Why Men Grow BEARDS!

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Ahoy, Mateys!

Us bearded dudes seem to be everywhere these days! Ye walk down any street in any city in any part of the world and what do ye see? Beards and beards galore. From three-day stubble to Santa Claus full, from handlebar mustache to refined goatee, we are everywhere. And, mateys, as someone who has lived through the beard-less 80s (yeah, I’m that old) it makes my pirate heart sing. There were times in the history of the beard when you, a bearded swashbuckler, felt like an outcast. But those days are over and gone. Can I get a hurray?

Let’s look at why men grow beards. In a previous blog post, the Cap’n already cited the many studies that have shown that the pretty pirate lasses like ye better if ye have facial hair. One would think a pirate wouldn’t need any more reasons than that to grow a beard. But, as it turns out, growing facial hair has other causes as well. Namely, competition. After all, ye have to compete with other swashbucklers for the affection of the aforementioned pretty lasses. Mateys with beards are perceived to be bolder, stronger, and more dominant than their clean-shaven counterparts. Evolutionary speaking, that makes it more likely for more boyish (speak beardless) lads to step aside and cede the field to their bearded brethren. And that isn’t only true when we look at ancient times, but also in modern history. (If ye prefer yer info in a long, scientific article on the subject of beards and mating success instead of the Cap’n’s more folksy way of describing things, ye can go here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090513813000615)

It all comes down to this: bearded men are seen as more dominant. Dominance gives you an edge when it comes to mating opportunities. Did ye know that about 8% of the population in Asia is a descendant of Genghis Khan’s? The bearded warlord who conquered most of Asia definitely made good use of his facial hair.

Men seem to be – maybe only subconsciously so – aware of the fact that beards increase their mating chances. Beard historians have noticed that during times when a greater proportion of single men competed for fewer available women, suddenly facial hair sprouted wherever ye were lookin’.

Did ye know that beards also signal confidence? In battle they can be a handicap, ‘cause the enemy can simply grab yer facial hair. But you, bearded pirate, don’t care. And that is because yer confident in yer prowess, physical fitness, and ability to fight. Ye can grow what for other men may be perceived as a handicap in battle without giving it a second thought. Hence, yer a confident pirate.

The other trait yer advertising with yer facial hair is yer health. Only healthy lads can grow healthy beards. Yer showing yer intended that you are a good choice for mating purposes.

Moreover, scientists have done several studies about the perception of social status and it turns out that lads as well as lassies think a bearded mate has higher social status than his clean-shaven counterpart.

And in case ye are currently looking for a job and aren’t sure if ye should shave for that occasion, here is a study ye might be interested in: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/sbp/sbp/1990/00000018/00000001/art00019
The researchers showed sketches of bearded and beard-less job applicants to senior managers in positions to make hiring decisions. Results indicated consistently more positive perceptions of social/physical attractiveness, personality, competency, and composure for men with facial hair.

Now, lads, if ye don’t have a beard yet, what are ye waiting for?

Or, as we say here at Blackbeard for Men: Get Your Beard On!

Cheers,
The Cap’n

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