Magazine article Psychology Today

Welcome to Beard City

Magazine article Psychology Today

Welcome to Beard City

Article excerpt

A MAN MIGHT choose to shave or grow out his beard to assert maturity, obey cultural rules, or defer to a partner's wishes. But with a recent paper in Evolution and Human Behavior, anthropologist Bamaby Dixson and colleagues argue there might be additional, more primal factors involved in these grooming choices.

To explore them, the researchers first measured the preferences of women from around the world for clean-shaven or bearded faces, then gauged the prevalence of facial hair in samples of male Facebook users in 37 countries. Demographic measures were also analyzed.

On average, women in lower-income countries preferred beards more stronglyand where women's preference for beards was greater, more men sported them. Why might the appeal of beards be more pronounced in less prosperous places? …

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