While it still remains a controversial topic for most of us, researchers have conducted a study explain why women are mostly attracted to men with beards.
The study, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology suggests that women tend to find beards attractive
It says women associate beards with benefits such as enhanced fertility and survival and are thus more inclined to build long-term relationships with bearded men.
The study also points out that females consider bearded men as being awesome.
Investigators used computer graphic manipulation to morph male faces in varying facials from clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, and full beards.
They also manipulated the brow ridge, cheekbones, jawline and other features so that the same man appeared more or less masculine.
When women viewed the images, they found the feminine faces less attractive than unmanipulated faces when all were clean-shaven.
Overall, the face with a small beard (stubble) was judged as most attractive and received higher ratings for short-term relationships compared to full beards which were more most preferred by women seeking long-term relationships.
Extremely masculine and extremely feminine-looking males were least attractive, irrespective of relationship context.
“Sexual selection via female choice has shaped the evolution of male ornamentation in many species,” the authors of the study said.