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Men, looking for a new partner? Grow a beard, this study says

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Facial hair could be key to attracting a long-term mate, according to research by the University of Queensland.

The data was gathered from 8,250 women, who were divided into three groups. Each was shown pictures of men with different degrees of facial hair – clean shaven, light stubble (five days of growth) heavy stubble (10 days of growth) and a thick beard (about a month of growth).

They were then asked to rate the men for their sexual attractiveness – the first group just based on the faces; the second on the photos and whether they’d consider them for a fling; and the third on their marriage prospects.

Scruffy is sexy

Study co-author Dr Barnaby Dixson
Study co-author Dr Barnaby Dixson

The results? That depended on what the women were looking for – the sexiest men were those with heavy stubble, followed by short stubble. Full beards were lowest on the scale of attractiveness.

For a one-night stand, men with light stubble won the day, followed by those with heavy stubble. For long-term commitment however, men with heavy stubble and full beards came out on top.

Study co-author Barnaby Dixson, who himself sports a full beard, says the time and effort it takes for a man to grow out their facial hair could be interpreted as a sign that they are ready to settle down.

So the message for men? Ditch the razor and the ‘benefits’ will flow!

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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