ArticleLiterature Review

Pubic Hair and Sexuality: A Review

Authors:
  • Raigmore
  • Queen Elizabeth University Hopspital, Glasgow
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Abstract

Hair is a distinguishing feature of mammals, though the persistence of visible head, axillary, and pubic hair remains anthropologically unclear. Humans throughout the ages have modified their head and body hair, but aesthetic removal of pubic hair has become the "the ultimate barometer of how fashionable you really are" in the 21st century. The aim of the article is to examine the trends in pubic hair removal and its impact on health and sexuality. A literature search was performed, with a further search performed using an Internet-based search engine. For discussion, the results have been classified into the topics of "Development and anthropology","Cultural and artistic significance", "Medical implications", "Psychological and sexual significance and popular culture", "Impact of body hair loss on sexuality" and "Style and terminology." Pubic hair removal has been common since the ancient times. Pubic hair was rarely depicted in artistic representations of the nude until the late 19th century. It is postulated that the current trend of pubic hair removal may be related to the increased accessibility of Internet-based pornography. Anecdotally, pubic hair removal may carry benefits regarding increased sexual sensation and satisfaction though there is no quantative research in this field. There is a recognized morbidity to pubic hair removal, and also a lack of standardization of terms for styles adopted. We propose a definitive grading system for male and female body hair based on the widely used Tumor Node Metastasis staging system. Pubic hair removal appears to be an important aspect of expressing one's sexuality and participation in sexual activity. This practice has an interesting psychosexual basis which, to date, has not yet been fully explored in sexual medicine.

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... By 1895, Danlos was serving as "chef de service," or department head, at the Hôpital Tenon in Paris. 1 Danlos is best known for his contributions defining the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). In 1901, a Danish dermatologist by the name of Edward Ehlers presented a case to the Paris Society of Dermatology and Syphilology on a patient with hyperextensible skin and joint laxity. 2 Seven years later, Danlos presented a patient to the same society who was previously diagnosed as having juvenile pseudodiabetic xanthomata. ...
... 3 Although Ehlers and Danlos are officially given credit for defining this syndrome, historical records show that the earliest reports of EDS were published in 1657 by a Dutch surgeon. 1,2 Danlos' contributions went beyond the description of EDS as he was a prolific researcher and provided important insights in dermatology, radiology, and medicine. After borrowing a source of radium from Pierre Curie, Danlos was one of the first physicians to investigate the use of radium and x-rays in treating various dermatological conditions, including tuberculosis skin lesions and the cutaneous features of systemic lupus erythematosus. ...
... Danlos performed much of this research between 1895 and 1912, receiving recognition for his work in 1904 when he was elected president of the Paris Medical Society. 1 Despite his numerous medical achievements, Danlos was known to be pessimistic and withdrawn from others. This has been attributed to a prolonged illness that he experienced during his childhood years. ...
Article
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Born in 1844, Henri-Alexandre Danlos was a French dermatologist who resided in Paris for his entire life. His father urged him to work for the family business on finishing his education, but Danlos decided to pursue a career in medicine without his parents’ approval. His rebellious attitude and drive served him well; in 1869, Danlos graduated with distinction in medicine and later presented his doctoral thesis entitled, “The Relationship Between Menstruation and Skin Disease.” By 1895, Danlos was serving as “chef de service,” or department head, at the Hôpital Tenon in Paris.
... Pubic hair removal is not inconsequential: it carries some potential health risks (Dendle, Mulvey, Pyrlis, Grayson, & Johnson, 2007;Gibson, 2011;Porche, 2007;Ramsey, Sweeney, Fraser, & Oades, 2009;Riddell et al., 2010;Trager, 2006), with evidence of increased numbers of (mostly minor) genital injuries correlating with an increase in the practice (Glass et al., 2012). ...
... Similarly, media reportedly promote the "Brazilian" wax as a way to make women feel cleaner (Peixoto Labre, 2002). Because the capture of pheromone scent is a suggested function of pubic hair (Ramsey et al., 2009), it might be expected to smell and thus be perceived as unclean. ...
... Although such views were nuanced, their existence suggests the idea that "pubic hair can interfere with sex" is a common story about it-and something likely to increase hair removal practices. Other research has demonstrated sexuality as a reason for pubic hair removal by both men and women (DeMaria & Berenson, 2013;Martins et al., 2008a;Tiggemann & Hodgson, 2008;Weigle, 2009), but empirical evidence does not yet exist to confirm-or contradict-claims around actual sensitivity and sexuality (Ramsey et al., 2009). ...
Article
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Women’s and men’s bodies and sexuality can be understood as socially situated and socially produced. This means they are affected by, and developed in relation to, patterned sociocultural meanings and representations. We aim here to understand a recently emergent, and potentially gendered, body practice—pubic hair removal—by examining the meanings people ascribe to pubic hair and its removal. Extending the widespread hairless bodily norm for Anglo/Western women, pubic hair removal is an apparently rapidly growing phenomenon. Men, too, are seemingly practicing pubic hair removal in significant numbers, raising the question of to what extent pubic hair removal should be understood as a gendered phenomenon. What we do not yet know is what people’s understandings and perceptions of pubic hair are, and how they make sense of its removal. Using a qualitative survey, the current study asked a series of questions about pubic hair and its removal, both in general and related to men’s and women’s bodies. In total, 67 participants (100% response rate; 50 female; mean age 29, diverse ethnically, predominantly heterosexual) completed the survey. Thematic analysis identified five key themes in the way people made sense of pubic hair and pubic hair removal that related to choice, privacy, physical attractiveness, sexual impacts, and cleanliness. Meanings around pubic hair and its removal were not consistently gendered, but it was still situated as more of an issue for women. With potential impacts on sexual and psychological well-being, sexuality education provides an important venue for discussing, and questioning, normative ideas about pubic hair.
... Yet, over the last year, British women have spent £280 million removing their excess body hair' (Vernon 2006: 39). In the past decade, women's magazines have featured many articles on genital depilation, thus making it into a new norm of beauty care (Ramsey et al. 2009(Ramsey et al. : 2106. ...
... The rapid diffusion of genital depilation is even more baffling considering 'the intense pain of the procedure' of waxing those highly intimate and tender parts of the body (Herzig 2015: 148). Several studies suggest that visual pornography has been and still is a major influence on body hair depilation (Ramsey et al. 2009;Schick, Rima and Calabrese 2011). Ramsey et al. claim: 'The acceptance of pubic hair removal as the norm may well be linked to the increased accessibility of Internet-based pornography, and this may lead to ever greater numbers of individuals removing all or some of their pubic hair ' (2009: 2109). ...
... The recent change towards total hairlessness in pornographic representation is interesting when put in a historical perspective. Until the 1990s pornography was characterized and even defined by the presence of pubic hair (Ramsey et al. 2009(Ramsey et al. : 2105. There is thus a suggestion that genital depilation was initially a way of avoiding censorship (Herzig 2015: 141). ...
Article
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In the past two decades body hair has fast become a taboo for women. The empirical data of sociological and medical research reveal that the vast majority of women remove most of their body hair since the beginning of this century. Body hair is typically a marker that polices significant boundaries: between human–animal, male–female and adult–child. Removal or refusal to remove body hair places the female body on either side of the boundary, thus upholding and displacing binary oppositions between fundamental categories. The new beauty ideal requires techniques of control, manipulation and self-improvement. This article first assesses how empirical studies map and confirm existing trends of body hair removal, and then explores indepth the cultural reasons for the development of the normative ideal of a hairless female body. While body hair functions socially as a taboo, it refers psychologically to the realm of the abject. One line of argument places the taboo in the realm of abjection, while another argument attempts to demystify the Freudian anxieties surrounding the visibility and invisibility of the female sex organ. While the hairless body connotes perfected femininity, it simultaneously betrays a fear of adult female sexuality. The hairless body may be picture-perfect, but its emphasis on visual beauty runs the risk of disavowing the carnality of lived life. The hair-free trend of today’s beauty ideals affirms that the twenty-first-century body is a work in progress.
... Western PHR practices are largely viewed by the scientific community as the result of changing cultural norms. Increased product marketing (Toerien & Wilkinson, 2003;Toerien et al., 2005), pornography production (Fahs, 2014;Ramsey, Sweeney, Fraser, & Oades, 2009;Schick et al., 2010;Stone et al., 2017), and pop culture (Toerien & Wilkinson, 2003) teach women that pubic hair is masculine, unclean, and unattractive and that PHR practices are normal and expected. Women must practice PHR to maintain a semblance of youth and femininity (Toerien & Wilkinson, 2003). ...
... However, PHR may have implications for literal hygiene as well. PHR is consistently associated with reduced frequencies of pubic lice (Armstrong & Wilson, 2006;Ramsey et al., 2009). Because the human disgust reflex responds to any perceived threat of infection (Curtis, 2014), the common feelings of disgust associated with pubic hair today might be an evolutionary byproduct of a history of hair, body, and pubic lice. ...
... Based on an online survey and ratings of female genitalia, heterosexual men who are reportedly disgust-sensitive to pathogens have a significant preference for complete PHR in their partners, which the author frames as a male preference against potential parasite transmission (Prokop, 2016). PHR may reduce exposure to parasites such as pubic lice, but PHR is also associated with an increased risk for sexually transmitted infections likely due to small cuts and abrasions caused by shaving or waxing (Ramsey et al., 2009). ...
Article
The literature on pubic hair removal (PHR) practices primarily focuses on women in Western societies and attributes recent increases in PHR to product marketing, pornography, and pop culture. Here, we explore PHR and retention practices outside the cultural West through content coding of societies in the Human Relations Area Files’ database, eHRAF World Cultures. Thirty-one societies noted distinct PHR or retention practices. Descriptive data on 72 societies provided additional context to the perception of pubic hair and reasons for its removal or retention. Results indicate that women practice PHR more commonly than men cross-culturally and practices are often tied to concerns about hygiene and sexual activity. Findings show that some features of PHR cross-culturally resemble those of the cultural West in which these practices have been best characterized, though these practices cannot be attributed to the same suite of factors such as exposure to pornography or product marketing. We interpret these findings within cross-cultural and evolutionary perspectives.
... It is widely suggested that pubic hair has been retained to improve dissipation of pheromonal secretions which play a role in sexual communication (Ramsey et al. 2009). Females, however, often engage in pubic hair removal (DeMaria & Berenson 2013;Terry & Braun 2013), particularly when they are young and sexually active (Herbenick et al. 2013). ...
... Females, however, often engage in pubic hair removal (DeMaria & Berenson 2013;Terry & Braun 2013), particularly when they are young and sexually active (Herbenick et al. 2013). This practise has been well known since ancient times (Herbenick et al. 2010;Ramsey et al. 2009). Research indicates that females remove their pubic hair for reasons related to partner preference (Tiggemann & Hodgson 2008), interest in sex (Herbenick et al. 2013), aesthetics or fashion (Ramsey et al. 2009) and a feeling of cleanliness and sexiness (Cokal 2007;Smolak & Murnen 2011). ...
