Mustache Fashion Covaries with a Good Marriage Market for Women

Mustache Fashion Covaries with a Good Marriage Market for Women It was predicted that men would emphasize sexually-selected traits, including mustaches, beards, and sideburns, when they have difficulty obtaining spouses. Using annual data on British beard fashions extending from 1842–1971, it was found that mustaches, and facial hair in general, are more frequent when there is a good supply of single men of marriageable age. Facial hair fashions, particularly mustaches and beards, were reduced when illegitimacy ratios were high. Regression analyses showed that the relationship between mustache fashion and the marriage market and illegitimacy, respectively, is independent of linear time trend. Results suggest that facial hair is worn to enhance a man's marriage prospects by increasing physical attractiveness and perception of social status. Men shave their mustaches, possibly to convey an impression of trustworthiness, when the marriage market is weak and women might fear sexual exploitation and desertion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Nonverbal Behavior Springer Journals

Mustache Fashion Covaries with a Good Marriage Market for Women

Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, Volume 25 (4) – Oct 8, 2004

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by Human Sciences Press, Inc.
Subject
Psychology; Personality and Social Psychology; Sociology, general; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0191-5886
eISSN
1573-3653
DOI
10.1023/A:1012515505895
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It was predicted that men would emphasize sexually-selected traits, including mustaches, beards, and sideburns, when they have difficulty obtaining spouses. Using annual data on British beard fashions extending from 1842–1971, it was found that mustaches, and facial hair in general, are more frequent when there is a good supply of single men of marriageable age. Facial hair fashions, particularly mustaches and beards, were reduced when illegitimacy ratios were high. Regression analyses showed that the relationship between mustache fashion and the marriage market and illegitimacy, respectively, is independent of linear time trend. Results suggest that facial hair is worn to enhance a man's marriage prospects by increasing physical attractiveness and perception of social status. Men shave their mustaches, possibly to convey an impression of trustworthiness, when the marriage market is weak and women might fear sexual exploitation and desertion.

Journal

Journal of Nonverbal BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 8, 2004

References

  • The slender ideal and eating disorders: An interdisciplinary "telescope" model
    Barber, N.
  • Secular changes in standards of bodily attractiveness in women: Tests of a reproductive model
    Barber, N.
  • Women's dress fashions as a function of reproductive strategy
    Barber, N.

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