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Boston Red Sox baseball player David Ortiz is shaved for One Fund Boston, the Boston Marathon charity for bombing victims, during a shave-off in Boston, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. The Red Sox players' beards became a symbol of their solidarity as they went from worst in the AL East last year to first this year by winning the team's third World Series title in a decade. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Orem cops to get healthier, more attractive as they grow beards this month?

The Orem Department of Public Safety announced Friday that it was letting deputies grow beards as part of a Sub for Santa fundraiser.

But if science is to be trusted, Orem cops might want to make that policy permanent; according to a study, men with facial hair are healthier and more attractive.

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Elite Daily reported earlier this week on a study on men’s facial hair, which was published this year in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. The study found that people see men with facial hair as more attractive, while a second study discovered beards block up to 95 percent of UV rays.

Police in Orem also aren’t the only ones growing facial hair for a good cause; Cache County sheriff’s deputies grew out beards in October as part of a fundraiser to fight domestic violence.

Beards in Utah can be something of a cultural taboo among some in the Mormon faith, and I myself spent many years chaffing (literally!) under BYU’s iron-fisted anti-beard despot-ery.

But science now teaches us that we need to take a second look at these rules — from police policies to cultural norms. Apparently, it’s a matter of public health.

— Jim Dalrymple II

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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