... This practise has been well known since ancient times (Herbenick et al. 2010;Ramsey et al. 2009). Research indicates that females remove their pubic hair for reasons related to partner preference (Tiggemann & Hodgson 2008), interest in sex (Herbenick et al. 2013), aesthetics or fashion (Ramsey et al. 2009) and a feeling of cleanliness and sexiness (Cokal 2007;Smolak & Murnen 2011). In ancient Greece, for instance, Athenian women reduced and shaped their pubic hair in order to increase their sexual attractiveness (Blakemore & Jennett 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
The ectoparasite avoidance hypothesis proposes that human hairlessness was favoured by sexual selection, because hairless individuals suffered from lower parasite loads. Females have seemingly less hairy bodies than men suggesting that the selection toward hairlessness is more intense in females than in males. This study examined male preference for hairy and shaved female genitalia. Pubic hair, although still functional in terms of dissipation of phermononal secretions, was perceived by heterosexual males recruited in the university (age range: 19-38 years, N = 96) as much less attractive as shaved female genitalia. Males who were more disgust sensitive and those who were sexually unrestricted showed a stronger preference for shaved genitalia than others. Self-reported frequency of pornography consumption was associated, contrary to expectations, with a stronger preference for hairy genitalia which suggests that this may be a result of negative frequency dependent selection. Older males also preferred hairy genitalia more than younger males. Overall, these results suggest that a preference for shaved genitalia may be explained by the superficial resemblance of pubic hair with chest hair, which is less developed as in our evolutionary past, perhaps due to the benefits associated with ectoparasite avoidance.
... P ubic hair grooming is an increasingly prevalent trend in the 21st century. 1 Several studies 2-5 during the past 5 years have found that most women report engaging in pubic grooming and hair removal, including total removal of all pubic hair. This practice is most common in younger women. ...
... This practice is most common in younger women. Other factors that have been associated with pubic hair grooming include race, being in an unmarried relationship, sexual activity, and higher scores on sexual function scales, 1,4 which implies better sex life satisfaction for women who groom. 2 Pubic hair grooming practices pose some potential risks of injury to women, most often related to shaving. 6,7 Obese women are particularly prone to injury during pubic hair grooming, which is important to any practitioners who address gynecologic health. ...
... Much of what is believed to be the driving factor for grooming is a cultural trend, epitomized by representation of genitalia in popular media. 1 The mainstream media's portrayal of women discussing and engaging in pubic hair removal is also a major factor for grooming-related influences. 9 Furthermore, there is an increasing trend of genital cosmetic surgery, and a previous study 10 highlights that the motivating factor is aesthetics rather than functionality. ...
... P ubic hair grooming is an increasingly prevalent trend in the 21st century. 1 Several studies 2-5 during the past 5 years have found that most women report engaging in pubic grooming and hair removal, including total removal of all pubic hair. This practice is most common in younger women. ...
... This practice is most common in younger women. Other factors that have been associated with pubic hair grooming include race, being in an unmarried relationship, sexual activity, and higher scores on sexual function scales, 1,4 which implies better sex life satisfaction for women who groom. 2 Pubic hair grooming practices pose some potential risks of injury to women, most often related to shaving. 6,7 Obese women are particularly prone to injury during pubic hair grooming, which is important to any practitioners who address gynecologic health. ...
... Much of what is believed to be the driving factor for grooming is a cultural trend, epitomized by representation of genitalia in popular media. 1 The mainstream media's portrayal of women discussing and engaging in pubic hair removal is also a major factor for grooming-related influences. 9 Furthermore, there is an increasing trend of genital cosmetic surgery, and a previous study 10 highlights that the motivating factor is aesthetics rather than functionality. ...
Article
Importance Pubic hair grooming is an increasingly prevalent trend. Several studies have sought to characterize its prevalence, associated demographics, and motivations. Objective To characterize current pubic hair grooming practices in the United States. Design, Setting, and Participants In this cross-sectional study, a nationally representative survey was conducted in January 2013 of noninstitutionalized adults aged 18 to 65 years residing in the United States via the GfK Group (formerly Knowledge Networks) panel members. Data analysis was performed from November to December 2015. Interventions A questionnaire examining pubic hair grooming habits. Main Outcomes and Measures Demographic characteristics and motivations associated with pubic hair grooming. Results A total of 3372 women were surveyed. Fifty-six women did not answer the grooming question; consequently, 3316 women were included in the analysis. Of these women, 2778 (83.8%) reported pubic hair grooming and 538 (16.2%) reported never grooming. On multivariate regression, several factors associated with grooming were found. When compared with younger women (aged 18-24 years), women aged 45 through 55 years (odds ratio [OR], 0.05; 95% CI, 0.01-0.49; P = .01) and those older than 55 years (OR, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.00-0.34; P = .003) were significantly less likely to groom. Women with some college (OR, 3.36; 95% CI, 1.65-6.84; P = .001) or a bachelor’s degree (OR, 2.39; 95% CI, 1.17-4.88; P = .02) were more likely to have groomed. Race was also significantly associated with grooming, with all groups reporting less grooming when compared with white women. No association was found between grooming and income, relationship status, or geographic location. Conclusions and Relevance This study provides a nationally representative assessment of contemporary female pubic hair grooming habits. Demographic differences in grooming were found, which may reflect cultural variations in preference related to pubic hair. Health care professionals and those who provide grooming services can use this information to better counsel patients and understand grooming practices.
... Terminal hair growth in the face, chest, abdomen, and back are also highly sexually dimorphic, with men having significantly more hair in these areas of their bodies than women. In addition, amidst changing depilation and hairstyling practices throughout time and across cultures, people have displayed preferences for certain hairstyles in mates and altered and groomed their hair so as to appear more attractive (Butler, Smith, Collazo, Caltabiano, & Herbenick, 2015;Dixson & Brooks, 2013;Dixson et al., 2019;Herbenick, Schick, Reece, Sanders, & Fortenberry, 2010;Ramsey, Sweeney, Fraser, & Oades, 2009). This suggests that sexual selection has helped to shape depilation and hairstyling, perhaps as forms of ornamentation to increase perceived attractiveness and phenotypic quality (i.e., intersexual selection) or as cues to physical formidability, dominance, or status (i.e., intrasexual competition; Darwin, 1871;Dixson & Brooks, 2013;Dixson & Rantala, 2016;Dixson et al., 2019;Dixson & Vasey, 2012;Hinsz, Matz, & Patience, 2001;Meskó & Bereczkei, 2004). ...
... Depilation has been practiced since ancient times, and several studies show that the removal of body hair is commonly practiced by women and men across contemporary society (Butler et al., 2015;Craig & Gray, 2019;Dixson et al., 2019;Herbenick et al., 2010;Ramsey et al., 2009). More than 90% of women living in Western cultures (e.g., New Zealand, the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Australia) indicate that they tend to remove hair from their legs and underarms, and between 65 and 85% report trimming or removing hair from their pubic area (Butler et al., 2015;DeMaria & Berenson, 2013;Herbenick et al., 2010Herbenick et al., , 2013Osterberg et al., 2017;Terry & Braun, 2013;Tiggemann & Hodgson, 2008;Toerien & Wilkinson, 2004;Stone, Graham, & Baysal, 2017). ...
... The retention of pubic hair in humans may function, in part, to disperse pheromones for sexual signaling (Ramsey et al., 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have highlighted numerous sociocultural factors that have been shown to underpin human appearance enhancement practices, including the influence of peers, family, the media, and sexual objectification. Fewer scholars have approached appearance enhancement from an evolutionary perspective or considered how sociocultural factors interact with evolved psychology to produce appearance enhancement behavior. Following others, we argue that evidence from the field of evolutionary psychology can complement existing sociocultural models by yielding unique insight into the historical and cross-cultural ubiquity of competition over aspects of physical appearance to embody what is desired by potential mates. An evolutionary lens can help to make sense of reliable sex and individual differences that impact appearance enhancement, as well as the context-dependent nature of putative adaptations that function to increase physical attractiveness. In the current review, appearance enhancement is described as a self-promotion strategy used to enhance reproductive success by rendering oneself more attractive than rivals to mates, thereby increasing one’s mate value. The varied ways in which humans enhance their appearance are described, as well as the divergent tactics used by women and men to augment their appearance, which correspond to the preferences of opposite-sex mates in a heterosexual context. Evolutionarily relevant individual differences and contextual factors that vary predictably with appearance enhancement behavior are also discussed. The complementarity of sociocultural and evolutionary perspectives is emphasized and recommended avenues for future interdisciplinary research are provided for scholars interested in studying appearance enhancement behavior.
... Pubic hair grooming is increasingly prevalent among men and women in the United States (Gaither et al., 2015;Herbenick, Schick, Reece, Sanders, & Fortenberry, 2010). There are numerous reasons to remove pubic hair; the most commonly reported are focused on sexual activity and sexual expression (Ramsey, Sweeney, Fraser, & Oades, 2009). Increasing access to sexually explicit material may also influence grooming motivation and trends (Vannier, Currie, & O'Sullivan, 2014). ...
... The following demographic data were collected: age, race, relationship status, education, and geographic region. Baseline hairiness and genital satisfaction were collected using previously validated questionnaires (Davis, Paterson, & Binik, 2012;Ramsey et al., 2009) that use a 1 to 7 Likerttype scale. Sexual practice characteristics including sexual partner sex, sex frequency, number of sexual partners, and specific sexual behaviors was assessed. ...
... It is well documented that pubic hair grooming is associated with sexual activity and behavior (DeMaria & Berenson, 2013;Gaither et al., 2015;Herbenick et al., 2010;Herbenick et al., 2013;Ramsey et al., 2009;Tiggemann & Hodgson, 2008). The majority of studies to date have been in women or gay men. ...
Article
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Pubic hair grooming is a growing phenomenon and is associated with body image and sexual activity. A nationally representative survey of noninstitutionalized adults aged 18 to 65 years residing in the United States was conducted. Differences in demographic and sexual characteristics between groomers and nongroomers were explored. Four thousand one hundred and ninety-eight men completed the survey. Of these men, 2,120 (50.5%) reported regular pubic hair grooming. The prevalence of grooming decreases with age, odds ratio = 0.95 (95% confidence interval [0.94, 0.96]), p < .001. Adjusting for sexual frequency and sexual orientation, grooming is associated with performing and receiving oral sex. The majority of men report grooming in preparation for sexual activity with a peak prevalence of 73% among men aged 25 to 34 years, followed by hygiene (61%) and routine care (44%). The majority of men who remove their pubic hair groom the hair above the penis (87%), followed by the scrotum (66%) and the penile shaft (57%). Overall, pubic hair grooming is common among men aged 18 to 65 years in the United States. Younger ages are associated with greater rates of pubic hair grooming. Many men groom for sex, in particular oral sex, as well as for routine care and hygiene.
