The electronic structure of calixarene phosphine oxides (CPO) and thiacalixarene phosphine oxides (TCPO) is studied by X-ray photoelectron and emission spectroscopy and quantum chemical methods. The electron density distribution over atoms contained in CPO and TCPO is analyzed. The structure of higher occupied molecular orbitals (HOMO) is examined. It is shown that HOMOs of these compounds mainly consist of contributions of oxygen 2p atomic orbitals (AOs) of phosphoryl and hydroxyl moieties and also bridging sulfur 3p AOs, which indicates the bifunctionality of the considered extractant molecules. The mutual effect of the lower and upper rims of CPOs and TCPOs as well as the effect of their structures on the electron density distribution over calixarene molecules is investigated.