First of all, let me say that I love men with beards. And this is a small study, not the be all / end of bacterial studies.

Now, with that being said, Live Science states that in the February issue of European Radiology a small study was done, and that 'the average man's beard is more replete with human-pathogenic bacteria than the dirtiest part of a dog's fur'. Oh Lord. The study was done on 18 men aged 18 - 76, and 30 dogs of various breeds. Skin and saliva samples were analyzed, and they make it very clear that results are not to beard shame any men out there.

You can read more about the study here from Live Science, but the original reason for the research was to see if it was safe for dogs and humans to use the same MRI scanners for routine health care. Some of it is way more technical than I can understand, for sure. And no, it's not a conspiracy against men.