- Why the facial hair, gents?
- A study performed by the University of Western Australia reveals that men tend to sport facial hair when they feel they are under threat from other men!
- The study was carried out on 154 species of primates, where it was found that ‘badges’ (such as facial hair) were most common in large groups with more pressure to compete for rank, dominance and attractiveness.
- Dr Cyril Grueter, lead author of the study and associate professor of biological anthropology at the University of Western Australia, says that the same may apply to humans who live in large societies.
- Unlike small groups where individuals have frequent interactions withe each other and more time to demonstrate status and strength, large groups require a quick and reliable tool to evaluate someone’s strength & quality – such as facial hair!
- Dr Grueter argues that the study accounts for the surge in mustaches and beards among British men between 1842 and 1971 where there was a surge of males in the marriage pool.
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