Frankly speaking, I have no problem telling a man exactly how I feel about his beard—long, short, ginger, I don't care—if it looks awful on you, you're going to hear it from me! Buuuttttt I do realize that that's not the case with all women (fortunately or unfortunately, I'm not sure). That's where science comes into the picture!
According to The New York Times researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia decided to explore male facial hair to determine what role, if any, beards play in sexual attractiveness, masculinity and short- and long-term relationships. Sounds like a pretty interesting study, no? Let's see if we can get to the bottom of this hairy situation once and for all!
So, how was this thang broken down?—"The team gathered data from 8,520 women, who were divided among three groups. Each group of women was shown pictures of men with varying degrees of facial hair. The images, which had been manipulated by the research team to show the same men more or less bearded, showed the men with clean shaven faces, light stubble (five days of growth) heavy stubble (10 days of growth) and a thick beard representing about one month of growth."
The next step was to split the women into three individual groups—
Group 1 rated the men's overall attractiveness without a beard and with a beard
Group 2 also rated the image but only dealing with short-term attractiveness (meaning one night stand, nothing long term)
Group 3 rated the men based on their potential to be a good long-term boyfriend or even husband.
Yes, I know this sounds crazy...but a beard is something that a woman looks at when finding a life-long mate. What can I say? We're really, really thorough creatures.
The answers were published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology and varied depending upon the personal interests of the female participant.
The results were as followed—
Sexiest Facial Hair: Heavy stubble followed by short stubble.
One Night Stand Material: Light stubble followed by heavier stubbly (scruffy).
Long Term Partner/Marriage Material: The more facial hair the better!!
To read the full study, head HERE