The thoughtful gaze in book covers

My recent reading has included Rosemary Kirstein's Steerswoman and P.D. James's The Skull Beneath the Skin (mentioned a few days ago).  I noticed that the book covers had a similar thematic structure:

A woman with an side and upward thoughtful or abstracted gaze, accompanied by some symbolic background, the James from 1987 (though the design is probably from 1983), the Kirstein from 2003. Would anyone use this style for a male character? I think it conveys thoughtfulness, but a bit of distance. This woman is interested in figuring something out and is probably not that easy to get to know.

Just an interesting coincidence, of no real significance.