Article

Pubic Hair Removal among Women in the United States: Prevalence, Methods, and Characteristics

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Abstract

Although women's total removal of their pubic hair has been described as a "new norm," little is known about the pubic hair removal patterns of sexually active women in the United States. The purpose of this study was to assess pubic hair removal behavior among women in the United States and to examine the extent to which pubic hair removal methods are related to demographic, relational, and sexual characteristics, including female sexual function. A total of 2,451 women ages 18 to 68years completed a cross-sectional Internet-based survey. Demographic items (e.g., age, education, sexual relationship status, sexual orientation), cunnilingus in the past 4weeks, having looked closely at or examined their genitals in the past 4weeks, extent and method of pubic hair removal over the past 4weeks, the Female Genital Self-Image Scale (FGSIS) and the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Women reported a diverse range of pubic hair-grooming practices. Women's total removal of their pubic hair was associated with younger age, sexual orientation, sexual relationship status, having received cunnilingus in the past 4weeks, and higher scores on the FGSIS and FSFI (with the exception of the orgasm subscale). Findings suggest that pubic hair styles are diverse and that it is more common than not for women to have at least some pubic hair on their genitals. In addition, total pubic hair removal was associated with younger age, being partnered (rather than single or married), having looked closely at one's own genitals in the previous month, cunnilingus in the past month, and more positive genital self-image and sexual function.

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... Age and sexual activity seem to have a significant role in PHR practices. For men and women of all ages, sexual activity is positively correlated with PHR (Bercaw-Pratt et al., 2012;Butler et al., 2014;Herbenick, Schick, Reece, Sanders, & Fortenberry, 2010;Osterberg et al., 2016). Most individuals start PHR by the age of 16 (Toerien et al., 2005), but as they age, their likelihood of PHR declines, especially for post-menopausal women (Herbenick et al., 2010;Toerien et al., 2005). ...
... For men and women of all ages, sexual activity is positively correlated with PHR (Bercaw-Pratt et al., 2012;Butler et al., 2014;Herbenick, Schick, Reece, Sanders, & Fortenberry, 2010;Osterberg et al., 2016). Most individuals start PHR by the age of 16 (Toerien et al., 2005), but as they age, their likelihood of PHR declines, especially for post-menopausal women (Herbenick et al., 2010;Toerien et al., 2005). In addition, an increase in age correlates with a decrease in the amount of PHR, for example, younger women tend to remove all the hair, whereas older women only partially remove hair (Herbenick et al., 2010). ...
... Most individuals start PHR by the age of 16 (Toerien et al., 2005), but as they age, their likelihood of PHR declines, especially for post-menopausal women (Herbenick et al., 2010;Toerien et al., 2005). In addition, an increase in age correlates with a decrease in the amount of PHR, for example, younger women tend to remove all the hair, whereas older women only partially remove hair (Herbenick et al., 2010). Overall, PHR practices have increased in the cultural West. ...
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.
... Pubic hair grooming, defined as partial or full removal of pubic hair, is reported as a common practice among men and women in many countries. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] The prevalence of grooming is higher in women compared to men, 9,12 and in younger age groups of both women and men. 3,4,6,9 Several studies report grooming prevalence as greater than 80% among women. ...
... [8][9][10] In one university in the United States (US), almost all (98.1%) of female students reported ever grooming. 10 The most frequently reported method for pubic hair removal is shaving, 1,8,[10][11][12] but other methods such as waxing and laser removal are frequent. 6,8,12 Pubic hair removal is associated with high rates of side effects, such as lacerations, itching, folliculitis, rashes and burns. ...
... Studies in the US, Australia and Brazil have found that pubic hair removal was associated with increased sexual activity or having a sexual partner. 1,5,6,20,21 Our study did not find an association of grooming with sexual activity and this is likely to be related to the study population who were seeking effective contraception and who were required to be sexually active at enrolment. 17 In our research, almost three of four women in both groomer and non-groomer groups did not always use condoms in the last three months, making it a possible contributing factor to STI risk. ...
Article
Pubic hair grooming is common in many countries, but little is known about this practice in Africa. Grooming has been positively associated with self-reported sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and safety of pubic hair grooming in two South African settings. In KwaZulu-Natal province, 1218 women participating in the Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes Trial completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire on pubic hair grooming practices, and were tested for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Pubic hair removal was reported by 705 (58.2%) of women. Common areas for grooming were the pubis (n = 616, 99.4%), vagina/perineum (n = 529, 85.3%) and inner thigh (n = 255, 41.1%). Half (n= 361, 51.4%) removed some or all of their pubic hair at least monthly and 59 (8.4%) once a week or more often. Common side effects reported included itching (n = 439, 77.1%) and pimples and blisters (n = 249, 43.9%). A quarter (n = 173, 24.5%) of groomers had a positive result for either or both of CT and NG compared to a fifth (n = 98, 19.4%) of non-groomers (p-value < 0.033). There was no difference between the groups for HSV-2. After adjusting for age and having more than one sex partner, groomers were significantly more likely to have CT or NG than non-groomers (OR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.19–1.45). Similarly, those who experienced hair removal-related complications had 1.26 times the odds of testing positive for CT or NG (95% CI: 1.03–1.54). The practice of pubic hair removal is common and reporting of side effects is high in this population. These injuries could put women at a higher risk of STIs.
... 7,9,16,17 In addition, in women, PHR has been linked to such sexual variables as interest in sex, receipt of oral sex, genital self-stimulation, and sexual functioning. 9,10 Finally, it has even been suggested that PHR may reflect or influence women's sexual decision making. 10 Although this is all very interesting, most scientific research on the subject has been conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, which implies that information on PHR practices in European countries is still lacking. ...
... 9,10 Finally, it has even been suggested that PHR may reflect or influence women's sexual decision making. 10 Although this is all very interesting, most scientific research on the subject has been conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, which implies that information on PHR practices in European countries is still lacking. Moreover, the association between PHR and sexual behavior per se has not yet been well addressed in research. ...
... Our finding that in women, unlike in men, PHR is not associated with sexual orientation, sexual activity status, or number of lifetime sexual partners is in contrast to previously reported findings. 3,7,8,10,16 Our results may be explained by the fact that the proportion of women engaging in PHR was so high, approximately 80%, that variations based on these factors were difficult to detect. Alternatively, our results can be considered supportive of earlier findings, 14,19 suggesting that PHR is more strongly integrated into women's self-views, whereas for men it is related to a specific relational and sexual context. ...
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.
... The results of these studies are grouped as prevalence, attitudes, and practices. Total nine studies were included for the review (14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21)(22). All the nine studies (14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21)(22) reported prevalence of PHR amongst study population. ...
... Total nine studies were included for the review (14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21)(22). All the nine studies (14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21)(22) reported prevalence of PHR amongst study population. Six studies reported on PHR attitude (14)(15)(16)(17)21,22). ...
... Of the nine studies eight studies were form United Sates of America (14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)22) and one study was from Saudi Arabia (21). Two studies were conducted on male participants only (15,19), one study included both male and female participants (16), Six studies were conducted on female participants only (14,17,18,(20)(21)(22). Mean age of male participants was 21.4 (SD 3.6) and mean age of female participants was 23.72 (SD 5). ...
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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. For your questions please send message to info@scopemed.com Title of the article: Systematic Review of Prevalence, Attitude, Practices of Pubic Hair Removal (PHR) activities. Abstract: Background and Objectives-The PHR practices are common around the world, for long the
... The results of these studies are grouped as prevalence, attitudes, and practices. A total of nine studies were included for the review [14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] Table 5. All the nine studies [14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] Table 1 reported a prevalence of PHR among the study population. ...
... A total of nine studies were included for the review [14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] Table 5. All the nine studies [14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] Table 1 reported a prevalence of PHR among the study population. Six studies reported on PHR attitude [14][15][16][17]21,22] Table 2. Six studies reported on PHR practices [15,[17][18][19]21,22] Table 3. ...
... Of the nine studies, eight studies were from United States of America [14][15][16][17][18][19][20]22] and one study was from Saudi Arabia [21]. Two studies were conducted on male participants only [15,19], one study included both male and female participants [16], and six studies were conducted on female participants only [14,17,18,[20][21][22]. Mean age of male participants was 21.4 [standard deviation (SD 3.6)] and mean age of female participants was 23.72 (SD 5). ...
