An article in ScienceDirect confirms what some of you have been saying all along—that women find men with heavy stubble most attractive, but judge bearded men as most likely to make good parents. Here's the salient quote:
Women judged faces with heavy stubble as most attractive and heavy beards, light stubble and clean-shaven faces as similarly less attractive...Masculinity ratings increased linearly as facial hair increased. [B]eardedness affects judgments of male socio-sexual attributes and suggest that an intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive while full-bearded men may be perceived as better fathers who could protect and invest in offspring.
There are many examples of heavy-stubbled heroes, but not as many of bearded heroes—do you have any favorite bearded heroes? Do you agree with this study?