Beards Make Men Hotter

‘Heavy stubble’ wins the day.

Heavy stubble wins the day, according to a new study on beard attractiveness. Bearded man photo via Shutterstock.

Heavy stubble wins the day, according to a new study on beard attractiveness. Bearded man photo via Shutterstock.

So that explains it. Science!

There isn’t much that we like about New England winters—except bearded men. But when the weather turns from pleasantly warm to unbearably hot, you may see a lot more clean shaven men around town. We assume that having a beard may be too hot (as in body temperature, not looks) in the summer months. Fellas, please feel free to chime in on this issue.

Why is it that women find bearded men so hot (looks, not temperature)? A new study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, says that male facial hair and attractiveness are correlated. But the study also says that how much facial hair a man has can determine how good-looking he is to the opposite (or same) sex. Researchers showed women photographs of 10 men at four different stages of beard growth: clean shaven, a 5-day “light” stubble, a 10-day “heavy” stubble, and a full beard. The women (351 of them) and 177 heterosexual men viewed the photos and rated each photograph on four different factors: attractiveness, masculinity, health, and possible parenting ability. Women found the best looking men were in the “heavy stubble” phase of the beard cycle.

Participants rated the clean-shaven men and full-bearded men about the same for health and attractiveness, but rated the bearded men higher for perceived parenting skills. Light stubble got the worst ratings, from both the men and women. The 5-day growth appeared patchy and that could have been perceived as unhealthy or not very masculine. What stage the women were in their menstrual cycles also affected how they rated the men.

What do you think? Do you like a man with some facial hair?

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