Darwinian selection and your beard


Beard styles and trends may be directly linked to Darwinian selection according to a new survey conducted in Sydney Australia. An evolutionary principle which gives “an advantage to rare traits” has been proven to be linked to beard growth. Simply put, the more beards there are, the less attractive they become and right now, men are sporting a lot of beards.

The research was conducted at the University of New South Wales and comprised 1453 women and 213 men. The volunteers were split into three groups:

  1. Shown Mostly Full Beards
  2. Shown Mostly clean shaven faces
  3. Shown an even mixture of varieties from clean shaven to full beard.
Darwin in 1969

The research concluded that when the volunteers were shown mostly full beards, and then shown a clean shaven face, it was the clean shaven face that was deemed more attractive. The reverse is true when shown mostly clean shaven faces, the volunteers found the beards more attractive.

The reason for the undoubted beard explosion we are currently experiencing, is the financial crisis of 2008 according to Professor Brooke, one of the study’s authors.

Young Men are currently notching up the masculinity to full beard levels in order to compete to attract partners when work is in short supply. In real life though, we individually choose to mate with individuals, not averages.