The scientific method is in our bearded court brothers. Time and time again, study after study has proven to show that beards offer tremendous advantages for those that wear them or for those beards that choose to wear us. The science of facial hair is an interesting topic to dig into. A research paper in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, found some compelling data that shows the relation between sexual attractiveness and beards. Previous studies have already found that bearded men are usually seen as older more masculine, are more socially dominant and more aggressive than our clean-shaven counterparts. But also, better looking.
The Evolution of Man and the Beard
For many species, male secondary sexual traits have evolved because of female's choices, as they benefit survival and increased fertility. In the case of mens' beards we’re left with an interesting conundrum. The study found that beards are judged as more attractive for long-term relationships. That is to say that a bearded man is better for long-term commitment, support, and passing on their lineage. Basically the answer to fulfilling both you and the woman’s genetic purpose in this world. We may jest, but growing a beard takes time, patience and general fortitude to see ourselves through the process and then maintain it throughout our lives. Those skills are necessary in nurturing relations.
Scientific Beard Data
The study had a total of 8520 women participants that rated physical attractiveness in general based on a varying degrees of shaved, stubble, heavy stubble, to bearded. These photos were computer graphically manipulated to see how that affected attraction. Masculine facial features to look for: pronounced ridges of the eyebrows and a strong jawline that indicate the male’s underlying health. Here is where the data got interesting. The rate of attractiveness changed based on the context of a relationship, meaning that facial hair was more likely to enhance long-term relationships rather than short-term attractiveness. What this is saying then is with some light to heavy stubble, some woman is going to be more sexually attracted to you on a short-term basis. Now I’m sure some bearded brothers out there can attest against this and say it’s simply not true, but preference dictated this to be so, through the results of the paper of course. Participants rated clean shaven men as the least attractive. Our stubbled brothers won out on them with ease as well.
Further Scientific Beard Studies
Researchers at Glasgow University also set out to figure out what makes beards an attractive feature on men. By putting together another study that involved 700 participants – they looked at photos of 37 men in various stages of shaven and bearded states. Men with the beards had the highest ratings. Participants rated increased jawline projection as being deemed the most attractive. One researcher stated: ”Faces with full beards and large jaws received significantly higher ratings than clean-shaven faces with large and small jaws, and clean-shaven faces with large jaws received significantly higher ratings than clean- shaven faces with small jaws.” This comes as no surprise to the many bearded men out there. But just having the beard isn’t enough. We have to take care of it so that it doesn’t look scraggly or unkempt.
Beards and Cleanliness
A beard that’s all over the place, that looks wiry and dry is not a significant attractor. We have to take pride in our appearance, by applying necessary product to the beard. A luxurious and flowing mane can even be a reality for brothers who are more on the patchy side.
Overall, throughout the years various studies have pointed towards the same results and conclusions. Many beardsman know the perception to them changes in a positive light. It's good to know that it's not just conjecture, but scientifically backed proof that beards change and make a man.