... In Western societies the practice of pubic hair removal (PHR) by women has become normative and part of the body ideal for young Western women (Ramsey, Sweeney, Fraser, & Oades, 2009;Smolak & Murnen, 2011;Tiggemann & Hodgson, 2008;Toerien, Wilkinson, & Choi, 2005). Although pubic hair does not in itself have any sexual function other than those attributes given to it by individuals or within a cultural context, it does have a clear biological purpose. ...
... In recent years, there has been a shift in the prevalence and extent of PHR being undertaken by women (Braun, Tricklebank, & Clarke, 2013;Labre, 2002;Ramsey et al., 2009). A U.K. study found 86% of women aged 16C years had undertaken PHR at some time in their lives (Toerien et al., 2005). ...
... In a Canadian study, 30% of women aged 16-50 years reported usually removing all their pubic hair (Riddell, Varto, & Hodgson, 2010), whereas in New Zealand, 26% of women aged 18-35 years removed "all," and a further 25% removed "most" of their pubic hair (Terry & Braun, 2013). Along with the documented changes in PHR practices, research has established that there is a recognized morbidity to removing pubic hair, including skin irritation and an increase in bacterial and viral infections (DeMaria, Flores, Hirth, & Berenson, 2014;Desruelles, Cunningham, & Dubois, 2013;Ramsey et al., 2009;Schmidtberger, Ladizinski, & Ramirez-Fort, 2014). In one U.S. study, 60% of women who engaged in PHR reported at least one minor complication due to removal, the most common being epidermal abrasion and ingrown hairs (DeMaria et al., 2014). ...
Article
Objectives: To examine the relationship between women's pubic hair removal (PHR) and genital satisfaction and explore whether attitudes toward, and personal consumption of, pornography are associated with women's engagement in PHR. Methods: Data were collected by online survey from women (N = 152) who were then categorized into groups based on the prevalence and extent of PHR during the previous 4 weeks. Groups were compared on demographic, background, and behavioral variables. Results: Eighty-three percent of respondents reported PHR in the previous 4 weeks and 40% of respondents removed all their pubic hair. Women who were younger, White, and were more satisfied with their genitals were more likely to engage in PHR. Of these, being younger, not having a degree, reporting less positive attitudes toward erotica, and 3 reasons for PHR predicted extensive PHR over limited removal. Conclusions: Findings provide insights into the reasons for, and extent of, PHR among women and factors associated with the practice. The possible influences of partners' preferences for genital hair removal by women and partners' consumption of pornography are important areas for future research.
... The practice of hair removal from different body parts and areas is common across cultures [1,2]. The practice of removing pubic hair is quite evident from artistic depictions, paintings, and religious text recommending removal of pubic hairs [1]. ...
... The practice of hair removal from different body parts and areas is common across cultures [1,2]. The practice of removing pubic hair is quite evident from artistic depictions, paintings, and religious text recommending removal of pubic hairs [1]. The pubic hair removal (PHR) practices were associated in middle ages with regular hygiene, specifically to avoid pubic lice [1,3]. ...
... The practice of removing pubic hair is quite evident from artistic depictions, paintings, and religious text recommending removal of pubic hairs [1]. The pubic hair removal (PHR) practices were associated in middle ages with regular hygiene, specifically to avoid pubic lice [1,3]. The PHR practice is common all around the world yet there exists a lot of conflicting lay literature, mostly in forms of health blogs, discussion forums, and social media [4][5][6][7][8][9]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Background and Objectives - The PHR practices are common around the world, for long the internet has been source of information, which is usually avialble from blogs, forums, social media. A lot of misinformation, misguidance is resulted because of lack of scientifically published literature providing proper information on the PHR practices. We undertook systematic review of existing population based studies to understand the prevalence, attitude, practices of PHR in published literature. Methods - We searched for population based studies across the globe for prevalence, attitude and practice of PHR in study participants on electronic databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, J-Gate, Medline). A total of 307 titles were identified on which 9 were considered eligible for the study. Descriptive analysis was carried on the 9 identified study to know the prevalence, attitude and practices of PHR. Results – The prevalence of PHR at least once was 75%, Friends(73%) were the prime motivators to initiate the first PHR activity. Personal Hygiene(69%) was cited as the most common driver for regular PHR activity. Shaving using Razor blade(58%) was the most common mode of PHR and Abrasion(34%) was the most common complication. Conclusions – Pubic Hair Removal is a common practice among both males and females, the practice is initiated and propelled mostly through personal preferences. The current need is to undertake population based studies, specifically in developing countries and present the evidence backed information on do’s and don’ts for optimum PHR experience with minimal complications. Key words: Pubic Hair removal, Attitude, Practices
... Fifth, our questionnaire contained more photos of shaved HASRGs than of shaved circumcised penises. This may have influenced laypersons' ratings, as shaving of pubic hair has been found to be an important genital aspect (Ramsey, Sweeney, Fraser, & Oades, 2009). ...
... As previously mentioned, this concept may differ between the different cohorts. For instance, as shaving of pubic hair was found to be an important genital aspect nowadays (Herbenick et al., 2013;Ramsey et al., 2009), younger laypersons may rate shaved genitals differently than older ones. ...
Article
Hypospadias is a common penile malformation, which is usually surgically corrected in early childhood. Severe types of hypospadias are corrected to promote a normal sexuality and micturition, whereas mild types are mainly operated to improve appearance. There are only a few studies, which have examined the long-term outcomes of hypospadias repair. The aims of the present PhD project were, first (study 1), to assess how men and women perceive surgically corrected genitals of men with hypospadias in comparison with circumcised genitals. In addition, the most relevant predictors of the perception of these genitals were evaluated. Moreover, we studied how women consider single aspects of penile appearance. Second (study 2), we sought to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of men with a corrected hypospadias in comparison to circumcised men and to examine determinants of hypospadias patients’ HRQoL. In summary, the present research project indicates that women and men perceived the penile appearance of men with operated mild types of hypospadias as satisfactory and as normal- looking as circumcised genitals. In addition, women were found to consider the position and shape of the urethral opening as the least important aspect of penile appearance. Since urethral reconstruction to reposition the urethral opening is one of the key issues in mild hypospadias, these findings may stimulate reflections regarding the relevance of surgical correction of mild types of hypospadias in early childhood. Finally, our study found a normal HRQoL of men with corrected hypospadias. However, a negative genital self-perception was found to be a risk factor for an impaired mental HRQoL. Die Hypospadie ist eine Penisfehlbildung, welche in der Regel im frühen Kindesalter operiert wird. Während schwere Formen zur Optimierung der Sexualfunktion und Miktion korrigiert werden müssen, werden milde Formen hauptsächlich zur Optimierung des Aussehens operiert. Die vorliegende Dissertation untersuchte in Studie 1, wie Männer und Frauen die Genitalien von Männern mit einer operierten Hypospadie im Vergleich zu Genitalien von beschnittenen Männern wahrnehmen. Zudem wurden die wichtigsten Faktoren auf Seiten des Betrachters ermittelt, welche die Bewertung dieser operierten Genitalien voraussagen. Außerdem wurde untersucht, welche Aspekte eines Penis von Frauen als wichtig empfunden werden. In Studie 2 wurde die gesundheitsbezogene Lebensqualität (HRQoL) von Männern mit einer operierten Hypospadie erhoben und mit derjenigen von beschnittenen Männern verglichen. Weiter wurden die wichtigsten Prädiktoren der HRQoL von Männern mit einer operierten Hypospadie ermittelt. Zusammenfassend zeigen die Studien, dass Männer und Frauen die Genitalien von Männern mit einer leichten Form von Hypospadie gleich bewerten wie die Genitalien von beschnittenen Männern. Weiter zeigen die Resultate, dass Frauen die Position und Form der Harnröhrenöffnung als den unwichtigsten Aspekt des Aussehens einstufen. Da leichte Formen der Hypospadie vor allem zur Optimierung der Position der Harnröhrenöffnung operiert werden, kann spekuliert werden, ob alle Formen der Hypospadie routinemäßig schon beim unmündigen Kleinkind operiert werden sollen. Unsere Resultate weisen außerdem darauf hin, dass sich die HRQoL von Männern mit einer operierten Hypospadie nicht von der HRQoL von beschnittenen Männern unterscheidet.
... Various cultural, artistic and historical accounts have shown that in several cultures, pubic hair removal (PHR) remains a widespread practice, especially among women. 1 In Western cultures, the prevalence of PHR is increasing, a trend accompanied by an increasing incidence of PHR injuries. 2 Indeed, complications related to PHR are common, 3,4 and PHR may even be a risk factor for the transmission of (minor) sexually transmitted infections. ...
... * [1] "Although this conclusion only applies to mixed-sex marriages, 95.2% of the married participants in our study reported to be heterosexual, which led us to infer that their marriage is a mixed-sex one." ...
Article
Background: Pubic hair removal (PHR) is a widespread practice that entails certain health risks; however, there remains a lack of scientific information on the prevalence and antecedents of PHR, as well as on its association with sexual behavior and relational satisfaction. Aims: To explore women's and men's attitudes regarding PHR and their PHR practices and the associations with demographic, relational, and sexual characteristics. Methods: A total of 2,687 men and 1,735 women living in Flanders (the Northern part of Belgium) completed an online survey. Participants ranged in age from 15 to 60+ years; they self-identified as heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual and reported various relationship statuses. Main outcome measures: Demographic items (ie, age, religion, partner relationship status), sexuality-related items (ie, sexual activity, sexual orientation, age at first intercourse, number of sexual partners), PHR items (ie, reasons, inclination to have or not have sex after PHR, perceived partner preferences, partner's PHR), and relationship satisfaction, assessed with the Maudsley Marital Questionnaire. Results: Fewer men (39.1%) than women (80.3%) reported (partially) removing their pubic hair. In both men and women, the practice was associated with age, sexual activity, relationship status, and partner's PHR practice and expectations. In men, sexual and relationship satisfaction were correlated with their partner's PHR practices and whether these were in line with the men's expectations. In women, sexual and relationship satisfaction were mostly correlated with whether both partner's expectations were met. Although both men and women reported that the reasons for PHR were related to their sexual experiences and to their partner's preference, only women reported that PHR was a way to enhance feelings of femininity. Finally, the reasons for not engaging in PHR were related to partner preferences and side effects. Conclusion: PHR is a widespread practice and seems strongly associated with personal, partner-related, sexual, and relational factors. Strategies to prevent men and women from being confronted with health risks should take all these factors into account. Enzlin P, Bollen K, Prekatsounaki S, et al. "To Shave or Not to Shave": Pubic Hair Removal and Its Association with Relational and Sexual Satisfaction in Women and Men. J Sex Med 2019;16:954-962.
