Believe it or not: There’s a psychological reason behind why women like beards. And whether you embrace your facial hair or shave it off every day, attracting a certain type of woman is a powerful reason why you should just let it grow, bro.
Let’s get right into it.
Studies Show Women Find Men with Beards Attractive
A study carried out at the University of Queensland by researcher Tessa R. Clarkson found that women find men with facial hair socially and physically dominant and more attractive than their facial hair-less counterparts.
Women were also more likely to associate a masculine face with social assertiveness, toughness, and physical strength. Surprisingly, women who had feelings of repugnance towards undesirable behaviors and showed higher levels of moral disgust were more likely to prefer hairy faces.
What 900+ Mostly White American Women Had a Say on the Matter
The University of Queensland study used 919 mostly white American women between 18 and 70 in their study. They were shown 30 photos of men who had facial hair at various stages of growth.
The photos had been digitally altered so that there was a wide variety of images of men who were masculine, feminine, with a beard, without a beard, and with different beard styles. The women then had to rate the men’s attractiveness for short-term and long-term relationships. The results were very telling.
The more facial hair a man in the photos had, the higher they ranked for attractiveness in a long-term relationship. While there isn’t a way to know for sure why they ranked the men in the way they did, the researchers have their own theories based on prior research.
They believe facial masculinity played a part in a man’s attractiveness to a woman. Wide cheekbones, deep-set eyes, a protruding brow ridge, and a thick jawline could all convey information to a woman about a man’s health.
Women could also associate a man’s masculine face with his social assertiveness, strength, and immune response. Given that facial hair can enhance masculine features and create the illusion of a thicker jawline, researchers believe that, too, may play a part in why women prefer men with beards.
However, the attraction could also be at a more primitive level. A more masculine male could create the illusion that he can provide resources and protection, along with superior genetics.
What Men Feel About Their Beards
In prior studies, researchers discovered that many men felt more masculine when they were growing a beard. They also had higher levels of serum testosterone, linked to high levels of social dominance.
Men with beards were also more likely to believe in gender roles when dating women. Cleanly shaven men were less likely to.
Beards and Hygiene
Even though most of the 900+ women included in the study were attracted to facial hair, not all of them were. Researchers learned some surprising information about the women who were not attracted to facial hair because of hygiene.
These women saw beards as a sign of poor grooming habits. They believed the beards could house all manner of parasites and creepy crawlies, leaning towards a hygiene risk.
On the other side of the coin, though, many women who liked beards may have seen them as a sign of quality immune function and exceptional health.
Perhaps one of the more intriguing pieces of information to come out of the study was the moral disgust aspect. If a woman did not like taboo behaviors, they might be more attracted to men with beards.
Researchers believe there could be a link between men with beards and having traditional views, gender roles, and a politically conservative outlook.
What About Maturity and Power?
A 1990 study showed that men and women associate beards with maturity and power. Being able to grow a beard indicates that a man is physically mature, which can then offer a link to overall maturity.
Though, it was also found that female feminists were less likely to vote for bearded men because, subconsciously, it could make them seem overly masculine and more likely to support violence against women.
Then There’s Aggression
In research on beard perception, bearded men were more likely to look aggressive and intimidating than cleanly shaven men. Both groups of men would pull aggressive facial expressions, but the facial hair would make the bearded men look scarier.
Given that having higher testosterone levels can lead to thicker, fuller beards, it makes sense for aggressive behavior to be associated with them. That’s not to say a cleanly-shaven person can’t be aggressive, but it can be less expected by the general public.
Therefore, anyone who uses confrontation frequently may like to keep their facial hair trimmed to avoid it being an expectation of those on the receiving end. It’s worth noting, though, that the study has limitations. Not all men with beards will be seen as aggressive, while not all beard-free men will be seen as non-aggressive.
Cut the Cleanly-Shaven Man a Break
While women can be more attracted to men with beards than without, that doesn’t mean cleanly-shaven men don’t have a leg to stand on. The University of Hertfordshire conducted a study, led by Professor Richard Wiseman, that didn’t show bearded men in such a positive light.
The study found that bearded men could be 51% less cheerful, 38% less generous, and 36% less caring than their clean-shaven counterparts. Men without beards integrated better with others and were easier to get on with. So, if you’re a bearded man who wants to turn that frown upside down, then it might just be worth getting the clippers out.
There you have it bros, the psychology behind beards and why women like them.
And for those of you who still fear your beard after reading the psychology behind them then maybe beards are just not your cup of tea.
However, I’m sure one day there will be one woman who’ll change your mind.
Test it out and let it grow bro and unleash your bearded side because you and all the women who love beards might just like him a whole lot more.
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