Ancient Egyptians associated beards with mourning and found them unattractive and yet nations in the east looked highly upon a gentleman who had a beard. So much so that punishment for adultery was to have the beard of the perpetrator cut off in public. In Roman times it was customary to consecrate the first growth of beard to a god. During mourning the Roman's would let their beard and hair grow. The Greeks on the other hand would shave off a beard on such occasions.
Today in some sports such as boxing, it is illegal for participants to have beards for safety reasons. Most of the armed forces prohibit beards due to hygiene. In some rare cases female hormonal imbalance called hirsutism has meant that a few women have had enough facial hair to warrant a beard. This was considered an amusing entertainment act at circus sideshows during the 19th and early 20th century, but today most women have facial hair removed.