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A study has discovered that women are more attracted to men who have beards.

The research showed that this was the case because beards made men seem more physically and socially dominant.

However, they were not seen as a sign of cleanliness and so those women who did not like hairy faces may have been turned off by the fear that they may contain fleas or lice – which may have an evolutionary root.

Those same women, who preferred a shaven face, were found to be the most afraid of parasites such as pests, like ticks, or pubic lice.

The study was conducted on almost 1,000 American woman who were quizzed about their attitudes towards facial hair in partners.

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia showed 919 women, who were aged between 18 and 70, 30 images of three different men.

The men’s faces had been photographed with a full beard, without a beard and after being photoshopped to appear either more masculine or more feminine.

The features which most clearly indicated a masculine face were a protruding brow ridge, a thick jawline, deeply set but narrow eyes and widened cheek bones.

When the participants were shown the images they had to rate their attractiveness for both a long-term relationship and a short-term relationship on a scale from zero to 100.

A study has discovered that women are more attracted to men who have beards

In the results, it seemed that the hairier the face the more attractive the photo was rated.

Men with a more masculine, bearded face were rated the most attractive by the women for both relationship lengths.

In almost all scenarios the more facially masculine photos were rated as more attractive than the feminised photos.

The research team, led by PhD student Tessa Clarkson, recommended several reasons why this could be.

Firstly, masculine faces signal a physically stronger and more socially dominant male.

Secondly, facial hair emphasises masculine traits like a large jaw while also hiding unattractive parts of the face.

But, women who showed fear over hair or skin based parasites did not like those men with beards.

The features which indicated a masculine face were a protruding brow ridge, a thick jawline, deeply set but narrow eyes and widened cheek bones

During the study, women were shown images of parasites – such as ticks and lice – and asked to rate how much they feared, avoided or disliked them.

The reason behind the lower ratings for bearded men could be that these women thing that beards are a sign of poor grooming habits.

Women also rated their “disgust of pathogens” which showed how they felt about stepping in dog poo, mould left on food and body odour.

The women also rated their “disgust of immoral behaviour” which included cheating in exams, infidelity and shoplifting as well as their “disgust of sex” including oral and anal sex and hearing strangers doing the deed.

Women who rated higher their “disgust of pathogens” were likely to prefer beards – this could mean that they are seen as a sign of good health.

While those who were most grossed out by “immoral behaviour” were also more likely to prefer a bearded man likely because they hold more traditional relationship values and see full beards as an indication that they will fulfil the “male role”.



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