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
... However, research suggests that the majority of women usually leave some hair in their genital area. In a study of 2451 women aged between 18 and 68 years, complete pubic hair removal was particularly more prevalent among young women [7]. Complete pubic hair removal was also correlated with higher female sexual function index scores and more positive genital self-image according to the Female Genital Self-Image Scale [7]. ...
... In a study of 2451 women aged between 18 and 68 years, complete pubic hair removal was particularly more prevalent among young women [7]. Complete pubic hair removal was also correlated with higher female sexual function index scores and more positive genital self-image according to the Female Genital Self-Image Scale [7]. Some demographic differences in pubic hair grooming have been reported [8][9][10][11]. ...
... Numerous reasons exist for removing pubic hair, including hygiene, comfort, aesthetic reasons, sex appeal (often associated with being partnered), receiving cunnilingus, having looked at one's genitals in the previous 4 weeks, and some may feel pressured by family or friends to participate in hair removal practices [5][6][7]12]. While religion has not yet been examined related to pubic hair removal, in Muslim culture today, both men and women are encouraged to remove armpit and pubic hair [13]. ...
Article
Full-text available
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.
... 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). ...
... In a recent study, pubic hair grooming was strongly associated with sexual activity and practices (Gaither et al., 2015). Pubic hair grooming may lead to higher genital satisfaction and sexual function in women (Herbenick et al., 2010) and to greater positive body image in men . Interestingly, pubic hair-related grooming injuries have increased over the past 10 years, and it has been suggested that anogenital grooming may put one at risk for a sexually transmitted infection (STI; Gaither et al., 2015;Glass et al., 2012). ...
... Baseline prevalence and characteristics of pubic hair grooming in women has been well studied. Among women, grooming is associated with younger ages, cunnilingus, and grooming-related genital injuries (DeMaria, Flores, Hirth, & Berenson, 2014;Herbenick et al., 2010;Herbenick et al., 2013). Very few studies have looked at baseline prevalence and characteristics of pubic hair grooming in men. ...
Article
Full-text available
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.
... 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. ...
... 11 A major limitation of the existing literature on pubic hair grooming in women is generalizability. [2][3][4][5] Most studies [2][3][4] to date have used convenience samples that are racially and demographically homogenous. Some studies 4,5,12 have enrolled more diverse populations but have been limited to specific geographic regions and often limited age ranges. ...
... 11 A major limitation of the existing literature on pubic hair grooming in women is generalizability. [2][3][4][5] Most studies [2][3][4] to date have used convenience samples that are racially and demographically homogenous. Some studies 4,5,12 have enrolled more diverse populations but have been limited to specific geographic regions and often limited age ranges. ...
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.
... 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 U.S. sample of over 2,000 women aged 18-68 years, 80% had performed some degree of PHR during the previous month (Herbenick, Schick, Reece, Sanders, & Fortenberry, 2010) and half of U.S. female university students in a recent study described their pubic hair status as "typically hair free" (Butler, Smith, Collazo, Caltabiano, & Herbenick, 2015). 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). ...
... There is a well-established link between genital satisfaction and sexual functioning (Herbenick et al., 2011;Schick, Calabrese, Rima, & Zucker, 2010) and there is also emerging evidence that pubic hair grooming may carry benefits such as increased sexual sensation and satisfaction (Herbenick et al., 2010;Herbenick et al., 2011;Ramsey et al., 2009). ...
... Consistent with previous studies (Herbenick et al., 2010;Toerien et al., 2005), PHR was practised by the majority of women in this sample, with 83% of women reporting PHR in the previous four weeks. Engagement in PHR was not associated with variables such as sexual orientation, number of sexual partners, relationship status, pornography consumption, and education, possibly underscoring the increasingly normative nature of the practice. ...
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.
... 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). ...
... 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). Women are more likely to remove hair from their legs, armpits, and pubic area than men, particularly those who are younger. ...
Article
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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.
... 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. ...
... 11 A major limitation of the existing literature on pubic hair grooming in women is generalizability. [2][3][4][5] Most studies [2][3][4] to date have used convenience samples that are racially and demographically homogenous. Some studies 4,5,12 have enrolled more diverse populations but have been limited to specific geographic regions and often limited age ranges. ...
... 11 A major limitation of the existing literature on pubic hair grooming in women is generalizability. [2][3][4][5] Most studies [2][3][4] to date have used convenience samples that are racially and demographically homogenous. Some studies 4,5,12 have enrolled more diverse populations but have been limited to specific geographic regions and often limited age ranges. ...
... In a study by [15] 2451 women between the ages of 18-65 were compared in terms of pubic hair removal type and sexual dysfunction, and found that women who had done total pubic hair removal had higher scores of total female sexual index, desire, arousal, lubrication, pain and sexual satisfaction than women with no hair removal and partial hair removal. Also [16] point to association between complete depilation and greater sexual activity. ...
... This decline is also manifested by the decreased frequency of sexual intercourse in cases compared to controls. Another study by [15] revealed no difference in the mean desire or pain score, while there were statistically significant differences in the arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction, as well as the overall sexual function score between circumcised and control women. ...
... There was no statistically significant effect on dyspareunia (p >0.05) after body hair removal. [15] found that pubic hair removal was significantly associated with younger age,a greater interest in sex ,vaginal fingering, clitoral stimulation, having casual sex partners , more likely to have received cunnilingus in the past four weeks, and had a more positive genital selfimage and sexual function index scores. ...
... Herbenick et al., 2010;Rowen et al., 2016;Tiggemann & Hodgson, 2008;Toerien et al., 2005), while fewer studies have examined pubic hair removal among men (e.g., Boroughs et al., 2005;Boroughs & Thompson, 2014;Martins et al., 2008). Few studies have focused exclusively on young people, including their motivations and peer expectations for pubic hair removal. ...
... Studies by researchers in the U.S. (e.g., Bercaw-Pratt et al., 2012;DeMaria & Berenson, 2013: Herbenick et al., 2010Rowen et al., 2016), as well as other countries such as Australia (Tiggemann & Hodgson, 2008), Canada (Riddell et al., 2010), New Zealand (Terry & Braun, 2013), and the UK (Toerien et al., 2005), suggest the rate of pubic hair removal by women in Anglo/Western cultures is high. There have been several studies in the U.S. involving large samples of women. ...
... There have been several studies in the U.S. involving large samples of women. For example, Herbenick et al. (2010) surveyed 2,451 women between 18 and 68 years old and found 80% removed their pubic hair, particularly if they were younger (under age 30). Rowen et al. (2016) had similar findings in their survey of 3,372 women between 18 and 65 years old; they found most women (84%) removed their pubic hair, with younger women more likely to remove it than older women. ...
Article
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.
... For example, pubic hair removal practices are common around the world (Prabhune et al., 2019). In the U.S., more than 85% of women aged 18-24 years participate in some method of pubic hair removal (Herbenick et al., 2010) and, as noted above, many have increased rates of experiencing both STIs and unintended pregnancies. Like barbershops and beauty salons (Linnan et al., 2014), hair removal salons may also cultivate a safe, culturally relevant space for estheticians (i.e., skincare professionals) to deliver health promotion and, more specifically, sexual health promotion campaigns to young women. ...
... Until the SHE study, there was very little information on the relationship between estheticians and their clients, with no rich, descriptive data regarding the waxing profession. Past research has shown that 85% of young adult women practice pubic hair removal, which coincides with the population experiencing high rates of STIs and unintended pregnancy (Herbenick et al., 2010). Other studies have also illustrated a link between pubic hair removal and sexual activity, or at least an interest in becoming sexually active (Bercaw-Pratt et al., 2012;Herbenick et al., 2013). ...
Article
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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.
... 2-4 Pubic hair removal has been associated with genital self-image and higher levels of sexual response. 5,6 Although pubic hair grooming is widespread, the risks associated with hair removal, such as genitourinary injuries, remain largely uncharacterized. ...
... This result is consistent with previously published rates of pubic hair removal, ranging from 48% to 87% for women and 33% to 50% for men, depending on age and sexual orientation. 2, 3,5,12,14,20 Unlike prior studies that we are aware of examining trends in pubic hair removal, 6,12,20 this survey included respondents from a wide range of ages, geographic locations, and sexual activity patterns that mirrored the current population of the United States. 17 We found significantly greater prevalence of grooming among younger groups. ...
