Santa Claus is (un)attractive

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As the New Year begins Santa Claus’s stressful main season ends. Meanwhile most people kick off the year 2014 with good intentions and impetus, Santa Claus can put up his feet and care about other things than work. Maybe he is in the mood for a flirt or a more serious relationship. But what chances with women have men wearing a quite eye-catching beards these days?

A recent study allows for some conjectures.  Dixson and Brooks (2013) examined the effects of different kinds of facial hair. They showed 351 women photographs of men who were clean-shaven, lightly or heavily stubbled or fully bearded.

Masculinity ratings increased linearly as facial hair increased. Women judged faces with heavy stubble as most attractive. Nevertheless, with regard to ratings of health and parental abilities full beards appeared top of the list.

Thus, Santa Claus seems to have considerably  good chances with women. He could even force up his prospects by   paring his beard back. It will grow until next Christmas anyway. In this sense it might be time to rethink old habits after all.

Dixson, B. J. & Brooks, R. C. (2013). The role of facial hair in women’s perception of men’s attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities. Evolution and Human Behavior, 34, 236-241.

  | Authored by Ruth Lassalle