Bearded men are less attractive to women but command more respect from other men, according to a study.
Wellington anthropologist Barnaby Dixson found 200 New Zealand and Canadian women interviewed for his Victoria University thesis preferred men without facial hair.
Pictures of 19 men from New Zealand and Samoa were shown to the women as part of the study titled Behavioural Ecology.
The women thought facial hair made the men look older, more aggressive and less attractive.
They also said those with full beards were significantly more attractive when they were clean shaven.
Men interviewed for the study said the men looked older and angrier when bearded.
But both sexes said facial hair added “gravitas”, and men viewed bearded men as having a higher social status and commanding more respect.
The results suggested that beards sent a signal of masculinity to other men but do little to attract women, the Science Media Centre website reported.
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