Two contrasting studies have people wondering: are bearded men generally more sexist than those who are clean shaven? In some cultures, having facial hair is a signaler of masculinity and general attractiveness, but in many of these cultures, masculinity is also associated with sexism, so researchers theorized that men with beards could be more misogynistic than those without.
In order to test this hypothesis, they had over 500 men from the U.S. and India complete an online survey where they reported on their views toward women and the type of facial hair they had. Two types of sexist attitudes were assessed. Hostile sexism is the one most people recognize as sexism: derogatory and antagonistic views of women as lesser humans than men or angry, ungrateful b*tches who try to control men through feminist ideology or sexual seduction. Benevolent sexism, on the other hand, is more covert: It’s a chivalrous attitude that views women as special and delicate flowers that need to be held on a pedestal. Benevolent sexism can often appear and feel positive but is actually sexist because it casts women as weak creatures in need of men’s protection.
The study didn’t necessarily confirm this hypothesis, however there were higher rates of hostile sexism in men with beards. Based on these results, it could be said that there is a casual link between the two, but the correlation is not strong enough to prove a concrete relationship.
To read the full article, check out my column on Forbes.
If you like my work in popularizing accurate sex research, consider becoming a monthly supporter on Patreon for as little as $2 a month!