Excellent news for men who choose to shave their heads – a study by a social psychologist has found that you’re more confident and dominant.
Admittedly the study, Shorn Scalps and Perceptions of Male Dominance by Albert E. Mannes does come at the compliment from a rather acute angle.
He opens the study with this brutal attack on bald men:
Across time and cultures, a thick mane has been associated with strength, youth, and virility, and its absence with weakness, age, and impotence.
Ouch, chill out Albert.
On a side note, I tracked down Albert on LinkedIn and while he’s wisely removed his profile picture, however, a Google cache search pulled up his former profile picture and he is indeed bald.
He follows up his savage opener by doubling down on the insults aimed at his bald brethren:
Ethnographic research has equated a shorn head with ‘symbolic castration,’ restrained sexuality, and subjugation
But apparently, it is these very negative historical associations that have themselves made baldness into a symbol of power and dominance.
By electing to shave your head and rejecting the historical ‘norm’ men can, ‘paradoxically signal their dominance by willingly shaving their heads.’
The study explains, bizarrely using examples of gazelles bouncing near lions, that because it is ‘costly’ to shave your head:
only those men who are most confident in their all-around fitness can reliably choose to shave their heads.
So basically men who choose to shave their heads are confident enough in their masculinity to overcome historical bias and any possible negativity from their baldness.
Confidence is also a very attractive trait to women, so bald men are signalling that too.
I’d shave my head too, but I’m not I’m confident enough to overcome western prejudices against men with weirdly lumpy heads.