By Brianne Moore
Has stubble lost its sex appeal? A study recently published in Behavioral Ecology suggests that women find bearded men less attractive and more aggressive than those who are clean shaven, but both men and women thought bearded men had the appearance of higher social status.
The study used pictures of men from New Zealand and Samoa who were shown making angry faces while wearing a full beard (over six weeks’ growth, no trimming) and clean shaven. The photos were viewed by more than 200 women, who were asked to rate the men’s attractiveness. The women judged the men more attractive when they were clean shaven. The pictures were then shown to other men, who thought the beards made the men in the photos look older and more aggressive.
Curiously, both sexes agreed that facial hair adds “gravitas,” and that the bearded men appeared to have a higher social status and commanded more respect from other men.
So, apparently beards are out, for those looking to score a date, but what about a day or two’s worth of stubble? Previous research indicates that light stubble actually makes men more attractive to women than being clean shaven.
What do you think, readers? Is a beard attractive or not? Sound off in the comments below.