Smiles are facial expressions that fall under kinesics, or the study of body movement. Women tend to smile more than men in an array of situations. Women are socialized to smile because it makes them appear more attractive, not because it represents how they are actually feeling (Gample, p. 96). Women are taught to please other people around them, come across pleasant, and be as attractive as possible.

The easiest way to observe how women are more likely to smile than men is by looking at photographs. Women smile in almost all photographs, while men often look serious. Sports teams photos like the ones below exemplify this. Almost every member of the female soccer team from Diablo Valley College is smiling in their official group photo, while almost no member of the male soccer team is smiling in the official photo from Muskingum College. Therefore, men look more dominating and in control, while women portray a sense of their feminine personality (even in the athletic arena).


Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Link to male soccer team picture. Link to female soccer team picture.