Self

Why Men With Beards Are Sexist

Photo: NDAB Creativity / Shutterstock
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Beards are big right now. Not only are they on every hipster within a ten-block radius, but the beards themselves are gigantic. When a man is sporting a big bushy beard, he seems to exude confidence, masculinity, and strength.

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Bearded men have been known for being bada**es throughout history. Another personality trait they possess is intelligence and religious commitment, like the Hasidic and the Amish (though only adult males are allowed to have them).

We all make certain assumptions about men with beards as if having a fountain of facial hair flowing freely from off your face was an indicator of character.

Apparently. men with beards are sexist, a study says.

A 2015 study found evidence to suggest that sexist men choose to grow facial hair because it maximizes the differences between men and women, and adds to the wearer's perceived masculinity and dominance.

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The study, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, stated the intent behind the findings: "Facial hair, like many masculine secondary sexual traits, plays a significant role in perceptions of an array of sociosexual traits in men. 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?"

I'm not a man, but isn't shaving kind of a pain in the a**? Isn't it actually easier to just let your hair grow as it pleases?

The study had its participants (men from India and the USA) answer an online survey that covered topics of both facial hair and the perception of women.

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The survey included prompts such as "Women are too easily offended" and "Once a woman gets a man to commit to her, she usually tries to put on a tight leash," to measure what the researchers call hostile sexism. It also included items to gauge white knight sexism (that women should be treasured and protected by men).

The results of the study found that men with facial hair scored higher on the hostile sexism scale than men who are clean-shaven; hostile sexism was a significant predictor of facial hair status, and facial hair was more frequent among ambivalent and hostile sexists than benevolent sexists and non-sexists.

I don't think there are any more ways to say that a lot of bearded men are sexists. Not all, obviously, but a significant number. The study also didn't say if man buns neutralized sexism, so...

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Bustle, Medium, and Woman's Day.

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