The effects of facial hair manipulation on female perceptions of attractiveness, masculinity, and dominance in male faces

Nick Neave, Kerry Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the effects of systematic alterations in male facial hair on female perceptions. A within-subjects design employed one condition (facial hair) incorporating five levels (clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, light beard and full beard). All levels were applied to three different facial designs, constructed using FACES software. The resulting 15 male faces were rated by 60 females on various attributes. Male faces displaying a full beard were considered the most masculine, aggressive, socially mature, and older. Males with a light beard were considered the most dominant. Males with light stubble were considered to be the most attractive, light stubble was also preferred for both short- and long-term relationships. These findings are discussed in terms of age preferences and good-genes models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-377
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume45
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

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