Women are more attracted to men with beards, study reveals

Caroline AllenContributor
Almost 1,000 women were surveyed about their facial hair preferences. [Photo: Getty]
Almost 1,000 women were surveyed about their facial hair preferences. [Photo: Getty]

A study published in The Royal Society Open Science has found that women are more attracted to men with beards.

Almost 1,000 women took part in the study which determined that women preferred men with beards because they found them more physically and socially dominant.

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It’s not all good news for bearded men, though.

Women who don’t like hairy faces are put off by the possibility of them harbouring parasites like lice or fleas.

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The US study found that men with masculine faces - like strong jawlines and wide cheekbones - were rated as the most attractive.

Researchers at University of Queensland in Australia came to this conclusion after presenting the women with thirty images of three different men.

The women, who were between 18 and 70, were asked to look through the faces at various degrees of beard growth to determine the most attractive look.

As each face appeared, women had to mark bearded and non-bearded men out of 100.

The study also differentiated between whether the men were more appropriate for long-term or short-term relationships.

As it turns out, the hairier the man, the better the face. At least, that’s what those 1,000 women thought.

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The team came up with a number of possible reasons why women might be naturally more attracted to bearded, masculine men.

The researchers, led by PhD student Tessa Clarkson, believe this might be because masculine facial features suggest a more physically strong man.

Another theory is that facial hair can mask unattractive parts of the face whilst highlighting strong jaws.

Researchers also noted that women who feel physically attractive themselves are more likely to be attracted to typically masculine looking men.

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To go into even more detail, the researchers asked the women to rate their level of disgust towards a range of different things.

This included; body odour, stepping on dog faeces, mould growing on food, cheating on exams, oral sex or shoplifting.

Women who were more disgusted by pathogens like stepping in dog poo or body odour were more likely to prefer beards — surprisingly.

Women who were more repulsed by bad behaviour like cheating or shoplifting were also more into beards. It’s a good day for bearded men.

This was said to be because women who value good morals in men - like not cheating - are likely to have a more traditional view on life.

Having facial hair has been a marker of “manliness” for a long time and researchers believe it is this evolutionary belief that makes women believe that men are able to carry out a stereotypically male role in the household.

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