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IgNobel Winner which claims Organic Beards protect against punches stereotypes beard wearers

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2021 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

13th September

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

IgNobel Winner which claims Organic Beards protect against punches stereotypes beard wearers

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that a study, which has won a 2021 IgNobel, by researchers at the University of Utah stereotypes the hirsute.

The study argues ‘that hair is indeed capable of significantly reducing the force of impact from a blunt strike and absorbing energy, thereby reducing the incidence of failure. If the same is true for human facial hair, then having a full beard may help protect vulnerable regions of the facial skeleton from damaging strikes, such as the jaw. Presumably, full beards also reduce injury, laceration, and contusion, to the skin and muscle of the face’

The researchers did not test their theory by whacking men with full beards in the face, prudently for them. Rather they constructed a model using sheep wool to test their thesis. A link to the full results is below.

They suggest that ‘men with full beards are reportedly perceived as being more masculine, socially dominant, and behaviourally aggressive in comparison to clean-shaven men’

The campaigners say that perception is not proof however. While the research findings cite Darwin, himself the wearer of a full beard in his later years, he regarded beards as an ‘ornament’ serving no practical use in modern society.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, while the study is interesting it does stereotype men with organic beards as masculine types not averse to the occasional punch-up. In reality not just biological but also cultural and social factors at a play. Men with organic beards are just as likely to be pacifists as pugilists.

Impact Protection Potential of Mammalian Hair: Testing the Pugilism Hypothesis for the Evolution of Human Facial Hair

E A Beseris, S E Naleway, D R Carrier

Integrative Organismal Biology, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2020

https://academic.oup.com/iob/article/2/1/obaa005/5799080

One Response to “IgNobel Winner which claims Organic Beards protect against punches stereotypes beard wearers”

  1. […] This study has attracted a number of silly headlines such as “Big manly beards evolved so we could take punches to the head, study says” and a rebuke from the Beard Liberation Front. […]

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