Article
Importance Pubic hair grooming is a common practice that can lead to injury and morbidity. Objective To identify demographic and behavioral risk factors associated with pubic hair grooming–related injuries to characterize individuals with high risk of injury and develop recommendations for safe grooming practices. Design, Setting, and Participants This cross-sectional study conducted a national survey of noninstitutionalized US adults (aged 18-65 years). The web-based survey was conducted through a probability-based web panel designed to be representative of the US population. Data were collected in January 2014 and analyzed from August 1, 2016, through February 1, 2017. Main Outcomes and Measures Grooming-related injury history (yes or no), high-frequency injuries (>5 lifetime injuries), and injury requiring medical attention. Results Among the 7570 participants who completed the survey (4198 men [55.5%] and 3372 women [44.5%]; mean (SD) age, 41.9 [18.9] years), 5674 of 7456 (76.1%) reported a history of grooming (66.5% of men and 85.3% of women [weighted percentages]). Grooming-related injury was reported by 1430 groomers (weighted prevalence, 25.6%), with more women sustaining an injury than men (868 [27.1%] vs 562 [23.7%]; P = .01). Laceration was the most common injury sustained (818 [61.2%]), followed by burn (307 [23.0%]) and rashes (163 [12.2%]). Common areas for grooming-related injury for men were the scrotum (378 [67.2%]), penis (196 [34.8%]), and pubis (162 [28.9%]); for women, the pubis (445 [51.3%]), inner thigh (340 [44.9%]), vagina (369 [42.5%]), and perineum (115 [13.2%]). After adjustment for age, duration of grooming, hairiness, instrument used, and grooming frequency, men who removed all their pubic hair 11 times or more during their lifespan had an increased risk for grooming injury (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.97; 95% CI, 1.28-3.01; P = .002) and were prone to repeated high-frequency injuries (AOR, 3.89; 95% CI, 2.01-7.52; P < .001) compared with groomers who did not remove all their pubic hair. Women who removed all their pubic hair 11 times or more had increased odds of injury (AOR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.53-3.19; P < .001) and high-frequency injuries (AOR, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.78-5.01; P < .001) compared with groomers who do not remove all their pubic hair. In women, waxing decreased the odds of high-frequency injuries (AOR, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.03-0.43; P = .001) compared with nonelectric blades. In total, 79 injuries among 5674 groomers (1.4%) required medical attention. Conclusions and Relevance Grooming frequency and degree of grooming (ie, removing all pubic hair) are independent risk factors for injury. The present data may help identify injury-prone groomers and lead to safer grooming practices.
... The study of Sangiorgi et al. [18] showed that Brazilian women who are satisfied with the appearance of their own genitalia have a stronger preference for complete removal of pubic hair. Herbenick et al. [19] indicated similar results in their study with 2451 women. In a study of DeMaria et al. [20] which was carried on with 663 female participants who had been removing pubic hair, it was demonstrated that women who were hair-free had a significantly more positive genital self-image than women with at least some hair on their genitals. ...
... In a study of Herbenick et al. [19] 2451 women between the ages of 18-65 were compared in terms of pubic hair removal type and sexual dysfunction, and found that women who had done total pubic hair removal had higher scores of total FSFI, desire, arousal, lubrication, pain and sexual satisfaction than women with no hair removal and partial hair removal. Also Bercaw-Pratt et al. [26] point to association between complete depilation and greater sexual activity. ...
... Furthermore, women of color who choose to have body hair face more severe social penalties than White women, particularly from family members concerned with "respectability" (Fahs & Delgado, 2011). Aside from body hair (i.e., underarm, leg, facial), women have experienced increasing pressures to remove all or most of their pubic hair (Tricklebank, Braun, & Clarke, in press), with younger and partnered women reporting more frequent pubic hair removal than older and nonpartnered women (Herbenick, Schick, Reece, Sanders, & Fortenberry, 2010). ...
... Evidence from ''real sex'' indicates that most women are unable to orgasm through vaginal penetration alone and often require various forms of stimulation or varied periods of time (Fugl-Meyer et al. 2006). As another example, SEM tends to provide viewers the impression that all women remove their pubic hair, though evidence indicates that the majority of women keep at least some of their pubic hair and total removal is much less common than that presented in SEM (Herbenick et al. 2010). We used the terms ''most'' and ''usually'' in several FAQ questions in order to provide respondents the opportunity to interpret variation relative to their own perspectives with regard to the frequency with which these events occur. ...
Article
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Given that consumption of sexually explicit material (SEM) and sexual behaviour are inextricably linked, the purpose of this study was to determine whether the frequency of SEM consumption predicts knowledge of sexual human anatomy, physiology, and typically practiced sexual behaviour. A secondary purpose was to investigate self-perceived effects of SEM consumption and whether participants report SEM as a positive or negative contributor to various aspects of life. Using a modified version of the Pornography Consumption Questionnaire and the Falsification Anatomy Questionnaire, we determined that contrary to expectations, frequency of SEM exposure did not contribute to inaccurate knowledge of sexual anatomy, physiology, and behaviour. Rather, the opposite relationship was found. However, in concert with previous literature, participants reported greater positive self-perceived effects of SEM consumption than negative effects.
... However, many of the women we interviewed also had concerns about their overall genital appearance (most often the labia) as well as a fear of the potential reactions of others (especially sexual partners) to their genitals. This expanding list of concerns is not surprising given the recent promotion and popularity of genital modification practices, including pubic hair removal, feminine hygienic practices (e.g., deodorant sprays, cleansing wipes), and the more extreme genital cosmetic surgery, which construct women's genitals as "works in progress" or "sites for improvement" (Braun, 2010;Fahs, 2014;Goodman, 2011;Green, 2005;Herbenick, Schick, Reece, Sanders, & Fortenberry, 2010). The prevalence of negative genital self-perceptions among women is problematic in and of itself. ...
Article
Women's genital self-perceptions encompass their subjective thoughts and feelings about their own genitals. The goal of the current study was to enhance our understanding of the complexities of women's lived experiences of their genital self-perceptions. Participants were 20 women (ages 19 to 35 years) who first answered a single quantitative item, which asked them to rate their global feelings about their genitals, and then participated in a semistructured interview. Transcripts were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. On average, the women felt moderately positively about their genitals. However, few of the women's qualitative descriptions would be characterized as "moderately positive." Five major themes emerged from the qualitative data analysis: (a) women's global genital self-perceptions are diverse; (b) each woman has mixed specific genital self-perceptions; (c) women's genital self-perceptions fluctuate across situations and people; (d) women's genital self-perceptions evolve over time; and (e) negative genital self-perceptions can have consequences for women. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for researchers, educators, and clinicians.
... 9,10 During the recent years, the attention and visibility of the vulva and labia have increased, primarily because of the increased popularity of removing pubic hair. 11,12 Furthermore, pornography and labia images, often selective or digitally edited, are widely available through the media and the Internet, leading to misguided assumptions of what is normal and desirable. 8,13 Consequently, many women perceive nonprotruding and symmetrical labia minora as normal 8,14 and hence desire a "prepubescent" appearance. ...
Article
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Objectives: The aims of the study were to describe and to assess the size of labia minora in normal women, including the women's perception of their genitals to offer better counseling to the women seeking for labiaplasty. Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study was undertaken in the outpatient clinic at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Kolding Medical Center between May 2012 and October 2013, when study participants were recruited in connection with their routine visits. Main outcomes of interest were visibility and width of the patients' labia minora. In addition, women were asked whether they perceived their genitals as being normal. Information about age, body mass index, and parity was also collected. We used descriptive statistics and paired t test to compare the clinical measurements. Results: In total, 244 women were included in the study. The median width of labia was 15 mm, and 90% of labia were less than 26.5 mm. Fifty-six percent of the women had visible labia minora. Regarding perception, 86.5% considered their labia as being normal. Within the group of women who perceived their genitals to be abnormal, 73.3% had visible labia minora. Among women with the largest labia (>26.5 mm), two thirds considered themselves normal. There was no statistically significant association between the measurements of labia minora and age, body mass index, or parity. Conclusions: One of 10 women had a measurement of labia minora of at least 26.5 mm in width. It is just as common to have visible labia minora as hidden labia minora. Women who considered their genitals to be abnormal more often had visible labia minora than women who considered their genitals to be normal.
