Researchers compared the attractiveness of men before and after shaving their chest, and found only 20 percent of women preferred the more hirsute version, the Daily Mail reported.
However, the team from Slovakia admit they are still baffled as to why so many women chose the hair free men.
The reason humans are not nearly as furry as our closest primate relatives has puzzled evolutionary biologists for more than a century.
One of the most prominent theories has been that, by choosing a hairless mate, women are actually trying to avoid the lice and other bugs that can live in a furry male.
However, in one of the biggest ever studies into women’s body hair preferences, the team found this so-called “ectoparasite avoidance hypothesis” was not the answer.
In fact, 80 percent of women prefer relatively hair-free men, according to new research.
This preference for smooth skin holds whether or not parasite risk is high.
“According to evolutionary view, hairless men should be preferred, particularly in areas (or cultures) with high parasite threat, which means close to the equator, where parasite richness is highest,” Pavol Prokop, a professor of biology at Trnava University in Slovakia, wrote in an email to LiveScience.
“We compared only two countries that differ in parasite threat, but we found no differences in women’s preferences,” he wrote.
The study is published online in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
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