... Modern pubic hair removal is often done for visual/aesthetic or psychosexual reasons rather than for health reasons. [1]. Women are willing to remove their pubic hair for the reasons like hygiene, sexual attractiveness, sexual enhancement, religious-social beliefs and before any gynecological examination [2,3]. ...
... In addition to this some researches proposes males prefer sexual partners to be hairless [5]. Anecdotal reports indicate that pubic hair removal provide increased aesthetic appearance and increased tactile sensitivity of the genitals such as the clitoris, but unfortunately there is insufficient scientific data to support this view [1]. Moreover, unwanted hair loss might be an extremely distressing condition and might cause reduction of self-esteem, well-being and sexuality which was previously demonstrated in women treated for breast cancer and women with hypotrichosis [6,7]. ...
... Historical evidence points to body hair removal by (Western) women and men at various times (e.g., Ramsey et al. 2009). However, the contemporary practice for women to normatively remove body hair from certain body sites emerged as a practice in the early-mid 20th century, related to changes in fashion and advertising practices, and continued to evolve as the century progressed (Hope 1982;Riddell, Varto & Hodgson 2010). ...
... However, the contemporary practice for women to normatively remove body hair from certain body sites emerged as a practice in the early-mid 20th century, related to changes in fashion and advertising practices, and continued to evolve as the century progressed (Hope 1982;Riddell, Varto & Hodgson 2010). Despite resistance to this norm within both women's and hippy movements in the 1970s and 1980s, a swathe of research from the 1990s and 2000s demonstrate very high and almost ubiquitous removal of hair by women from the (lower) legs and underarms and increasing proportions of women removing some-to-all pubic hair (Peixoto Labre 2002;Ramsey et al. 2009;Riddell et al. 2010;Rigakos 2010;Schick, Rima & Calabrese 2011;Terry & Braun 2013;Tiggemann & Hodgson 2008;Tiggemann & Kenyon 1998;Toerien, Wilkinson & Choi 2005). With hair constructed as "taboo" (Smelik 2015), body hair removal has become a necessity of acceptable (hetero) femininity, and women consistently report feelings of "femininity" as well as "attractiveness" as the most prominent reasons for (continuing) removal (Basow 1991;Tiggemann & Kenyon 1998;Tiggemann & Lewis 2004;Toerien & Wilkinson 2004;Tiggemann & Hodgson 2008), although these actions are also often framed in terms of personal choice or preference (Fahs 2013;Terry & Braun 2013; but see Terry et al. 2018), along with other factors. ...
Article
Do women with body hair continue to evoke disgust? Are men without body hair read only as athletes and/or gay? To explore contemporary sense-making practices around apparently counter-normative gendered body hair practice, we developed a two-stem story completion task. We collected stories from 161 undergraduate students (129 women and 32 men) about David, who had decided to start removing body hair, and Jane, who had decided to stop removing body hair. We analysed the data thematically within a constructionist framework, resulting in three themes: secrecy and shame; the personal benefits of going against the grain; and the personal is political. The personal benefits theme included four distinct (gendered) subthemes: increased heterosexual attractiveness; increased sporting prowess; removal of a hassle; and liberation from conformity. These story data gave access to familiar but also somewhat different accounts than those collected through typical self-report measures.
... It is occurring in ways which are quite distinct from some on-going cultural practices such as penile adornment (e.g., see Fischer et al., 2010). In terms of low tech treatments, trends such as the styling or removal of pubic hair for men signal the increased visibility of male genitals and a new, primarily visual genital aesthetic (Ramsey et al, 2009; for a comparable discussion about women's genitals and pubic hair, see Barcan, 2004). Equally a range of low-tech solutions exist which focus upon herbal remedies, penile lengthening pills, penile workout regimes, penile extenders or penile vacuum pumps (for review see Nugteren et al., 2010). ...
Article
This paper explores contemporary understandings and representations of the penis. It presents an overview of recent trends which re-frame long-standing penile anxieties within a new hybrid world of health and aesthetics. It explores these apparent changes through the lens of biomedicalisation. By focusing on constructions of masculinities in crisis, changes in the representability of the penis and the effects of Viagra, it suggests that contemporary penile pathologies and anxieties are being constructed and commodified. In the past medical discourse has focused primarily upon the 'traditional' functionality of the penis, more recently it has focussed upon pharmaceutical innovations such as Viagra. However, we suggest that now there appears to be the emergence of a new penile discourse, a penile aesthetic that focuses upon penile appearance as much as function. This shift has been facilitated by the Internet, the deregulation of pornography and changes in sexual mores.
... One way that the feminine ideal is achieved is through body hair removal practices that require women to be fully hairless like prepubescent girls, but as a sign of sexiness and sexual maturity. All forms of media are guilty of portraying the ideal feminine body as completely hairless, though pornography in particular is a major influence on body hair depilation trends (Ramsey, Sweeney, Fraser, & Oades, 2009). Schick, Rima, and Calabrese (2011, pg.76) argue that an industry that was "characterized and even defined" by the presence of pubic hair but has now become the opposite, and so genital hair removal has become increasingly normative (Mullinax, Herbenick, Schick, Sanders, & Reece, 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
This research will look at the history of body hair removal, and how it is intertwined with/ integral to dominant whiteness and the construction of submissive, heteronormative, white femininity. Women of colour are forced to exist on the fringes of femininity, and have their femininity questioned and rescinded when they stray from these restrictions. The purpose of this research is to give voice to women of colour and to understand the intersectional relationship between race, gender, and women's body modification practices, which I feel is an underdeveloped area of research. This report has a four-section literature review which looks at the existing literature on body hair removal, across sociological, psychological, medical and fashion journals. I then discuss the research methodology and then research findings, which is organised thematically based on both the literature review and trends from the research itself.
... The practice of pubic hair removal is undertaken for cultural and religious reasons and, in recent years, as a fashion phenomenon. [1][2][3][4] In a recent British study, it has been stated that 70 to 80% of adults remove pubic hair, in part or entirety, by means of different methods. 4 However, it was also observed that pubic hair removal is associated with an increased risk of infections and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). ...
... No hay mayor documentación sobre los hábitos y las razones para la eliminación del vello corporal antes del siglo XIX: tan solo un estudio de Fischer señala que la pilosidad facial masculina en el Re nacimiento era fundamental en el reconocimiento social de los varones adultos (35). A pesar de las iniciales exposiciones públicas del pubis en el arte pictórico del siglo X IX, primero y de manera pu dorosa en La maja desnuda de Francisco de Goya y así hasta el summun mostrado por Gustave Coubert en L`Origine du monde (36), solo hasta 1893, con el trabajo de Lombroso y Ferrero, se hace la primera referencia científica del vello genital femenino. Estos señalaron que la falta parcial o total de vello pubiano (una característica de la "degeneración" de las prostitutas italianas), ocurría en el 28% de ellas (cosa que no practicaban las mujeres "normales"). ...
Objective: To show that female pubic hair shaving, a common current practice, is the result of changing trends in dress and fashion, and of the marketing strategies of the manufacturers of hair removal devices; and to consider what women today argue as their reasons for this practice. Materials and methods: The historical background for pubic hair removal is presented, including the approach in other cultures, the frequency and the reasons for this practice at present; the marketing and communication strategies are reviewed. Conclusions: The current female beauty imagery in this early part of the 21st century involves the search for an ideal of smooth hair-free skin which is only achievable through artificial means, leading society as a whole to consider it the standard for cosmetic, hygienic, erotic and self-image reasons.
... Throughout the ages, humans have modified their body and head hair for functional and aesthetic reasons. Pubic hair removal is a more recent, but increasingly common grooming practice and shows a great range of variability between different populations [1][2][3][4][5][6]. Although carried out by both males and females, the practice is seen more frequently in women. ...
Article
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Background Pubic hair grooming, including the complete removal of pubic hair, has become an increasingly common practice, particularly among young women. Although widespread, there is limited data regarding the methods, products, reasons, and complications of pubic hair removal, particularly among Saudi women. The objective was to examine pubic hair removal practices and the prevalence of its complications among Saudi women living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Methods In this cross-sectional study conducted at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Saudi women between 16 and 60 years of age who had the ability to read and speak Arabic, were eligible to complete an anonymous and self-administered survey on pubic hair removal practices and its complications. Results Between December 2015 and September 2016, 400 Saudi women completed the survey. The age was 26.3 ± 6.9, 16–58 (mean ± SD, range) years. About three quarters (77.0%) self-removed their pubic hair, while the remainder made use of professional personnel in medical clinics (15.5%), beauty salons (5.3%), and professional services at home (2.2%). Many women (41.8%) used a combination of hair removal methods, with non-electric razor as the most common single method used (33.5%), followed by laser (8.7%), sugaring (6.0%), waxing (4.5%), trimming (2.0%), electric razor (2.0%), and cream (1.5%). Three-quarters of women (75.5%) reported complications, and although they were mostly minor injuries, treatment had to be sought for 17.9% of complications. Multivariable analyses showed that no variables remained correlated with the occurrence of complications (age of starting hair removal, income, BMI, level of education, mode of removal, advice on removal). Conclusions Saudi women initiate pubic hair removal in early adolescence. While most complications are minor, close to one in five women experience complications.
... Women who engaged in total pubic hair removal were significantly younger, more likely to have received cunnilingus in the past four weeks, and had a more positive genital self-image and sexual function index scores (Herbenick et al., 2010). Hair removal may be due to female hygiene practices (Demirci, Dogan, Erkol, & Deniz, 2008), or for aesthetic or sexual reasons, such as to increase visual exposure or improve appearance of the genitals (Demirci et al., 2008; Martins et al., 2008; Ramsey et al., 2009). Yet, evidence for these assumptions is lacking, especially among a demographically diverse sample. ...
Article
The purpose of this paper was to describe pubic hair grooming behaviors (shaving, waxing, trimming or dyeing) and the extent to which grooming was related to demographic characteristics and sexual history among low-income Hispanic, Black, and White women. Data were collected from 1677 women aged 16-40 years between July 2010 and August 2011 as part of a larger study. Participants completed a cross-sectional written survey. Multivariable analyses were used to identify correlates of pubic hair grooming. Being a current groomer was associated with being White, a younger age, under or normal weight, having a yearly household income >$30,000, and having 5 or more lifetime sexual partners. Overall, we discovered pubic hair grooming was extremely common among women of varying demographics. It is important for health and research professionals to understand pubic hair grooming practices so they can address behavioral and clinical concerns.