... Other studies also reported associations of the preference for complete depilation and greater sexual activity. 9,12,15 In line with these observations, we also found that, in general, subjects who preferred no depilation had lower frequencies of intercourse. ...
Article
Full-text available
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.
... Pubic hair removal may be a risk factor for VIN or correlated with the increasing incidence of VIN. Until the 1980s, it was considered normal for women to shave only the bikini zone and armpits, while the latest trend, especially among younger women, is total pubic hair removal [11]. This trend can be observed in magazines like Playboy, which demonstrate a transition from completely hairy pubic areas to different degrees of shaving and, finally, to total pubic hair removal [12]. ...
Article
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Objective The risk factors for vulvar dysplasia and infections are not fully known. In this study, we aimed to investigate the correlation between pubic hair shaving and the occurrence of vulvar inflammation, dysplasia, and cancer. Methods This study was performed between January 2013 and December 2016 in which a standardized questionnaire concerning genital hair shaving was administered to vulvar dysplasia and cancer patients and healthy participants. The presence of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection and the occurrence of genital inflammation were documented. Results We recruited 49 patients with vulvar dysplasia or cancer and 234 healthy women as a control group. Smoking, HPV infection, genital inflammation, and complete pubic hair removal were significantly more common in the vulvar dysplasia/cancer group. Pubic hair shaving per se presented a clear association with vulvar dysplasia/cancer. Shaving the labia majora in particular showed also an association. Conclusion Our findings suggest that partial or complete pubic hair shaving using a razor is correlated with and could be a potential risk factor for the development of genital inflammation, vulvar dysplasia, and malignancies. These results need to be confirmed in larger studies. HPV status and genital inflammation should be documented by medical personnel.
... Furthermore, women who have had labiaplasties have not reported improvements in their sex lives (Bramwell, Morland, & Garden, 2007). Instead, negative genital attitudes correlate with women refusing to allow a partner to perform oral sex on them (Bay-Cheng & Fava, 2011), being resistant to genital self-examinations, using vibrators less, and attending fewer gynecological appointments (Herbenick, Schick, Reece, Sanders, & Fortenberry, 2010). The supposedly empowering outcomes of female genital cosmetic surgeries are thus not supported by the literature and seem to contribute to a variety of other problems associated with women's sexualities and bodies in contemporary culture. ...
Chapter
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In this chapter, we illustrate the paradox of pleasure and danger by examining points of tension, contradiction, and conflict about women’s sexuality, power, and empowerment. We have divided this chapter into two parts. In Part 1, we begin by reiterating Fahs and McClelland’s (2016) argument for critical sexuality studies and argue for how such a lens can revise the concepts, practices, and ways of seeing used by feminist psychologists studying sexuality. We follow this with a critical examination of the typical ways in which sex researchers construct sexual satisfaction, embodiment, sexual activity and virginity, and agency. Last, we briefly explore the implications of traditional sex research for conceptualizing women’s sexuality and understanding the social policies that affect women (e.g., the development of flibanserin or “female Viagra”). In Part 2, we revisit the feminist paradox of pleasure and danger (Vance, 1983) by pairing it with recent theories and empirical studies that have examined the contradictions of women’s sexuality. We follow this by examining neoliberal discourses on sexuality (i.e., the notion of individualistic consumers, informed by capitalism, claiming “sexual empowerment”) and how these discourses have influenced modern sex research as well as feminist responses, critiques, and revisions to traditional sex research.
... Removal of pubic hair in women may be partial or total. Total hair removal has been associated with women who are younger in age, have a sexual status of being partnered (as compared to single or married), have received cunnilingus in the previous month, have closely examined their own genitals in the prior four weeks, and who consider themselves to have a more positive sexual function and genital self-image [17]. ...
Article
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Genital rejuvenation is applicable not only to women (vaginal rejuvenation) but also to men (scrotal rejuvenation). There is an increased awareness, reflected by the number of published medical papers, of vaginal rejuvenation; however, rejuvenation of the scrotum has not received similar attention in the medical literature. Scrotal rejuvenation includes treatment of hair-associated scrotal changes (alopecia and hypertrichosis), morphology-associated scrotal changes (wrinkling and laxity), and vascular-associated scrotal changes (angiokeratomas). Rejuvenation of the scrotum potentially may utilize medical therapy, such as topical minoxidil and oral finasteride, for scrotal alopecia and conservative modalities, such as depilatories and electrolysis, for scrotal hypertrichosis. Lasers and energy-based devices may be efficacious for scrotal hypertrichosis and scrotal angiokeratomas. Surgical intervention is the mainstay of therapy for scrotal laxity; however, absorbable suspension sutures are postulated as a potential intervention to provide an adequate scrotal lift. Hair transplantation for scrotal alopecia and injection of botulinum toxin into the dartos muscle for scrotal wrinkling are hypothesized as possible treatments for these conditions. The interest in scrotal rejuvenation is likely to increase as men and their physicians become aware of both the conditions of the scrotum that may warrant rejuvenation and the potential treatments of the scrotum for these individuals.
... Researchers have found that women who underwent labiaplasties did not, in fact, report improvements in their sex lives (Bramwell, Morland, & Garden, 2007), again challenging the relationship between "idealized" bodies/ sexualities and personal satisfaction or happiness. Feminist scholars have also linked negative genital attitudes with women's resistance to partners performing oral sex on them (Bay- Cheng & Fava, 2011), as well as resistance to genital self-examinations, vibrator use, and gynecological appointments (Herbenick, Schick, Reece, Sanders, & Fortenberry, 2010). ...
Article
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Attentive to the collision of sex and power, we add momentum to the ongoing development of the subfield of critical sexuality studies. We argue that this body of work is defined by its critical orientation toward the study of sexuality, along with a clear allegiance to critical modalities of thought, particularly feminist thought. Critical sexuality studies takes its cues from several other critical moments in related fields, including critical psychology, critical race theory, critical public health, and critical youth studies. Across these varied critical stances is a shared investment in examining how power and privilege operate, understanding the role of historical and epistemological violence in research, and generating new models and paradigms to guide empirical and theoretical research. With this guiding framework, we propose three central characteristics of critical sexuality studies: (a) conceptual analysis, with particular attention to how we define key terms and conceptually organize our research (e.g., attraction, sexually active, consent, agency, embodiment, sexual subjectivity); (b) attention to the material qualities of abject bodies, particularly bodies that are ignored, overlooked, or pushed out of bounds (e.g., viscous bodies, fat bodies, bodies in pain); and (c) heteronormativity and heterosexual privilege, particularly how assumptions about heterosexuality and heteronormativity circulate in sexuality research. Through these three critical practices, we argue that critical sexuality studies showcases how sex and power collide and recognizes (and tries to subvert) the various power imbalances that are deployed and replicated in sex research.
... Desde hace algunos años, la depilación "es un nuevo mandato social" pues, desde que los adolescentes se depilan por seguir la moda, han asociado higiene y estética con el hecho de depilarse el vello púbico, incluyendo la presión social para realizarlo. 1,2,3 Los riesgos asociados con la depilación, como las lesiones del área genital, siguen siendo en gran medida un área sin caracterizar. Las lesiones durante o después del arreglo del vello púbico llegan a presentar quemaduras por el uso de cera, irritación local, laceración, heridas cortantes, vellos enquistados, foliculitis, pustulosis, celulitis, ...
Article
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Pubic hair removal is a common practice today among women and men. More common among young women, sexually active women routinely remove their genital hair more frequently than non-active women. The frequency of genital hair removal is variable; between 15 and 35% do it only for special occasions (wearing a bathing suit, doctor’s appointments or in preparation for sexual activity); between 25 and 45% remove it at least once a week and between 20 and 47% at least once a month. The primary reasons why women report removing their pubic hair are normative, for sensuality, and cleanness.
... Despite the popularity and rhetorical valence of choice discourse in neoliberal postfeminist contexts (Braun 2009), Fahs's work revealed women's body hair practices to be highly regulated, with any individual woman's choice to remove body hair bound up in cultural expectations and a desire to avoid harsh social policing of transgression. Some studies (Basow 1991;Toerien, Wilkinson & Choi 2005) have found women with lesbian and/or feminist identities reporting removing body hair at lower rates, as did older women (Herbenick et al. 2010;Toerien, Wilkinson & Choi 2005). But it is far from clear that these identities offer spaces of viable resistance to appearance norms for femininity and how they intersect with appearance norms is also likely to change depending on context (e.g., Li & Braun 2017). ...
