Women More Attracted to Men With Stubble
Researchers have found that women prefer men with short facial stubble over men with clean-shaven faces or full beards. 76 British women aged 18-44 rated the pictures of 15 men's faces, which varied in degrees of hairiness.
The five levels of facial hair were clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, light beard and full beard. The women then rated the faces on scales of perceived masculinity, aggression, domincance, attractiveness, age, social standing, and whether they would be interested in a long or short term relationship with each man.
The pictures were shown to 76 women who were asked to rate them for masculinity, aggression, dominance, attractiveness, age, and social maturity. They were also asked how desirable each man would be as a short-term or long-term partner. Faces with full beards were judged to be the most masculine, aggressive and socially mature. They were also thought to look five years older.
They were rated the least attractive and the worst choice for a short-term relationship. Men with light beards were considered the most dominant. Those with light stubble were rated the most attractive and as the ideal romantic partner for the short or long term. Clean-shaven men finished bottom for masculinity, dominance, aggression, and social maturity, and they were the least favoured choice as a long-term partner. They came second-to-last for attractiveness.
Their findings are what you might expect: clean-shaven faces appear less aggressive, while fully bearded faces appear most aggressive. These two extremes are the least favoured levels of male facial hair among women.
Because there are cultural differences when it comes to facial hair preference, the researchers are interested in extending this study to other countries to compare results.
As a Canadian female, I can help the researchers out by letting them know that most women I know, including myself, prefer the 5 o'clock shadow on a man.