Researchers from the University of Queensland have surveyed the sexual attractiveness of men with varying lengths of facial hair.
The research conducted on both straight women and gay men.
They photoshopped varying levels of facial hair – clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble and full beards – onto photos of male faces.
The study and found facial hair produced a stronger sexual response in participants than the clean-shaven stimuli.
However, among the women, length seemed important.
they preferred light stubble on men for a fling or one-night stand.
A full beard is judged less sexy but ranked far better for a long-term mate.
The study’s authors theorised was because on a primal level it “indicates a male’s ability to compete for resources,” the New York Times reported.
But the gay men the researchers surveyed reported an even stronger preference than the women for facial hair.
“Homosexual men preferred hairier stimuli than heterosexual women.”
Furthermore “supporting past findings that homosexual men have strong preferences for masculine traits,” the researchers wrote.
“Including homosexual individuals provides a unique opportunity to investigate whether evolved mating psychologies are specific to the sex of the individual or sex of the partner.”
Gay men indicated an attraction to partners with “self-similar degree of beardedness.”
The quantity of facial hair desired was thicker than their actual partner’s.
The study’s authors surveyed 1,577 men and women in the Czech Republic and Brazil.
The research was published in March in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.