... 5 Several researchers have speculated that the recent practice of shaving most or all pubic hair is the result of photographs of women in magazine centerfolds 6 and easy access to Internet pornography. 30 Socio-cultural representations of the vagina are often negative. 24 Teens spend so much time with various forms of the media that one group of researchers has described the mass media as a "sexual super peer." 31 Women consistently experience, and are often aware of, the gaze of men assessing their sexual appeal. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: We sought to determine the prevalence of multiple types of negative body comments among college women. Methods: Women at a southeast public university were asked whether they had received negative comments regarding 8 non-face body features. Results: The mean number (±SD) of features for which participants reported having received negativity was 3.84±1.85 for sexually inexperienced women and 4.46±1.66 for sexually experienced women (p < .005). A negative correlation was observed between number of features for which women had received negativity and satisfaction with physical appearance. Sources of negativity depended on both the particular body feature and sexual experience. Conclusions: Health and sexuality education courses should address the negativity that is frequently directed at women about their bodies.
... Pubic hair transplantation can be carried out without any reason as well as due to thin pubic hair. Hair follicles are harvested from the lateral occipital scalp [8,14]. ...
Book
Hair transplantation is one of the most complex esthetic surgical procedures. It is the only alternative method to recover the hair loss in some hair diseases including genetic hair loss or cicatricial alopecia. It is possible to achieve almost fully natural results by the way of the transplantation of the follicular unit, which is the modern hair surgery procedure. Follicular unite extraction technique has become popular in the last 10 years, and indications of FUE are increasing day by day due to the fact that there is no linear scar remaining in the donor area and hair from different body parts such as the beard and chest can be used as donor sites. Hair loss is among the most frequently seen dermatologic condition. Although it is accepted as a benign condition, it has cosmetic consequences and it may be the source of major distress in majority of the patients [1]. Hair is one of the most important components of self-image and identity, and individuals who face with hair loss will think that their spoilt image can be a social disadvantage for them. There are reports showing that individuals with hair loss may have disturbed quality of life, depression, lack of self-confidence and less social integration. This is why individuals with hair loss should be treated with the purpose of minimizing these potential impacts [1,2]. For the present, hair transplantation is considered as the only method to provide lasting results for the treatment of alopecia types. Hair transplantation is among the most important treatment alternatives not only for the patients with genetic hair loss problems, but also for the treatment of cicatricial alopecia and for areas including eyebrows, eyelashes, facial hair and pubic area[3]. The number of patients who are good candidates for hair transplantation is increasing today thanks to the modern techniques developed for hair transplantation and the natural and satisfying results achieved[4].
... The reasons for choosing genital hair removal remain unclear, but may be linked with internet-based pornography. 4 Another reason cited is an increased sexual sensation. There may also be psychological reasons, as an unconscious desire to simulate an infantile look (like for cosmetic surgery 5 ), or a desire to distance ourselves from our animal nature. ...
... However, as body hair styles and removal practices have rarely been documented, it is questionable to what extent women"s total removal of their body hair is either new or normative. From artistic renderings of nude women, limited scientific literature, and survey data, it is clear that the extent to which women have removed or groomed their body hair has varied by historical time and place [2]. For example, art and artifacts suggest that women in ancient Egypt and classical Greece may have removed some or all of their body hair (in Greece, by plucking or singeing with a lamp) and that groomed pubic hair may have been considered a feature of women"s sexual attractiveness [3]. ...
... Racey (1974) and Krutzsch (2000) reported that, during spring, the accessory sex glands of males initiate to shrink, which the caudal epididymides empty, and sperm production begins again (Racey, 1974;Krutzsch, 2000). Ramsey et al (2009) suggested that genital hair has been retained to improve the spread of pheromonal secretions, to increase attractiveness to the other sex. Genital grooming is innate behaviour which common during the breeding period. ...
Article
Reproductive behaviours are crucial to the stimulation of genital. Aim of this study to access to reproductive behaviours of Scotophilus kuhlii including genital grooming, sniff, and licking in Siddharth Nagar. Furthermore, the morphometric variation including scrotum length of male, body mass was access in reproductively and non-reproductively active of Asiatic lesser Yellow bat, S. kuhlii at various districts from 2016 to 2018 in Uttar Pradesh, India. Video recorder used for access reproductive behaviour and Mist net used for captured for access the morphometric variation. Our result indicates that a total of 34hours have been observed behabiour of S. kuhlii such as genital grooming, urogenital sniffing, urogenital licking by a male were increased in February, after which gradually decreases. While vaginal licking by a pregnant female was maximum performed in April. The body mass of pregnant females was gradually increased until birth while scrotum length of a male maximum length size in February and minimum in November. The females gave birth to two pups in the last week of May. Newborn pups red-brownish in colour back and light pink belly which closed eyes and hairless. We conclude reproductive behaviour was important to make a success of the reproduction.
... Racey (1974) and Krutzsch (2000) reported that, during spring, the accessory sex glands of males initiate to shrink, which the caudal epididymides empty, and sperm production begins again (Racey, 1974;Krutzsch, 2000). Ramsey et al (2009) suggested that genital hair has been retained to improve the spread of pheromonal secretions, to increase attractiveness to the other sex. Genital grooming is innate behaviour which common during the breeding period. ...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive behaviours are crucial to the stimulation of genital. Aim of this study to access to reproductive behaviours of Scotophilus kuhlii including genital grooming, sniff, and licking in Siddharth Nagar. Furthermore, the morphometric variation including scrotum length of male, body mass was access in reproductively and non-reproductively active of Asiatic lesser Yellow bat, S. kuhlii at various districts from 2016 to 2018 in Uttar Pradesh, India. Video recorder used for access reproductive behaviour and Mist net used for captured for access the morphometric variation. Our result indicates that a total of 34hours have been observed behabiour of S. kuhlii such as genital grooming, urogenital sniffing, urogenital licking by a male were increased in February, after which gradually decreases. While vaginal licking by a pregnant female was maximum performed in April. The body mass of pregnant females was gradually increased until birth while scrotum length of a male maximum length size in February and minimum in November. The females gave birth to two pups in the last week of May. Newborn pups red-brownish in colour back and light pink belly which closed eyes and hairless. We conclude reproductive behaviour was important to make a success of the reproduction.
... Further, another recent study of adult men and women in Belgium found that, among men, sexual satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction were correlated with their partner's pubic hair removal practices (Enzlin et al., 2019). Prior studies have also illustrated this link between pubic hair removal and sexual activity (Bercaw-Pratt et al., 2012;Ramsey et al., 2009), and even found an association between public hair removal and a history of STIs (Osterberg et al., 2016). Because estheticians described their tendency to discover potential STIs on occasion, and not being formally trained to handle these delicate situations, there is an opportunity to guide estheticians to prepare for these circumstances so that they can effectively assist their clients in seeking a diagnosis, information, or treatment options. ...
Article
Full-text available
Young women (18–25 years) are more likely to engage in pubic hair removal and experience higher rates of negative sexual health outcomes (e.g., sexually transmitted infections [STIs]). Hair removal salons may serve as novel environments for health interventions. The Sexual Health and Esthetician (SHE) Study aimed to better understand the pubic hair removal profession, explore the esthetician–client relationship, and assess potential for esthetician offices/salons serving as health promotion/sexual health promotion intervention settings. Using an exploratory qualitative design, in-depth interviews (N = 28) were conducted with licensed estheticians who provided pubic waxing services. In a large urban area in Southern California, the catchment area of salons included five unique neighborhoods, each with high reported STI rates. Data were analyzed using a social constructivist perspective and emergent themes from interviews. Synthesis of data showed estheticians provide a variety of waxing services for young women; during appointments, sex-related discussions occur, creating “sexy spaces” where otherwise taboo conversations happen with ease; they notice clients’ possible health concerns, including STIs, but have no protocols/procedures for handling these occurrences; and interactions with clients often result in the development of an intimate bond. Results indicate estheticians may be effective conveyors of sexual health promotion and risk reduction interventions.
... Although normative pubic hair grooming is considered a contemporary trend, the decorating, sculpting, and removal of pubic hair have been practiced for medical, artistic, and cultural reasons for centuries. 11 Moreover, trimming and shaving the pubic hair in females seem to be become more popular. 5 Accordingly, men's hair removal practices have become mainstream as well being considered as a consequence of normative changes in men's attitudes toward their bodies. ...
Article
Background: Body hair removal is an increasing trend that has an impact on the individual's body image. Aims: To characterize current body hair removal practices in Germany and the extent to which body hair removal was related to demographic characteristics, body image, and body mass index. Patients/methods: A national survey was conducted from September to October 2016 in men and women in Germany. Body experience was measured by a standardized questionnaire. In addition to sociodemographic data, age, gender, education, marital status, monthly income, and body mass index were collected. Results: A total of n = 2510 participants aged 14 to 94 years (Mage = 48.4 years (SD = 18.2), 53.4% females) were randomly selected from the general population. 69% of the questioned women removed their body hair while only 41% of men do. The gender effect is statistically significant (χ2 = 203.43; df = 1; P < .001). Income, a higher level of education, and living in an urban region were significantly associated with body hair removal in both, men and women. Furthermore, significant differences with regard to body image were found between hair removers and nonremovers which are associated with a different attitude toward the own body. Conclusions: Germans were likely to remove body hair if they were of younger age, better educated, and with high income. Hair removal is above all a women's issue. Especially, female hair removers experience their body as an esthetic entity with the need of active reshaping. There is a "shift" from ideal of a naturally hairy body to an increased hairlessness in Germany.
... However, norms do not just reflect personal actions, and the recent trend towards complete or majority pubic hair removal, particularly among women, has been theorised as strongly linked with increased accessibility of pornography and other sexually-explicit media (Cokal, 2007;Peixoto Labre, 2002;Ramsey, Sweeney, Fraser, & Oades, 2009), which now often display reduced or removed pubic hair (Schick, Rima, & Calabrese, 2011). ...
Article
Research and anecdotal evidence suggest women continue to remove body hair, and there is some evidence for cultural changes in men's hair removal practices. This paper reports on data collected using an online mix-methods survey from 584 New Zealanders between the ages of 18-35 (mean age 26, 48.9% male, 50.6% female). The data demonstrated that substantial proportions of both women and men in Aotearoa/New Zealand remove body hair from many sites. However, gendered differences remain, and a key dimension of gendered difference appears in the concept of flexible choice around body hair removal or retention. This was seen in the difference between perceived acceptability of having body hair (81% for men, 11% for women). These findings suggest that although men, like women, are now coming under some pressure to remove body hair, there is still a great difference in men and women's capacity to choose whether to bow to it.
