Well, we know why we grow beards – because they’re awesome. But according to Daily Mail, there are deeper reasons behind our affinity for facial hair.
According to the article, new findings from a study published by Nigel Barber found that “in times with a greater proportion of single men competing for fewer women, beards and mustaches became more fashionable.”
“While some studies have found that women like a bit or even a lot of facial hair on men, other studies have reported that they prefer the [completely]-shaven look. The lack of consistent evidence means we can’t conclude that beards evolved because women were attracted to them. Researchers have therefore suggested that a second type of sexual selection may hold the answer.”
So while some men and women are outwardly and admittedly attracted to beards, there are also subconscious and primal factors at work that are evaluating and making decisions about beards.
“To reproduce, it’s often not enough to simply be attractive – you also have to compete with the same sex for mating opportunities. The funny, shy guy at the back of the bar isn’t going to stand a chance when competing with his bolshier brothers otherwise. And there’s evidence that beards evolved to help men do just that.
A man’s ability to grow a fulsome beard isn’t actually neatly linked to his testosterone levels. Despite this, a number of studies have suggested that both men and women perceive men with beards as older, stronger and more aggressive than others. And dominant men can get more mating opportunities by intimidating rivals to stand aside.”
So there you have it – whether we realize it or not, our beards give us a little boost in confidence and make us feel more dominant. Isn’t science fun?