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.
... Cherkasskaya and Rosario's (2018) perspective is supported by additional research: In one large online survey (n = 2451), women's pubic hair grooming was found to be indicative of their genital self-image and sexual desire. Women who were more confident about how their genitals looked and had higher sexual desire tended to remove all of their pubic hair (Herbenick, Schick, Reece, Sanders, & Fortenberry, 2010). Women who were less confident about the appearance of their genitals did not tend to remove pubic hair. ...
... 1,2 Motivations for grooming include genital hygiene, body image, partner preference, and sexual activity. 1,3 Pubic hair grooming is associated with more frequent sexual activity and a greater number of lifetime sexual partners. 1 The relationship between grooming and sexual activity seems to be stronger among men who have sex with men (MSM) than among men who have sex with women, especially for anal grooming. ...
Article
Background: Pubic hair grooming has been correlated with a self-reported history of sexually transmitted infections (STI). We examined this relationship further in a cross-sectional survey of patients attending an urban STI clinic in San Francisco in 2018. Methods: Pubic hair grooming practices and detailed sexual histories were obtained. STIs were confirmed via laboratory diagnosis or physical exam by a licensed provider. Results: 314 individuals completed the survey. The median age of participants was 31. In total, there were 247 (80%) men, 58 (19%) women, and five (2%) transgender participants. Of the 247 men, 177 (72%) identified as gay or bisexual. 257/314 (82%) patients reported pubic hair grooming within the past three months. Seventy-eight (25%) patients were diagnosed with a new STI during their visit. There were no significant associations between reporting any anal or genital grooming and being diagnosed with an STI. However, anal groomers were three times as likely to be diagnosed with a rectal STI after adjustment (aOR 3.0, 95% CI 1.2-7.5) compared to genital only groomers and non-groomers. Participants who report removing all of their pubic hair more than six times within the past year had higher prevalence of genital STIs (33.3% 6-10 times; 28.6% >10 times) compared to participants who never groom all of their pubic hair (15.3%, p=0.01). Conclusion: We found no association between recent grooming and genital STIs. Anal grooming was associated with rectal STIs in gay and bisexual men.
... Overall, the prevalence of axillary and pubic hair removal in men and women residing in Germany is substantial with 37%. Our findings TA B L E 3 t tests results comparing remover of axillary and pubic hair and nonremover corroborate previous studies [4][5][6]16 in terms of the association be- According to previous studies, we found a positive association between body hair removal and income 1 or level of education. 5 The higher socio-economic status of body hair removers suggests that those who remove regularly body hair refer to a stronger socially desirable behavior and body norms than nonremovers. ...
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.
... There was a strong correlation between pubic hair removal and younger age. 21 In a qualitative internet-based survey of female genital perception in 496 women and 186 men, presence of too much pubic hair was the most commonly stated dislike in women and the second most common in men. 22 It, therefore, comes as no surprise that some girls may start removing pubic hair as early as 13 years. ...
Article
Genital dissatisfaction in healthy young women is on the rise. Pubic hair removal reveals genital tissue previously hidden, while social trends promote the absence of any protruding genital tissue as the feminine ideal. Information with regard to the natural diversity of external genitalia anatomy, and lifestyle changes to improve physical symptoms related to labial tissue may suffice to reassure a distressed adolescent. Female genital cosmetic surgery is rarely supported, before attaining genital maturity. However, genital dissatisfaction may lead to significant embarrassment and anxiety, requiring formal psychological counselling. Sexual education needs to counterbalance perceived normal anatomy, portrayed in pornography or female genital cosmetic surgery advertisements.
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.
Article
Pubic hair grooming (hair removal) has been linked to body image and sexual behaviour and, given the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on access to sexual partners and beauty salons, we explored these associations. Data derive from a cross-sectional online survey. Participants were aged 18 years or over and in Australia. All genders were included. We explored factors associated with changes to hair removal using logistic regression and analysed free-text responses using content analysis. Of 256 participants, 89 (34.8%) had changed their grooming practices. Multivariable analysis found that female participants had 4.5 times increased odds of changed grooming (95%CI 1.8, 11.0; p = 0.001) compared with males. Individuals who reported 'more' or 'less' oral sex compared with the previous year were more likely to report increased odds of changed grooming (AOR 3.2; 95%CI: 1.4, 7.7; p = 0.009 and AOR: 3.3; 95%CI:1.6, 6.7; p = 0.001, respectively). Most who changed their grooming practices said it had reduced, attributing this to lack of partners, inability to access beauticians, and the mental health effects of the pandemic. For most, this change had no impact on sexual behaviour or body image; however, some spoke of reduced sexual desire and willingness to receive oral sex. Partner expectations influenced whether reduced grooming had negative consequences, and women were more affected than men, highlighting a gendered impact.
Article
Background: Aging, childbearing, and hormonal changes can lead to vulvovaginal laxity and mucosal atrophy that negatively affect a woman's quality of life. As more minimally and noninvasive options for genital rejuvenation become available in the outpatient setting, it becomes increasingly important for the dermatologic surgeon to be familiar with these popular procedures. Objective: To familiarize dermatologists with the nonsurgical options available for female genital rejuvenation, patient motivations for pursuing these procedures, relevant anatomy, and potential adverse events. Materials and methods: A MEDLINE search was performed on nonsurgical female genital rejuvenation from 1989 to 2015, and results are summarized. Results: Reports of nonsurgical female genital rejuvenation procedures using fractional carbon dioxide lasers, nonablative lasers, monopolar radiofrequency devices, hyaluronic acid fillers, and fat transfer are concisely summarized for the practicing dermatologist. Conclusion: Review of the literature revealed expanding options for nonsurgical female genital rejuvenation.
Article
Western society considers itself free, liberal and nurturing of gender equality, yet women's genitalia remain a taboo subject. Women rarely say the word ‘vulva’, and instead describe their external genitalia using a vast array of different terms, often using euphemisms (e.g. ‘down below’) or incorrectly calling it ‘vagina’.1 The lack of appropriate vocabulary reflects a general lack of knowledge of female genital anatomy and function. Sex education focuses mainly on reproduction and hence on the vagina, an internal structure which most children have no experience of and can't see.2 A physiological analogy would be to teach the role of the throat in swallowing food without mentioning the tongue or mouth. A research paper examining female sexual terminology suggests that “societal silence regarding the role of the clitoris may act as a symbolic clitoridectomy”.2 This pervading ‘vulval taboo’ means that women are often not comfortable openly sharing genital insecurities. In recent years the internet has become a source of information, and has brought female genitalia out of the shadows and into public scrutiny. Popular culture is increasingly sexualised with acceptance of nudity in the media, and popularity of skimpy, tightly fitting fashions. Images of hairless, minimalist pudenda on pornographic websites may skew women's views of their own genital normality, as well as changing men's expectations. This has contributed to a change in beauty ideals and introduced a culture of genital modification.3 Society usually regards hairiness as unfeminine4 and women from different cultures have removed body hair in varying amounts since ancient times. However, it is only in recent decades that pubic hair removal has become a popular Western trend. Around 85% of British women report pubic hair removal.4 An American study found that total hair removal is fashionable among young women, and reasons for genital …
Article
The study investigated the effectiveness of a very brief video aimed at increasing adolescent girls’ knowledge of the variation in normal female genital appearance and improving their attitudes towards their own genitals. The video was developed by the researchers and included information about the anatomical features of cisgender female genitals and their function, as well as emphasizing the diversity in the appearance of these features, particularly the external genitalia or vulvar region. A sample of 343 female adolescents aged 16-18 years were randomly assigned to view the educational video or a control video. The educational video significantly increased the girls’ knowledge of female genital anatomy. The educational video also significantly increased genital appearance satisfaction and decreased consideration of undergoing cosmetic genital surgery or labiaplasty in the future. The participants who watched the educational video were also more likely to recommend focusing on the diversity in normal female genital appearance when educating other young people on the topic of female genital anatomy. Our results suggest that a very brief educational video could be a useful tool to assist young girls with their genital self-image.