... Hair removal in varying forms has been practiced across many cultures for centuries [1]. In the developed world, there has been a recent rise in more extreme forms of hair removal and a burgeoning of a whole industry offering hair removal technologies, such as laser hair removal and electrolysis, which can result in permanent hair removal. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Research indicates that young women are being exposed to increasing pressures to remove pubic hair from their bodies, which has the potential for both negative physical and psychological consequences. Women's personal choice and reasoning for partaking in pubic hair removal is influenced by broader social influences; however, there is little theory-based research drawing from established decision-making models investigating the underlying processes that lead young women to engage in pubic hair removal practices. Based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour, it was hypothesised that 1) attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control would predict intention to remove pubic hair; 2) additional variables (prototype similarity and favourability) from the Prototype Willingness Model would significantly predict intention to remove pubic hair; 3) feminist values would significantly predict decreased intention to remove pubic hair; and 4) intention and perceived behavioural control would predict future self-reported removal of pubic hair. Method: The current study included a sample of 270 young women (17-25 years old), who completed an online survey and a follow up survey 4 weeks later (N = 96). Results: Attitudes, perceived behavioural control, and similarity to prototypical pubic hair removers were significant predictors of intention to remove pubic hair. Intention was significantly positively associated and feminist values were significantly negatively associated with actual pubic hair removal. Conclusions: These findings align with Theory of Planned Behaviour propositions. Furthermore, the expansion of the model highlights how broader social images impact on young women when deciding whether to engage in a behaviour that is intimately associated with their body image.
... From a social and sexual perspective, it is believed that pheromonal signaling, through dense apocrine sweat glands in the pubic area, serves as a communication method to improve attractiveness 2 . Its biological functions include: pheromone dissemination through apocrine glands, protection of genitalia against cloth friction, and the control of genital moisture 2,3 . Recent studies have associated the presence of pubic hair with greater capacity to trap and stop microorganisms, as well as the production of bacteriostatic peptides from sebum produced by hair follicles 4 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Genital hair is one of the secondary sexual traits that marks the beginning of puberty; its removal has been part of human culture since ancient times. This practice may lead to modifications in vaginal microbiome with potential repercussions on skin health and balance. We conducted a narrative review with the purpose of describing normal skin microbiota, its impact under microenvironment changes and genital hair removal. Menses, pathological conditions and pubic hair removal may alter vaginal microbiota, being the latter of special relevance giving the risk of hair microtrauma, irritations and potential spread of infectious agents.
... That is, viewers may be internalizing the sexual scripts they view in pornographic videos, which may influencing sexual fantasies (Kimmel & Plante, 2004), sexual behavior (Grov et al., 2011;Weinberg et al., 2010), and new sexual norms. These norms include recent trends in pubic hair removal (Herbenick et al., 2012;Ramsey, Sweeney, Fraser, Oades, 2009), concerns about increased rates of oral and anal sex experience among adolescents (Flanagan, 2006;McBride & Fortenberry, 2010), continued resistance to condom use on the grounds that condoms reduce arousal (Bolton, McKay, & Schneider, 2010;O'Sullivan, Udell, Montrose, Antoniello, & Hoffman, 2010), and even "raunch culture," in which women's sexuality is perceived as a performance and women are encouraged to sexually objective themselves by stripping, exposing themselves publically, and objectifying other women (Fahs, 2011;Levy, 2005). However, viewing pornography, or at least some types of pornography, may shape individuals' sexual scripts in a positive way. ...
Article
Full-text available
Viewing free online pornographic videos has increasingly become a common behavior among young people, although little is known about the content of these videos. The current study analyzed the content of two popular female-age-based types of free, online pornography (teen and MILF) and examined nuances in the portrayal of gender and access to power in relation to the age of the female actor. A total of 100 videos were selected from 10 popular Web sites, and their content was coded using independent raters. Vaginal intercourse and fellatio were the most frequently depicted sexual acts. The use of sex toys, paraphilias, cuddling, and condom use were rare, as were depictions of coercion. Control of the pace and direction of sexual activity was typically shared by the male and female actors. Moreover, there were no gender differences in initiation of sexual activity, use of persuasion, portrayals of sexual experience, or in professional status. However, female actors in MILF videos were portrayed as more agentic and were more likely to initiate sexual activity, control the pace of sexual activity, and have a higher professional status. Implications regarding the role of pornography in generating or reinforcing sexual norms or scripts are discussed.
Article
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Objetivo: demostrar que la remoción del vello púbico femenino –una práctica común en la actualidad– es el resultado de los cambios en el vestido y las estrategias de mercadeo de los fabricantes de productos para la remoción del vello y hacer una aproximación a lo que dicen las mujeres hoy en términos de las razones para hacerlo. Materiales y métodos: se presentan los antecedentes históricos de la remoción del vello genital, su manejo en otras culturas, la frecuencia y las razones por las que se hace en la actualidad, y se revisan las estrategias comerciales y de comunicación utilizadas desde el fin del siglo XIX en la cultura occidental. Conclusiones: el imaginario actual de belleza femenina de inicio del siglo XXI implica la modificación del cuerpo en la búsqueda de un ideal de piel tersa y libre de vello, solo posible de manera artificial, haciendo que la sociedad como un todo lo considere normativo por razones estéticas, higiénicas, eróticas y de autoimagen. Palabras clave: vello púbico, imagen corporal, rasurado genital, remoción del vello corporal, depilación, feminidad. ABSTRACT Objective: To show that female pubic hair removal, a common current practice, is the result of changing trends in dress and fashion, and of the marketing strategies of the manufacturers of hair removal devices; and to consider what women today argue as their reasons for this practice. Materials and methods: The historical background for pubic hair removal is presented, including the approach in other cultures, the frequency and the reasons for this practice at present; the marketing and communication strategies used since the end of the 19th in the western culture are reviewed. Conclusions: The current female beauty imagery in this early part of the 21st century involves the search for an ideal of smooth hair-free skin which is only achievable through artificial means, leading society as a whole to consider it the standard for cosmetic, hygienic, erotic and self-image reasons.
Article
To understand the societal evolution of sexuality with a reflection on its possible consequences on the therapeutic management of sexual disorders. Synthesis of key points from articles or books selected according to their scientific relevance, and epidemiologic studies published on this subject. Far from the classic framework of marriage and parallely to the social empowerment of women, relationships evolve in an increasingly short-lived way. The development of social networks leads to an externalization of owns intimacy. Adolescents are prematurely exposed to the easily accessible pornographic models through Internet. The development of internet encounters, this virtual sexuality, can lead to excessive behavior, at most a cyber addiction, with sometimes a major impact on the real relationship. The diktats of fashion, performance and youth are ever-present and broadly conveyed by the medias. The therapist must be aware of the societal evolution of sexuality, mainly orchestrated by the net and medias, to be able to adapt his management of the sexual disorders. He will ensure to protect each one's individuality, without anxiety, in our normative society.
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Aim: Pubic hair grooming is a common practice in the United States and coincides with prevalence of grooming-related injuries. Men who have sex with men (MSM) groom more frequently than men who have sex with women (MSW). We aim to characterize the influence of sexual orientation and sexual role on grooming behavior, injuries, and infections in men in the United States. Methods: We conducted a nationally representative survey of noninstitutionalized adults aged 18-65 residing in the United States. We examined the prevalence and risk factors of injuries and infections that occur as a result of personal grooming. Results: Of the 4,062 men who completed the survey, 3,176 (78.2%) report having sex with only women (MSW), 198 (4.9%) report sex with men (MSM), and 688 (16.9%) report not being sexually active. MSM are more likely to groom (42.5% vs. 29.0%, P < 0.001) and groom more around the anus, scrotum, and penile shaft compared with MSW. MSM receptive partners groom more often (50.9% vs. 26.9%, P = 0.005) and groom more for sex (85.3% vs. 51.9%, P < 0.001) compared with MSM insertive partners. MSM report more injuries to the anus (7.0% vs. 1.0%, P < 0.001), more grooming-related infections (7.0% vs. 1.0%, P < 0.001) and abscesses (8.8% vs. 2.5%, P = 0.010), as well as lifetime sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (1.65 vs. 1.45, P = 0.038) compared with MSW. More receptive partners report grooming at the time of their STI infection (52.2% vs. 14.3%, P < 0.001) compared with insertive partners. Conclusions: Sexual orientation, and in particular sexual role, may influence male grooming behavior and impact grooming-related injuries and infections. Anogenital grooming may put one at risk for an STI. Healthcare providers should be aware of different grooming practices in order to better educate safe depilatory practices (i.e., the use of electric razors for anogenital grooming) in patients of all sexual orientations.
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An emerging body of research targets women's relationship to their genitals, particularly as pubic hair removal and the promotion of female genital surgeries increase in popularity and visibility. This study asked women to discuss their subjective feelings about three related but distinct genital attitudes: pubic hair grooming, sex during menstruation, and genital/vaginal self-image. Specifically, this study applied thematic analysis to qualitative interviews with a community sample of 20 women (mean age = 34, SD = 13.35) from diverse ages, races, and sexual identity backgrounds to illuminate seven themes in women's narratives about their vaginas: (1) “dirty” or “gross”; (2) needing maintenance; (3) unknown or frustrating; (4) unnatural; (5) comparative; (6) ambivalent; (7) affirmative. Overwhelmingly, women used strong emotional language when discussing their genitals, often evoking descriptions of anxiety, excess, and need for control. Fusions between sexuality and body image, and connections between “genital panics” and internalized racism, sexism, and homophobia, also appeared.
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Although some research has examined men and women's general attitudes toward women growing body hair, little research has engaged in a side-by-side examination of women's imagined experiences of growing body hair with an experiential component of growing their own body hair. In the first of two studies, I asked a diverse community sample of women aged 18 to 59 to assess their impressions of women who grew body hair and to imagine their own, and others', reactions to their hypothetical body hair growth. For the second study, I utilized response papers from 62 women from diverse backgrounds in an undergraduate women's studies course, who grew their body hair for an assignment. Results showed overwhelming negativity toward women growing body hair in both studies, but they differed in perceptions of social control and individual agency. Women in Study 1, who merely imagined body hair growth, described it more nonchalantly and individualistically, citing personal choice and rarely acknowledging social pressures placed upon women even disgusted by other women's body hair. Women in Study 2 regularly discussed unanticipated social pressures and norms, rarely discussed personal choice, and reported a constellation of difficulties, including homophobia, family and partner anger, and internalized disgust and "dirtiness." These results on a seemingly "trivial" subject nuance the "rhetoric of choice" debate within feminist theories of the body while also illustrating a vivid experiential assignment that delves into women's personal values, relationships, and social norms. Implications for assessing and changing attitudes about women's bodies-particularly "abject" or "othered" bodies-are discussed.
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This exploratory study investigated pubic hair removal behavior among 295 college men and women. Survey questions explored the extent to which young people remove their pubic hair, by what means, how often, and reasons for such behavior. Pubic hair removal by friends and sexual partners, as well as expectations of sexual partners was also explored. Commonalities and differences in responses between college men and women were examined. Results revealed that pubic hair removal is extremely common in both men and women and typically begins in early adolescence. Reasons for pubic hair removal most frequently cited include cleanliness, comfort and appearance. Implications for sexuality education and future research are discussed.
