Most Helpful Girl
It makes them look rugged and more sexy for some. I like 5 o'clock shadows. Since I have a slight fascination with men's jaws (triangular and square ones are the BEST), I wouldn't like them to be completely hidden from view.
And some guys simply look better with a beard that's "growing in" than one that's simply grown.
Most Helpful Guy
Yes they do like them--if you maintain it well (if it is "stinking" then you are doing something disastrously wrong). It also depends upon your facial features. Some faces are much improved by facial hair, others not so much.
Facial hair is linked to healthy testosterone production--which should go without saying is appealing to women because of reproductive health.
Fad? It goes in and out in terms of fashion, but there are always women who like it and those who don't.
If clean shaven works for you, cool. Whatever works.