Article
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.
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We look at the past through contemporary eyes, understand it from our present, and can use the familiarities and unfamiliarities in what we see as a tool for critical insight—to render strange what has come to be taken for granted. Here I take a particular historical event—the non-consummation and eventual annulment of the marriage of UK art historian John Ruskin and socialite Effie Gray—as the starting point for a thought experiment intended to denormalise and reframe contemporary vulval modificatory practices. I have written about the vulval aesthetics, representation and practice for over 15 years (Braun 2004, 2005a, 2009a, 2009b, 2010; Braun and Kitzinger 2001; Braun et al. 2013; Braun and Wilkinson 2001, 2003, 2005); I now invite you to join my imaginative journey between the past and present, to (re)make sense of contemporary aesthetic female genital labour as genital labour, rather than (just) personal aesthetics and choice.
Article
Objective STIs are the most common infections among adults. Concurrently, pubic hair grooming is prevalent. Small-scale studies have demonstrated a relationship between pubic hair grooming and STIs. We aim to examine this relationship in a large sample of men and women. Design We conducted a probability survey of US residents aged 18–65 years. The survey ascertained self-reported pubic hair grooming practices, sexual behaviours and STI history. We defined extreme grooming as removal of all pubic hair more than 11 times per year and high-frequency grooming as daily/weekly trimming. Cutaneous STIs included herpes, human papillomavirus, syphilis and molluscum. Secretory STIs included gonorrhoea, chlamydia and HIV. We analysed lice separately. Results Of 7580 respondents who completed the survey, 74% reported grooming their pubic hair, 66% of men and 84% of women. After adjusting for age and lifetime sexual partners, ever having groomed was positively associated with a history of self-reported STIs (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.4 to 2.2), including cutaneous STIs (OR 2.6; CI 1.8 to 3.7), secretory STIs (OR 1.7; CI 1.3 to 2.2) and lice (OR 1.9; CI 1.3 to 2.9). These positive associations were stronger for extreme groomers (OR 4.4; CI 2.9 to 6.8) and high-frequency groomers (OR 3.5; CI 2.3 to 5.4) with cutaneous STIs, and for non-extreme groomers (OR 2.0; CI 1.3 to 3.0) and low-frequency groomers (OR 2.0; CI 1.3 to 3.1) with lice. Conclusions Among a representative sample of US residents, pubic hair grooming was positively related to self-reported STI history. Further research is warranted to gain insight into STI risk-reduction strategies.
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This chapter focuses on the functional anatomy of the pelvic floor and relations to female genital cosmetic surgery. The endopelvic fascia is the most important system that maintains the integrity of the axes supporting the bladder, urethra, uterus, vagina, and rectum in their respective anatomic relationships. DeLancey has divided the supports of the vagina into three levels as follows: the upper third of the vagina to the cardinal-uterosacral complex (level I), the middle third of the paravagina to the arcus tendineus fascia pelvis (ATFP) (level II), and the lower third of the vagina to the perineal membrane, levator ani muscles, and perineal body (level III). Understanding functional anatomy of the pelvic organs and the mechanism of pelvic floor support are essential to surgically correct pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and incontinence, both urinary and fecal. Identifying an underlying anatomical defect is highly critical to a successful site-specific surgical correction of POP.
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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Women present for vaginal tightening procedures for enhancement of sexual function. Women with positive genital self-image experience higher levels of sexual functioning and lower levels of sexual distress. Female genitalia modified by genital cosmetic surgery are considered more attractive regardless of age and gender. For vaginal tightening procedures, there appears to be an evidence-proven anatomic justification. Evidence in the literature confirms that orgasm and orgasmic intensity may be produced by, and intensified by, pressure on the more intensely innervated anterior vaginal wall approximately one-quarter of the way in from the introitus, in the approximate area considered by many to be the G-spot or G-area. Patient selection, especially in relationship to reasonable expectations, is crucial. Also of paramount importance, as pointed out by Liao and Creighton, is as considered an evaluation of motivations as possible, in an effort to primum non nocere.
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Introduction: Genital hygiene can play an essential role in avoiding vulvovaginal discomfort and preventing infections. The scientific evidence on best practices on genital hygiene is scarce, and without doubt, gynecologists should be the best person to discuss and guide the subject. Objective: Evaluate the general genital female gynecologist hygiene. Methods: This descriptive analytic study identified genital hygiene and sexual practices of 220 female gynecologists, through a questionnaire with 60 self-answered questions. The data were analyzed and presented using frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation. Results: The studied population was constituted by middle age (37.3 years) and white (71.3%) female gynecologists. More than a half (53.6%) declared spending over 10 hours a day away from home and complained of vaginal discharge in 48.1% of the cases. Regular vulvovaginal hygiene: 17.8% reported washing genitals once a day and 52% twice a day. The use of dry paper alone was reported in 66.4% post urination and 78.5% post-evacuation. Using running water and soap was practiced by 25.9% and 21.5% respectively. Vulvovaginal hygiene related to sex: More than half of them had intercourse 1-3 times a week, and 37.4% and 24.1% had frequent oral sex and eventually anal sexof the participants, respectively. Genital hygiene before sex was positive in 52.7% of the subjects and, post-sex hygiene in 78.5% of them. Conclusion: Genital hygiene habits of female gynecologists can be improved, despite the high grade of scientific knowledge they hold.
Article
I look at several depictions of birth in popular culture that seem to be breaking ‘Hollywood’s last taboo’ against showing graphic representations of the birthing body. I offer four illustrations of this relatively recent departure from conventional birth imagery and discuss (1) the 2006 sculpture of Britney Spears birthing on a bearskin rug, (2) the crowning scene in the 2007 movie Knocked Up, (3) a 2012 birth scene depicted in the HBO show Game of Thrones, and (4) a birth montage from an episode of the Netflix show Sense8, to suggest that representations of birth no longer solely depict asexual bodies. I consider the consequences that these sexualized representations of the birthing body might have for women’s embodied experience of birth and evaluate this sexy birth imagery in light of a cultural shift towards an increasingly (hetero)sexualized femininity. In particular, I am interested to explore how normative (hetero)sexualized femininity may align with the growing medical management of childbirth and the uptick in surgical delivery. I investigate whether graphic depictions of birth leave us with increased sexual objectification or the possibility for a new sexual subjecthood. I close by offering a queer reading of the birth depictions in the Netflix drama Sense8 and consider how its non-normative depictions of women’s laboring bodies may unsettle the powerful norms that constitute (hetero)sexualized femininity and refigure women’s experiences of childbirth.
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Cambridge Core - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Medicine - Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery - edited by Sarah M. Creighton Link: https://www.cambridge.org/se/academic/subjects/medicine/obstetrics-and-gynecology-reproductive-medicine/female-genital-cosmetic-surgery-solution-what-problem?format=PB
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Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery - edited by Sarah M. Creighton February 2019
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This chapter opens with a discussion on penis size. Individuals have their preferences but the data swerve sharply toward penis size being irrelevant except for a small proportion of women who like the aesthetics of a larger penis and those gay men who are hooked on size as an erotic trigger. The chapter next talks about the vagina and highlights that the vulva is outside, and the vagina is inside. It then talks about circumcision. As of now, no major medical organizations are suggesting that all newborn infants be circumcised for health reasons. Instead, the view is that the procedure should be available to any family that wants it and should be reimbursed by insurance. The chapter further talks about the G-spot in women, testosterone, and biological sex.
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This study explores the gendered body hair removal norm and the meanings of male body hair by examining young people’s sense-making around male body hair removal. The novel technique of story completion was used to collect data from 102 psychology undergraduates. They were presented with a story “stem” featuring a young man (David) deciding to start body hair removal and asked to complete the stem. David was most often portrayed as a young heterosexual man who was excessively hairy, in the “wrong” places, was often subject to teasing and bullying, and was concerned about his diminished sexual capital. Hair removal did not always end “happily ever after” for David. While in some stories he “got the girl,” he was punished for his vanity and foolishness in others. These different endings arguably reflect currently ambivalent meanings around male body hair depilation. The production of a hairless, or less hairy, male body is both desirable and a potential threat to masculinity. The data spoke strongly to the power of social norms surrounding body hair practices and suggest that story completion provides a useful tool in interrogating the discourses that sustain these norms.