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Because testosterone increases body hair growth and infertility in women, greater pubic hair expanse could function as a visual heuristic of female infertility for men. Heterosexual male Canadian undergraduate students (N 1/4 63) completed a measure of sociosexuality, rated their reactions to their own/a female partner's hypothetical sterility, and reported their arousal in response to a range of female pubic hair expanses (from completely bare to extending beyond the pubic mound). As hypothesized, although the absence of pubic hair was rated as most arousing overall (especially among higher sociosexuality scorers), men's greater comfort with a female partner's sterility predicted greater arousal in response to the most expansive female pubic hair patterns. Thus, along with breast size and waist-to-hip ratio, pubic hair expanse may be a secondary sex characteristic that can function as a visual heuristic of female (in)fertility among heterosexual men.
Article
Pubic hair removal, now common among women in Anglo/western cultures, has been theorised as a disciplinary practice. As many other feminine bodily practices, it is characterised by removal or alteration of aspects of women's material body (i.e., pubic hair) considered unattractive but otherwise “natural.” Emerging against this theorisation is a discourse of personal agency and choice, wherein women assert autonomy and self-mastery of their own bodies and body practices. In this paper, we use a thematic analysis to examine the interview talk about pubic hair from 11 sexually and ethnically diverse young women in New Zealand. One overarching theme – pubic hair is undesirable; its removal is desirable – encapsulates four themes we discuss in depth, which illustrate the personal, interpersonal and sociocultural influences intersecting the practice: (a) pubic hair removal is a personal choice; (b) media promote pubic hair removal; (c) friends and family influence pubic hair removal; and (d) the (imagined) intimate influences pubic hair removal. Despite minor variations among queer women, a perceived norm of genital hairlessness was compelling among the participants. Despite the articulated freedom to practise pubic hair removal, any freedom from participating in this practice appeared limited, rendering the suggestion that it is just a “choice” problematic.
Chapter
Sara Ahmed said, ‘Emotions should not be regarded as psychological states, but as social and cultural practices’ (2004, 9). Critical feminist scholarship on embodiment and women’s lived experiences of their bodies has resituated and reframed the way that social scientists understand the discipline, control, and regulation of bodies (Foucault 1995). As a malleable site of cultural anxieties (Bordo 2003), personal distress and self-objectification (Johnston-Robledo et al. 2007), pleasure and satisfaction (Fahs 2011b), cultural rebellion (Bobel and Kwan 2011), frank oppression (Owen 2012), or affiliation to various social identities (Hill Collins 2000), the body and its role as a social entity cannot be overstated. More specifically, psychologists, body image researchers, and critical feminist scholars have argued that women mould and shape their bodies to emulate ‘ideals’ of youth, heterosexuality, ability, whiteness, and thinness (Bordo 2003; Ringrose and Walkerdine 2008; Tiggemann and Lewis 2004).
Article
BACKGROUND: Female genital self-image is an important aspect of psychosocial and sexual health. The Female Genital Self-Image Scale (FGSIS) is a validated instrument that has been used to characterize women's level of genital dissatisfaction. AIM: In this report, we assess genital dissatisfaction using the FGSIS in a nationally representative sample of U.S. women. METHODS: We conducted a nationally representative survey of non-institutionalized adults aged 18-65 years residing in the United States. The survey included questions about demographics, sexual behavior, and the FGSIS. OUTCOMES: Demographic characteristics were found to significantly correlate to women's perceived genital dissatisfaction. RESULTS: In total, 3,372 women completed the survey and 3,143 (93.2%) completed the FGSIS. The mean age was 46 years, and there was broad representation across the United States in terms of age, education, and location. On bivariate analysis, women's genital dissatisfaction was significantly correlated to their age, race, location, and education. Women who were sexually active were less likely to report genital dissatisfaction than women who were not sexually active (76% vs 62%, respectively, P < .001). The frequency of sexual activity was negatively correlated with genital dissatisfaction (P = .002). Women who reported genital dissatisfaction were less likely than those who reported satisfaction to engage in receptive vaginal sex (83% vs 88%, respectively, P = .03). There were no other significant associations between genital dissatisfaction and types of sexual activity. On multivariate analysis, women were less likely to report genital dissatisfaction if they were older, of black race, had an education level of high school or above, and/or lived in the Northeastern or Midwestern United States. There was no association between genital dissatisfaction and relationship status or gender of sexual partner. CLINICAL TRANSLATION: Female genital dissatisfaction may be related to age, race, education, and geography. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first nationally representative sample of U.S. women focusing on genital and self-image and dissatisfaction. These data may not apply outside the United States. These data may help providers who provide information for women and manage concerns related to genital self-image. Rowen TS, Gaither TW, Shindel AW, et al. Characteristics of Genital Dissatisfaction Among a Nationally Representative Sample of U.S. Women. J Sex Med 2018;15:698-704.
Article
Background Body hair removal is a behaviour that has become normative among women in Westernised cultures, and is presented by the media as the feminine ideal, despite being painful and a potential cause of infection. Of concern, removal may be part of a more global pattern of appearance dissatisfaction and risky sexual behaviour. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationships among pubic hair removal, body image and sexual health indicators. Methods: Women (n=264; Mage=33.82, s.d.=11.13, range=18-66) completed self-report questionnaires assessing these constructs, including an assessment of body hair removal practices. Results: Greater appearance concerns (as measured by thin-ideal internalisation, appearance investment and self-objectification) and sexual health indicators (i.e. less condom use self-efficacy when a partner disapproves of condom use) all predicted greater importance of reasons for pubic hair removal (R2=0.315, F(8184)=9.97, P<0.001), controlling for age groups. Additionally, women who removed a greater amount of hair reported more thin-ideal internalisation and appearance investment than those who removed less hair. Conclusions: Women who express stronger reasoning for pubic hair removal, and remove a larger amount of it, may endorse problematic beliefs and behaviours particularly related to appearance concerns. It is important for practitioners to consider this practice as distinct from grooming and to be aware of its association with a broader array of risky beliefs and behaviours that can compromise women's well-being.
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Kerion is a severe hypersensitivity reaction to fungal infection that is rarely seen in the groin. Frequent shaving of pubic hair and religious conservatism surrounding genital hygiene are common among Bedouin women in the Negev Desert, and may predispose to kerion. This case highlights the clinical course of a 20-year-old Bedouin woman who presented with severe kerion celsi of the pubis and vulva with secondary bacterial infection. The patient was successfully treated with intravenous antibiotics, oral antifungal medication and wet topical dressings. The case outlines the risk factors and treatment for severe kerion celsi of the groin, as well as possible preventive measures that may reduce its incidence.
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The majority of pubic hair and genital self-image research describes women living in the USA, UK and Australia. This may leave attitudes and behaviours across other cultures and geographic regions ambiguous. The purpose of this study was to describe pubic hair removal attitudes and behaviours among reproductive-age women living in Italy. Individual interviews were conducted with 46 women aged 18-45 years between June and July 2017, living in Florence, Italy and currently utilising the Italian healthcare system. Pubic hair removal was popular among participants. Women mainly removed pubic hair by waxing. Sexual partners influenced removal, as did cultural norms and the desire for cleanliness. Most participants indicated pubic hair removal onset during adolescence, often upon puberty. However, most participants had never discussed removal complications with providers. Pubic hair removal often related to a more positive genital self-image because of social norms surrounding hairlessness. Removal among this sample appears to differ from the literature in other contexts, with women living in Italy engaging in more frequent and earlier waxing. Findings offer opportunities for clinicians to proactively address safe pubic hair practices and women’s genital concerns during consultations.
Chapter
Human sexual response is covered in this chapter, including the male and female genitalia, the biological and psychological influences on our sexual response, theories of sexual response, sexual arousal, and sexual desire.
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The international wave of Women’s Marches in 2017 (and subsequent years) was fuelled by anger about the misogynist tone of the American election (aimed at contender Hillary Clinton) and a sense that the rights of women and sexual minorities were being threatened. In particular, protests were triggered by the newly elected president’s unearthed comments about female genitalia: ‘grab ‘em by the pussy’. Following the instigation of craftivists in California, women around the world donned pink knitted hats with points resembling cat ears, which became known as ‘pussy hats’. This chapter uses examples collected as rapid response collecting after the marches in Edmonton and Calgary (Alberta, Canada) for the Royal Alberta Museum to argue that the pussy hat is an example of anti-fashion in its embrace of anti-consumption, and its role to promote political accountability. The pussy hat, in effect, is the uniform of a feminist political ethics.
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Purpose To evaluate the preferences of women and men regarding female pubic hair depilation and identify possible reasons for these preferences. Methods This is a cross-sectional study of men and women over 18 years old who were invited by the official blog of our institution to respond anonymously to an online and self-administered questionnaire made by the researchers. The analyses were made using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS, SAS Inc., Cary, NC, US) software, version 9.3, and contingency tables were used to verify the distribution of variables. The univariate statistical analysis was performed using the Pearson chi-squared test, and the differences for values of p < 0.05 were considered significant. Results We obtained data from 69,920 subjects (52,787 women and 17,133 men). The mean age was 31.9 years for men, and 28.5 years for women. Most women (64.3%) and men (62.2%) preferred complete removal of female pubic hair, and this preference was more pronounced in younger women and men. Most women reported performing depilation at home (55.8%), with 44.4% using hot wax and 40.1% using a razor blade. About half of the women (44.7%) and men (50.1%) reported sexual activity, having intercourse 2 to 3 times per week. The frequency of intercourse and sexual satisfaction in women correlated with total pubic hair removal. Conclusion Most Brazilian women and men prefer the complete removal of female pubic hair, especially those who are younger and more sexually active. Women who are satisfied with the appearance of their own genitalia have a stronger preference for complete removal of pubic hair.
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Allometric analyses of hair densities in 23 anthropoid primate taxa reveal that increasingly massive primates have systematically fewer hairs per equal unit of body surface. Considering the absence of effective sweating in monkeys and apes, the negative allometry of relative hair density may represent an architectural adaptation to thermal constraints imposed by the decreasing ratios of surface area to volume in progressively massive primates. Judging by estimates of body volume, denudation of the earliest hominids should have progressed to a considerable extent prior to their shift from a forest to a grassland habitat during the Pliocene. We propose that, lacking a reflective coat of hair, the exploitation of eccrine sweating emerged as the primary mechanism for adaptation to the increased heat leads of man's new environment and permitted further reduction of the remnant coat to its present vestigial condition.
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Unusually among the mammals, humans lack an outer layer of protective fur or hair. We propose the hypothesis that humans evolved hairlessness to reduce parasite loads, especially ectoparasites that may carry disease. We suggest that hairlessness is maintained by these naturally selected benefits and by sexual selection operating on both sexes. Hairlessness is made possible in humans owing to their unique abilities to regulate their environment via fire, shelter and clothing. Clothes and shelters allow a more flexible response to the external environment than a permanent layer of fur and can be changed or cleaned if infested with parasites. Naked molerats, another hairless and non-aquatic mammal species, also inhabit environments in which ectoparasite transmission is expected to be high, but in which temperatures are closely regulated. Our hypothesis explains features of human hairlessness-such as the marked sex difference in body hair, and its retention in the pubic regions-that are not explained by other theories.
