There is that faction of women out there who wouldn’t touch a bearded man with a 10-foot pole. Sure, some find it itchy to the touch, while others don’t want a man who appears unkempt. That said there is a solid amount of women out there who do not fear the beard.
According to a new study conducted by researchers from Australia’s University of Queensland, Charles Sturt University and the University of New South Wales, a sizeable amount of women looking for a serious relationship will turn to a man with a face full of fuzz.
Reads the study: “Our findings suggest that beardedness may be attractive when judging long-term relationships as a signal of intrasexual formidability and the potential to provide direct benefits to females.”
To draw their conclusions, researchers gathered a group of 8,520 of heterosexual women to analyze 16 randomly selected photos. In these photos, women were presented with images of men who were clean-shaven; had five days worth of stubble; 10 days worth of stubble; and an untrimmed beard that’s been growing for at least 14 weeks.
Subsequently, the group of women were asked to look at the photos and rate the men in them in terms of general physical attractiveness, how eye-catching someone would be in a short-term relationship and how desirable someone would be for a long-term relationship.
In all, men with heavy stubble were rated the most attractive, followed immediately by those with light stubble. Men with full beards and those with the clean-shaven look came in third and fourth, respectively. That said, when women were asked about who they felt would be better for a long-term relationship, the men with full beards came out on top.
As for the guys with lesser facial hair, they proved to be more appealing to women looking for shorter-term relationships.
While all beards come in at a different rate, growing one and keeping it maintained is certainly a major commitment in and of itself. Perhaps, then, when a woman sees a man with such a beefy beard, she knows that this is a person capable of sticking it out through thick and thin.