Article
Objectives To describe demographic trends of consumer product-related injuries in the pediatric cohort from 2011 – 2020. Methods The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database surveying emergency department visits was retrospectively searched for all pediatric genitourinary injuries from 2011 to 2020. Data on demographics, diagnosis, products, disposition, and anatomy injured were collected on patients between the ages of 0-19 years. Statistical analysis was performed using linear regression. Results There were 12,953 reported pediatric cases involving injuries of the genital region from 2011 to 2020 with a national estimate of 324,636 (95% CI 241,527 – 407,746) pediatric genital injuries, comprising 0.76% of total pediatric injuries in the past decade. Of these patients, female (54.2%), white (39.7%) individuals sustained the most injuries, and items most commonly responsible included bicycles (9.4%), playground equipment (6.9%), toilets (4.6%), beds (4.5%), bathtubs and showers (4.4%), soaps (4.4%), chairs (4.1%), and razors and shavers (2.3%). Urethral injuries were due to chemical injuries from soaps (22%), furniture (17%), playground injuries (17%), insertion of foreign bodies into the urethra (13%), bicycles (10%), and swimming related injuries (4%). Genital injuries in children 0-5 years old were primarily caused by furniture (47.8%), while injuries in the 6-10, 11-15, and 16-19 age groups were attributed to sports and recreation (41.2%, 24.6%, 12.2% respectively). There was no significant change in the annual number of pediatric genital injuries from 2011 to 2020 (R² = 0.38, P=0.057). Conclusions Identifying factors involved in pediatric genital trauma can allow for increased legislation, surveillance, and prevention of such injuries in targeted age groups.
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In the past few years, the Brazilian bikini wax—a procedure involving the removal of hair from women's genital area—has become the subject of substantial media attention. From HBO's Sex and the City to popular magazines and in several Web sites, the Brazilian wax has been described as the latest craze among Hollywood stars. This article explores the Brazilian wax practice from a feminist perspective. Like the removal of hair from other body parts, the Brazilian wax is being promoted by consumer capitalism—particularly through beauty salons, popular magazines, and Web sites—as a way for women to increase their attractiveness and sexuality. Notably absent from media coverage are critical views of this practice and its potential repercussions, including its contribution to the sexual objectification of girls and women and to the social construction of women as childlike.
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Women's body hair removal is highly normative across contemporary western cultures. Nevertheless, little is known about the production and maintenance of this norm. Drawing on qualitative survey data from 678 women in the UK, this study offers two explanations: First, hairlessness and hairiness are predominantly constructed as positive and negative alternatives, respectively. Consequently, the ‘options’ to depilate, or not, are unequally weighted. Second, should a woman fail to depilate, she is likely to be subject to interactional sanctions. These exact a social price for being hairy, and serve to ‘enforce’ the depilation norm. Depilation is, then, shown to be a matter not merely of personal preference, but of conforming to a social norm reflecting an imperative to ‘improve’ the body. Taking a feminist perspective, this study understands the depilation norm as an instance of the ‘policing’ of women's bodies within a narrow ideal of social acceptability.
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Although womens body hair removal is strongly normative across contemporary Western cultures, only two studies of mundane depilation have been published, and they were based on data from the US (Basow, 1991) and Australia (Tiggemann & Kenyon, 1998), respectively. The present survey, comprised of a sample of 678 women, extends this work. We investigated UK practices, a wider array of body regions and removal methods, and the relationship between depilation and age. Over 99% of participants reported removing some hair, most commonly from the underarms, legs, pubic area, and eyebrows. Shaving and plucking were the most common removal methods. Significant relationships between age and leg, pubic, and facial depilation were found. Results document the normativity of hair removal, and we argue that hair removal is part of the taken-for-granted work of producing an acceptable femininity.
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Structural equation modelling was used to assess the strengths of the links between sexual satisfaction and self-reported (a) relationship well-being, (b) mental health, and (c) physical health for women in same-sex (i.e., homosexual, n = 114) versus mixed-sex (i.e., heterosexual, n = 208) relationships. Participants came from a large-scale Internet study. Sexual satisfaction was found to be an extremely strong predictor of relational well-being, a strong predictor of mental health, and a weak to moderately strong predictor of physical health. A two-group comparison model indicated that the strength of these links was the same, regardless of whether the women were in a sexual relationship with a man or with another woman.
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This article presents the development of a brief, self-report measure of female sexual function. Initial face validity testing of questionnaire items, identified by an expert panel, was followed by a study aimed at further refining the questionnaire. It was administered to 131 normal controls and 128 age-matched subjects with female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) at five research centers. Based on clinical interpretations of a principal components analysis, a 6-domain structure was identified, which included desire, subjective arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain. Overall test-retest reliability coefficients were high for each of the individual domains (r = 0.79 to 0.86) and a high degree of internal consistency was observed (Cronbach's alpha values of 0.82 and higher) Good construct validity was demonstrated by highly significant mean difference scores between the FSAD and control groups for each of the domains (p < or = 0.001). Additionally, divergent validity with a scale of marital satisfaction was observed. These results support the reliability and psychometric (as well as clinical) validity of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) in the assessment of key dimensions of female sexual function in clinical and nonclinical samples. Our findings also suggest important gender differences in the patterning of female sexual function in comparison with similar questionnaire studies in males.
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The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) is a brief multidimensional scale for assessing sexual function in women. The scale has received initial psychometric evaluation, including studies of reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity (Meston, 2003; Rosen et al., 2000). The present study was designed to crossvalidate the FSFI in several samples of women with mixed sexual dysfunctions (N = 568) and to develop diagnostic cut-off scores for potential classification of women's sexual dysfunction. Some of these samples were drawn from our previous validation studies (N = 414), and some were added for purposes of the present study (N = 154). The combined data set consisted of multiple samples of women with sexual dysfunction diagnoses (N = 307), including female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD), hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), female sexual orgasm disorder (FSOD), dyspareunia/vaginismus (pain), and multiple sexual dysfunctions, in addition to a large sample of nondysfunctional controls (n = 261). We conducted analyses on the individual and combined samples, including replicating the original factor structure using principal components analysis with varimax rotation. We assessed Cronbach's alpha (internal reliability) and interdomain correlations and tested discriminant validity by means of a MANOVA (multivariate analysis of variance; dysfunction diagnosis x FSFI domain), with Bonferroni-corrected post hoc comparisons. We developed diagnostic cut off scores by means of standard receiver operating characteristics-curves and the CART (Classification and Regression Trees) procedure. Principal components analysis replicated the original five-factor structure, including desire/arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain, and satisfaction. We found the internal reliability for the total FSFI and six domain scores to be good to excellent, with Cronbach alpha's >0.9 for the combined sample and above 0.8 for the sexually dysfunctional and nondysfunctional samples, independently. Discriminant validity testing confirmed the ability of both total and domain scores to differentiate between functional and nondysfunctional women. On the basis of sensitivity and specificity analyses and the CART procedure, we found an FSFI total score of 26.55 to be the optimal cut score for differentiating women with and without sexual dysfunction. On the basis of this cut-off we found 70.7% of women with sexual dysfunction and 88.1% of the sexually functional women in the cross-validation sample to be correctly classified. Addition of the lubrication score in the model resulted in slightly improved specificity (from .707 to .772) at a slight cost of sensitivity (from .881 to .854) for identifying women without sexual dysfunction. We discuss the results in terms of potential strengths and weaknesses of the FSFI, as well in terms of further clinical and research implications.
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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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The factor structure and reliability of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) was evaluated in a Finnish population based sample of 2,081 women, age 33-43 years. In addition, associations between female sexual function and age, psychological distress, alcohol use, hormone based contraceptives, child sexual abuse (CSA), and adult sexual abuse were examined. The results supported a six factor solution for the FSFI with high internal consistencies, in line with earlier research in clinical populations. Psychological distress was positively associated with every dimension of the FSFI except desire problems. Age was associated with fewer pain problems. Alcohol use was associated with every dimension of the FSFI, but the direction of the association depended on if it was drinking in general or in connection to intercourse. More drinking in general was related to fewer sexual function problems while drinking in connection to intercourse was related to more sexual function problems. No significant correlation was found between adult sexual abuse and sexual function but between CSA and lubrication, satisfaction, and pain problems. Usage of oral contraceptive pill was not significantly associated with sexual function. The use of hormone based intrauterine systems was significantly associated with less pain and more desire, arousal, and satisfaction. In conclusion, the study supports use of the FSFI for assessing sexual function not only in clinical samples but also in population based samples. The associations found between sexual function and other important variables showed the complexity of sexual function.