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A 20-year-old Australian woman with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes presented with life-threatening Streptococcus pyogenes and Herpes simplex infection of her external genitalia following a routine perineal “Brazilian” bikini wax. Extensive pubic hair removal is now common among young adults in Australia and elsewhere. However, the infectious risks of these practices, particularly among immunosuppressed individuals, are often underappreciated.
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Background: Pubic atrichosis or hypotrichosis is a common condition in Korean women of Mongolian origin. This results in many patients receiving hair restoration surgery, which is currently thought to be the only definitive therapy. Objective: To pursue more natural and realistic-appearing results, to define patient characteristics, and to estimate the survival rate of transplanted pubic hair through restoration surgery, we examined our cases of pubic hair restoration surgery with single-hair grafts. Methods: We selected 507 patients with pubic atrichosis or hypotrichosis who visited for pubic hair transplantation between March 1, 2001, and February 28, 2005. We reviewed the medical charts of the 507 patients and performed statistical analysis. We also carried out a detailed evaluation of our surgical technique to 100 patients. In addition, 20 patients, who agreed to participate in the study for survival rate, had received transplantation of 40 hairs in a 1.5 x 1.5-cm area after the angular points were tattooed. The number of hairs grown after 1 year of transplantation was counted in each case. Results: Among the 507 subjects, 169(33.3%) were in their 40s. The mean (+/-SD) patient age was 41.3+/-10.8 years. Of these, 115 patients (22.7%) had pubic atrichosis, and 392 patients (77.3%) had pubic hypotrichosis. In addition, 81.7% of atrichosis patients had a family history of atrichosis or hypotrichosis. Pubic atrichosis accompanied axillary atrichosis or hypotrichosis in 60.0 and 38.2% of the cases, respectively. The most common reason for the hair restorative procedure was the subject's sense of inferiority to the same sex (73.8%). The mean number of transplanted hairs was 929.3+/-76.6. The most common design pattern that we used was modified horizontal type (87.0%). The mean survival rate of single-hair grafts on the pubis was 73.6+/-7.6%. Conclusion: This study suggested that pubic hair transplantation surgery is a suitable cosmetic procedure to address the inferiority complex of patients with pubic atrichosis or hypotrichosis. Knowledge of natural pubic pattern and normal physiologic features is essential to create a natural and realistic appearance in a given subject.
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Hair is a product of small pits in the skin known as hair follicles. The most important feature of hair follicles is that their activity is intermittent; each active phase or anagen is succeeded by a transitional phase (catagen) and a resting phase (telogen), during which the fully formed "club hair" is retained for a period and then shed. The growth of facial, body, axillary, and pubic hair depends on androgens. Facial hair and body hair require high levels of testosterone and its conversion to 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone. Pubic and axillary hair follicles require much lower levels of hormone, and 5-alpha-reduction appears to be unnecessary. Paradoxically, male pattern alopecia and its female equivalent also require androgen for their manifestation. The differing lengths of hair in the various regions of the body result largely from differences in the duration of anagen and only to a small extent from differences in the rates of growth. Some hair loss from the scalp can be characterized in terms of the hair growth cycle, and some involves long-term changes in the follicular architecture. Thus postfebrile and postpartum alopecias are telogen effluvia that involve shedding of club hairs, whereas drug-induced alopecia and alopecia areata involve shearing and loss of growing hairs. Male pattern baldness and female diffuse alopecia involve gradual shortening of the periods of anagen and shrinkage of the hair follicles over a long term.
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36 male and 24 female college students were shown slides of a hairy arm, an arm without hair, a hairy chest, a chest without hair, a large penis and a small penis. They were asked to rate the slides on various adjective scales. The hairy arm and, to some degree, the hairy chest were rated as more potent and more active than their hairless counterparts and the large penis was rated as more potent than the small penis. These results were replicated for a smaller group.
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The chief goal of this exploratory study was to discover what a woman's own experience of her illness meant to her--how she thinks of herself as a woman and a person with a health problem. The study was exploratory in nature and designed to expand our conceptual thinking about health and illness and the delivery of health-care services. The study was qualitative, and the principal method was the semi-structured, indepth, face-to-face interview. All of the women in the study had been diagnosed with primary breast cancer and were in a variety of stages of treatment. What emerged from the study were explanatory stories that women constructed to chronicle their illness experience and interpret it. The theme under discussion here is hair loss as symbolic of larger cultural beliefs and values. Recommendations for interventions with women who experience hair loss as a traumatic event are offered in the context of a deeper cultural understanding of hair loss that is a consequence of cancer care.
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Hypotrichosis of the pubis is not an uncommon condition, especially in oriental women. Besides the aesthetic problem, this condition may cause low self-esteem, social embarrassment, and psychologic problems to patients. There have been many efforts to correct this condition medically and surgically for decades. Among them hair restoration surgery is thought to be the only definitive therapeutic modality at present. Our purpose was to show the importance of preoperative evaluation of what type of pubic hair patterns the patients may seek and thereafter to make a design based on the patients' desire and physiologic feature of pubic hair for the natural-appearing results and satisfaction of the patients. Ten female patients were enrolled in this study aged between 23 and 48 years with pubic hair maturity index class I-III. For selection of a patients' favored pubic hair pattern, we provided photograph samples of pubic hair patterns that consisted of four types as previously documented: horizontal, sagittal, acuminate, and disperse. We restored hairless mons using a conventional one- to three-haired mini-micrograft technique. Five patients belonged to the pubic hair maturity index class I, four to class II, and one to class III. Seven of 10 patients wanted a horizontal (inverted triangular) type, which is most commonly seen in young females, 2 patients wanted acuminate, and 1 wanted sagittal. Eight patients underwent a single-session operation, while two others underwent operations twice. The two patients requiring two operation sessions belonged to a group of class I pubic hair and desired acuminate-type hair. Most patients were satisfied with the results of their operations. In designing a pubic hair graft, it is important to know the patients' desire and to make a design based on it for the satisfaction of the patients and for natural-appearing results. Before the procedure, dermatologic surgeons should have to consider a grafted hair line, the distribution, density, and directions of the hair shaft, and the angling of the hair to the skin.
Article
Although the loss of pubic hair is a relatively frequent condition, there have been few reports about pubic hair restoration. This report aims to describe the demarcation and technical guidelines for pubic hair restoration using follicular micrografts. Demarcation is described and based on anatomic parameters such as the level of the greater trochanters and the labium majus. The angle of micrograft insertion and direction also are described. The use of micrografts for pubic hair restoration is a procedure that promotes very natural results. The described parameters of demarcation and technical details are important issues that should be considered to obtain a natural result in pubic hair restoration.
Article
A 17-year-old girl presents with a pubic rash which occurred following shaving (Fig. 1). The rash consists of follicular papules and crusts and is mildly pruritic. Questions for the Clinician: What is your diagnosis?What is the obvious cause of the problem?What are common methods of pubic hair removal and their complications?How can clinicians help minimize these complications? Diagnosis: This girl has impetigo, a common and highly contagious bacterial skin infection, caused by Staphylococcus aureus. 1 The infection was no doubt spread locally by pubic hair shaving. Treatment with oral (cephalexin) and topical (mupirocin) anti-staphylococcal antibiotics cleared the infection quickly. What follows is a brief review of pubic hair removal: trends and techniques, as well as complications and strategies to reduce them. Pubic Hair Removal: While trimming or shaving the bikini area is nothing new for women and adolescent girls, more extensive pubic hair removal, once relatively uncommon except for cultural and religious reasons, is now routine. And while the practice has become mainstream in adults and adolescents of both sexes, relatively little has been written in the medical literature about this trend and its associated health consequences. Catering to this trend is a host of personal products designed for pubic hair grooming including specialty razors, electric shavers, and trimmers as well as pubic shaving gels and after-shave lotions. Salons and medical practices are touting pubic hair removal by waxing and lasers. Web sites and popular magazines are offering pubic hair removal tips and products for the novice as well as the experienced. An interesting trend is that of adolescent girls shaving their pubic hair well before they reach Tanner stage 5. Some girls start to remove pubic hair soon after they begin to develop it. It is not uncommon to see 11 and 12-year-old girls with pubic razor stubble. Tanner staging can be tricky in these girls-you have to look for the extent of the stubble, which can be difficult if the shave is close. In the author's experience, girls may learn about shaving their pubic hair from a variety of sources, including their friends, older sisters, magazines, and the internet. Parents may not know their daughter shaves her pubic hair and the reaction to this knowledge may not be positive. Before making any general comments or disclosure about this practice to parents, for example in the setting of an infection, you should obtain your patient's permission first. Younger girls may be surprised at the irritation and folliculitis that may arise from pubic hair removal. Contributing to these problems may be inexperience and poor technique, such as using a blade razor to shave dry skin or using a dull razor. As for pubic hair waxing, a girl's first experience with a "Brazilian wax" may leave her extremely irritated and wishing she had not taken the plunge. Sexually active adolescents may be shocked that they have been auto-inoculating sexually transmitted infections such as molluscum contagiosum and condyloma acuminata throughout their pubic area by shaving. Older adolescents and women with shaving and waxing folliculitis will often continue to shave and wax despite extreme irritation because they simply will not let their pubic hair grow in. In this situation, clinicians should work with patients to help them choose better hair removal techniques and minimize discomfort and irritation (see below). © 2006 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.
Article
Anecdotal experience in our clinic suggests a recent reduction in cases of pubic lice despite increased patient numbers and increasing prevalence rates of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Also, in recent years we have seen an increasing number of patients who have undergone extensive pubic hair removal procedures, such as the “Brazilian.” Could there be an association between the rates of pubic lice and the introduction of pubic hair removal practices? We have looked at the prevalence rates of pubic lice in relation to hair removal practices and, for comparison, also looked at the rates of gonorrhoea and chlamydia over the same period. Annual cases of pubic lice, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea diagnosed at the Department of Genitourinary Medicine, …
Article
Although hairlessness is rapidly becoming a component of the ideal male body, little research has examined men's concerns about their body hair or their hair removal practices. Samples of gay and heterosexual men completed questionnaires that assessed whether they had ever removed their back, buttock or pubic hair, the frequency with which they did so, the methods used and their self-reported reasons for removing this hair, as well as their level of appearance investment. Results indicated that many gay and heterosexual men remove their back, buttock and pubic hair regularly and that their primary reason for doing so is to maintain or improve their appearance. The frequency of hair removal was also associated with the motivational salience component of appearance investment. The findings offer further support to the premise that gay and heterosexual men exhibit similar body image concerns.
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Hair restoration surgery in patients with pubic atrichosis or hypotrichosis: Review of technique and clinical consideration of 507 cases
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