “cave man” effect: In, J.R. Minkel tells us that blue eyes didn’t exist until sometime between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, when a genetic mutation reduced the production of the brown pigment in the iris in some people. Before that, everyone had brown eyes. And brown eyes may be genetically linked to what are perceived to be “classic” masculine features.

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