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New Research Shows Beliefs on Male Sexiness Worldwide

Posted: December 8, 2008

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The study also asked women whether they preferred the look of clean-shaven men and the same number of women as men agreed (79%). Again, the highest results were South Africa (92%), Spain (87%) and China (86%). Women who are more open to facial hair are from Canada (30%), Australia and the United States (both 26%).

Michaels said, "It's no coincidence that all three of these countries have a pioneering history and a love of the outdoors. But there's also the celebrity factor—while most American women still seem to prefer the clean-shaven look, celebrities like Brad Pitt and George Clooney have made the 'five o'clock shadow' synonymous with sexy. Women are conceding that they don't mind a little stubble on a man's face—it's considered rugged and masculine."

American men are already using some products in droves. A whopping 78% of men say they use mouthwash (second behind deodorant at 95%), 66% use cologne or aftershave and 39% use hair spray, gel or mousse. It’s all part of their main motivation to look good for themselves (67%) as well as their partners (37%).

It seems there’s no particularly negative stereotype in the United States for men to use some types of beauty products, with 44% of Americans saying that men who use these products are actually more confident. Only 16% of respondents said that men who use beauty products aren’t as masculine as those who don’t.

Michaels said the survey uncovered some fun facts, but there is a serious side to male beauty too, offering the thought that a male beauty standard simply does not exist. "Men never—or very rarely—talk about male beauty, making it an almost-taboo subject among our gender. Men don't comment on each other's appearance. They wouldn't dream of dissecting male celebrities' or athlete's looks. And men don't discuss beauty routines or products. In the end, men just want to be men. What that actually means changes from culture to culture, but the drive to be masculine is near universal,” Michaels said.