Social psychology of beards

beard photo

The following was extracted from The Social Psychology of Facial Appearance (1988) by Ray Bull and Nichola Rumsey.

Little social psychological research has been conducted on this topic, and what there is seems rather basic. In 1969 Freedman reported that female students rated a bearded male face as more masculine, mature, independent, and sophisticated than a nonbearded face. Similarly, both Roll and Verinis (1971) and Kenny and Fletcher (1973) found students to rate a bearded face as more masculine, strong, and sincere, but also more dirty (versus clean). Pancer and Meindl (1978) found beardedness to lead to more positive ratings. However, Feinman and Gill (1977) found their female students to like least a man with a beard. They put this finding down to the possibility that their Wyoming students were more conservative than the Chicago, Midwestern, Memphis, and Canadian
students of the above four studies.