Daily Fun Fact: Pubic Hair

Reading through my dash, I see so many people asking questions about what they should do with their pubic hair.  They are scared of what might happen if they let it grow and their partner sees it… or they want to know what “is the most attractive” way to maintain it.

A study published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine (2010, vol 7, pg 3322-3330) entitled Pubic Hair Removal among Women in the United States: Prevalence, Methods, and Characteristics discovered that pubic hair maintenance in women is actually more varied than the media wants you to believe.  

They begin by reviewing the history of pubic hair removal, showing that art from ancient Egypt, India, and classical Greece suggests that women frequently removed some/all of their pubic hair.  In Greece, hair was removed by plucking or singing it with a lamp.  The thought is that, much like today, groomed pubic hair was equated with sexual attractiveness.  Some women in Italian Renaissance art have no pubic hair, whereas in Northern Renaissance and Gothic artifacts show women with lots of pubic hair.  Though we do not know the exact reasons behind these hairless pieces of artwork (or haired ones, for that matter) we do know that pubic hair removal isn’t by any means a “new” phenomenon.

These authors surveyed 2,451 women in the United States aged 18-68 about their pubic-hair-removal practices.  This is what they found:

  • 38% of 18-24 year old women engaged in occasional total-hair removal, while 29.1% engaged in partial removal and 20.6% were typically hair-free over the last month.  This means that very few didn’t sculpt their pubic hair at all.
  • Women aged 25-49 most commonly engaged in partial hair removal, with fewer completely removing their pubic hair
  • The majority (51.7%) of women in the 50+ age range did not engage in any hair removal practices, while 37.1% of them did partially remove their pubic hair.

  • Women who were generally hair-free or who frequently removed all of their pubic hair were more likely to have looked closely at their genitals in the past month.

The current media image (especially in today’s porn) is that all sexually-desirable women shave their pubic hair, so that their partner doesn’t have to wade through a forest to find the goods.  However, this study shows that the hairiness categories do not differ too much among women in the real world.  Except for in the 50+ age category, there is no one mode of trimming that wins out against the others, showing that women are just as likely to shave completely as they are to only trim some of their pubic hair.  What this means: do not be afraid to do whatever makes you feel happy / attractive with your pubic hair!  You are not alone, no matter what you choose to do with it.

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