People perceive bald men as “more intelligent, dominant, and overall sexier” than men who aren’t bald, according to a survey by Dr. Frank Muscarella, a clinical psychologist from Florida’s Barry University. (He is not bald, by the way.)
For his study, Muscarella and his research team asked participants to rate pictures of bald and hairy men on their perceived aggressiveness, physical attractiveness, social maturity (their honesty, emotional intelligence and social status) and diplomacy.
The results showed that most people perceived bald guys as being more diplomatic and socially mature but less aggressive and physically attractive. Muscarella said, “All of these ratings were consistent with the idea that baldness evolved to signal a form of non-threatening social dominance.”
He added that even though baldness gets perceived as less physically attractive, many people feel attracted to diplomacy and socially maturity, which may offset the perception of lower attractiveness. People might associate baldness with aging and experience, assuming that a bald man has seen and done more than his hairy headed peers.
By age 35, about half of all men experience some hair loss; by age 60, that number goes up to 65%. While there’s a common myth that testosterone causes male baldness, it’s actually determined moreso by a combination of genetics, age and stress.
Many guys fret over their hair loss as a sign of aging and impotence — hence the many tonics, cosmetic procedures, combovers and toupees meant to minimize baldness. But Muscarella’s study provides some reassurance that hair isn’t the end-all be-all to sexiness that guys might think.
In fact, he also has another unpublished study that shows that bald guys have just as many sexual partners as hairy headed guys. He theorizes that some sex partners might associate bald heads with young babies, and who doesn’t love touching a newborn’s soft, smooth pate?