Beards and Baldness

I haven’t seen my chin in 40 years (this year is the anniversary of the beard). I always thought that the reason I grew the facial hair was because I hated shaving. I mean it was fun for the first few times when I was 16, but by the time I turned 18, it was twice a day every day.

That got old real quick

Over the years, I have trimmed the edges and worn it sometimes longer and sometimes shorter, but never since has a razor touched my cheeks or my chin. It turns out I was wrong about why I avoid shaving. Apparently, the reason for the beard is because I am a hostile sexist with overt masculinity and dominance.

The Association Between Men’s Sexist Attitudes and Facial Hair.
Oldmeadow JA1, Dixson BJ2,3.
Arch Sex Behav. 2015 Oct 28. [Epub ahead of print]


Facial hair, like many masculine secondary sexual traits, plays a significant role in perceptions of an array of sociosexual traits in men. While there is consensus that beards enhance perceptions of masculinity, age, social dominance, and aggressiveness, the perceived attractiveness of facial hair varies greatly across women. Given the ease with which facial hair can be groomed and removed entirely, why should some men retain beards and others choose to remove them? We hypothesized that men with relatively sexist attitudes would be more likely to allow their facial hair to grow than men with less sexist attitudes. Men from the USA (n = 223) and India (n = 309) completed an online survey measuring demographic variables, ambivalent sexism, and facial hair status. After controlling for demographic variables, men with facial hair were significantly higher in hostile sexism than clean-shaven men; hostile sexism was a significant predictor of facial hair status over and above demographic variables; and facial hair was more frequent among ambivalent and hostile sexists than among benevolent and non-sexists. It is suggested that sexist men choose to grow facial hair because it maximizes sexual dimorphism and augments perceived masculinity and dominance.

On the hand, I was noticeably losing hair by the time I turned 21, and the results of male pattern baldness differ greatly from the growth of facial hair.

The evolutionary significance and social perception of male pattern baldness and facial hair
Frank Muscarella, Michael R. Cunningham. Ethology and Sociobiology
Volume 17, Issue 2, 1996, Pages 99–117

Consistent with the model, a decrease in the amount of cranial hair was associated with increased perceptions of social maturity, appeasement, and age, and decreased perceptions of attractiveness and aggressiveness. Targets with facial hair were perceived as more aggressive, less appeasing, less attractive, older, and lower on social maturity than clean shaven faces.

So there it is, I am beardly aggressive and baldly non-aggressive, with increased cranial and decreased facial social maturity.

No wonder I’m so fucked up.

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