Stereotypes 101, Part I: Women Prefer Men with Heavy Stubble

If you’re debating whether to grow out that beard (or shave it off, if you have one), put the razor down and back away slowly. women prefer men with heavy stubbleA new study has just confirmed that women prefer men with about 10 days worth of stubble over those with light stubble, a clean-shaven face, or a full beard.

J. Dixson and Rob C. Brooks of Australia’s University of New South Wales, asked 350 women and 177 heterosexual men to rate photos of ten men on attractiveness, health, masculinity, and parenting ability. Some of the men in the pics were either clean-shaven, full bearded, or had either light or heavy stubble. The women rated the men with 10-day stubble as the most attractive. Clean-shaven and full-bearded guys tied for second on the attractiveness scale, and light stubble came in last. Men’s rankings were a bit different, with full beards and heavy stubble seen as most attractive, followed by clean-shaven. Light stubble came in last again.

Both men and women ranked full beards highest in the parenting ability and healthiness categories. And the longer the facial hair, the higher the masculinity rating. Interestingly, women who were in the fertile phase of their cycle found bearded guys really masculine. But their cycle didn’t seem to affect women’s ratings of attractiveness. According the researchers, “full-bearded men may be perceived as better fathers who could protect and invest in offspring.” The study appears in the May issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. You can read an abstract here.

Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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