and why don’t we eat Granny and such,
In their 1997 book The Handicap Principle, Israeli physiologist Avishag Zahavi and her evolutionary biologist husband Amotz proposed that beards are a costly signal of male competitive ability, since they can easily be grabbed by rivals during fights. According to this theory, a man with a full beard is advertising his confidence in his own fitness: He thinks he can beat his competitors even with the “handicap” of the beard.
Following a similar line of reasoning, biologists William Hamilton and Marlene Zuk suggested in a 1982 paper in Science that bearded men are advertising their healthy immune systems: Beards, like other body hair, are a known breeding ground for parasites. Recently, they’ve been shown to host bed bugs and sand fleas. … More.
Etc. Not liking to shave is not a reason mentioned; after all, that wouldn’t be “science,” would it?
One thing you can count on evo psych for is always following the pop culture trends. There’s been quite the spate blowing through recently about how beards are imperialistic, misogynist, sexist, and … among other things, perfect for evo psych theorizing.
So this article just begged to be written. Hey, it has merit; its authors don’t take themselves or their subject as seriously as most. And Valentines is upon us again.
Now back to work.
Note: “Why do gentlemen prefer blondes?” was a Sokal-type hoax on evo psych,—the hoax got taken seriously of course, because what’s to choose between the hoax and the apparently seriously meant field?
Follow UD News at Twitter!