Article
The corporeal ideal of a female form free of body hair has a long tradition in Western thought, originating in antiquity and culminating in the eighteenth century. Early-modern discourses on art, aesthetics, cultural theory, and anthropology explicitly defend the ideal of the naked, depilated woman with reference to antique depictions of Venus. Denis Diderot's speculations on the origins of the hairless female body are exemplary for the eighteenth century. His fondness for the "depilated lap" provides for a far-reaching theory of civilization based on female "shame." Pubic hair, in Enlightenment thought, came to be associated with female sinfulness and the fall of civilization. This essay aims to trace the stages of the depilation argument in the eighteenth century. Particular emphasis is set upon its interrelation with contemporary concepts of antiquity and of the female body. Finally the essay analyzes the tendency to establish a self-reflexive metatheory--hair as a "metaphor of a metaphor"--drawing on examples from art and literature.
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The study aimed to explore the motivations behind and predictors of the practice of body hair removal among women. A sample of 235 Australian female undergraduate students completed questionnaires asking about the frequency and reasons for body hair removal, as well as measures of media exposure. It was confirmed that the vast majority (approximately 96%) regularly remove their leg and underarm hair, most frequently by shaving, and attribute this to femininity and attractiveness reasons. A sizeable proportion (60%) also removed at least some of their pubic hair, with 48% removing most or all of it. Here the attributions were relatively more to sexual attractiveness and self-enhancement. Further, having a partner and exposure to particular forms of media predicted pubic hair removal. It was concluded that pubic hair removal is currently different in connotation from leg or underarm hair, but is likely to be on the increase. It can only further the belief that women’s bodies are unacceptable the way they are.
Article
Women's sexual function may be influenced by various factors including medical conditions, trauma or abuse, medications, relationship dynamics, relaxation, mood, and body image. However, few studies have explored the influence of a woman's genital self-image on her sexual function or behaviors. The purpose of this study was to establish a reliable and valid measure of female genital self-image, the Female Genital Self-Image Scale (FGSIS), and to assess the relationship between scores on the FGSIS and women's sexual function. The FGSIS was developed in two stages. Phase One involved an analysis of cross-sectional paper-based survey data and a review of the literature. Phase Two involved a cross-sectional internet-based administration of the scale items to a total of 1,937 women. Psychometric properties of the scale were evaluated through the use of reliability analysis, factor analysis, and score differences based on women's experience of orgasm from receiving cunnilingus or from self-masturbation with a vibrator. Correlation analysis was used to explore the relationship between female genital self-image and scores on the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The scale was found to have sufficient reliability (Cronbach's alpha = 0.88) and one factor that explained 59.23% of the variance. Women who had ever experienced orgasm as a result of cunnilingus or self-masturbation with a vibrator and women who reported having had a gynecological exam in the previous 12 months had significantly higher FGSIS scores than those who had not (P < 0.001). Scores on the FGSIS were positively and significantly correlated with scores on all FSFI domains (P < 0.001), including the Total score, with the exception of the Desire domain. The FGSIS was initially found to be a reliable and valid measure though further research is needed to understand its properties in diverse populations. In addition, female genital self-image was found to be positively related to women's sexual function.
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Little is known about women's use of vibrators within sexual partnerships. Data were collected from a population-based, cross-sectional survey of 2056 women aged 18-60 years in the United States. Partnered vibrator use was common among heterosexual-, lesbian-, and bisexual-identified women. Most vibrator users indicated comfort using them with a partner and vibrator use was related to positive sexual function as measured by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). In addition, partner knowledge and perceived liking of vibrator use was a significant predictor of sexual satisfaction for heterosexual women (p < .01). Clinical and research implications are discussed.
Article
Media images of the female body commonly represent reigning appearance ideals of the era in which they are published. To date, limited documentation of the genital appearance ideals in mainstream media exists. Analysis 1 sought to describe genital appearance ideals (i.e., mons pubis and labia majora visibility, labia minora size and color, and pubic hair style) and general physique ideals (i.e., hip, waist, and bust size, height, weight, and body mass index [BMI]) across time based on 647 Playboy Magazine centerfolds published between 1953 and 2007. Analysis 2 focused exclusively on the genital appearance ideals embodied by models in 185 Playboy photographs published between 2007 and 2008. Taken together, results suggest the perpetuation of a "Barbie Doll" ideal characterized by a low BMI, narrow hips, a prominent bust, and hairless, undefined genitalia resembling those of a prepubescent female.
Article
In a previous study, sexual function was related to a woman's self-perceived body image and degree of bother from pelvic organ prolapse (POP). To evaluate sexual function, prolapse symptoms, and self-perceived body image 6 months following treatment for POP and to explore differences in body image perception and sexual function following conservative and surgical treatment for POP. After institutional review board approval, consecutive women with > or = stage II POP were invited to participate. In addition to routine urogynecologic history and physical examination, including Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification (POP-Q), the participants completed three validated questionnaires before, and 6 months after, treatment for POP: Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire, Modified Body Image Perception Scale and Prolapse subscale of Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory to assess condition specific bother from POP. Main Outcome Measures. Changes in sexual function and body image perception following treatment for POP. A total of 235 women with a mean age of 62 +/- 12 years returned for a 6-month follow-up. The majority of our participants had surgical repair for POP (88%). At 6-month follow-up visits, the patients reported significant improvement in sexual function from baseline (33 +/- 0.6 vs. 43 +/- 0.8, respectively P < 0.0001). Improvement in sexual function, as measured by PISQ-12, was not significant among sexually active patients treated with a pessary compared with those treated surgically (-2.5 +/- 5.5 vs. 11.5 +/- 1, respectively P < 0.0001). A multivariate linear regression model demonstrated that body mass index and changes in body image perception were the only independent factors associated with changes in PISQ score following POP treatment (beta = -0.5, P < 0.01 and beta = -0.4, P < 0.03, respectively). Resolution of POP symptoms after treatment improves women's self-perceived body image and sexual function. Not surprisingly, pessary is less effective in improving sexual function compared with surgical repair of POP.
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This work is based on extensive research. It involves a synthesis of material that distils a diverse variety of socio-cultural principles into a succinct argument. In doing so, it challenges the traditional view that Australia is a place dominated by a culture of the bush. It presents a series of papers that suggest that Australia is now a country that has embraced a beach culture. No Yes
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A previous study demonstrated that women seeking treatment for advanced pelvic organ prolapsed (POP) reported decreased self-perceived body image and decreased quality of life. To determine the relationship between: (i) sexual function and POP, (ii) self-perceived body image and POP; and (iii) sexual function and self-perceived body image in women with prolapse. After IRB approval, consecutive women with POP stage II or greater presenting for urogynecologic care at one of eight academic medical centers in the United States were invited to participate. In addition to routine urogynecologic history and physical examination, including pelvic organ prolapse quantification (POPQ), consenting participants completed three validated questionnaires: Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire (PISQ-12) to assess sexual function; Modified Body Image Perception Scale (MBIS) to assess self-perceived body image; Prolapse subscale of Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory (POPDI-6) to assess condition specific bother from POP. Pearson's correlations were used to investigate the relationship between independent variables. Sexual function and modified body image score and its correlation with symptoms of POP. Three hundred eighty-four participants with a mean age of 62 +/- 12 years were enrolled. Median POPQ stage was 3 (range 2-4). 62% (N = 241) were sexually active and 77% (N = 304) were post-menopausal. Mean PISQ-12, MBIS, and POPDI scores were (33 +/- 7, 6 +/- 5, 39 +/- 23, respectively). PISQ-12 scores were not related to stage or compartment (anterior, apical, or posterior) of POP (P > 0.5). Worse sexual function (lower PSIQ-12 scores) correlated with lower body image perception (higher MBIS scores) (rho = -0.39, P < 0001) and more bothersome POP (higher POPDI scores) (rho = -0.34, P < 0001). Sexual function is related to a woman's self-perceived body image and degree of bother from POP regardless of vaginal topography. Sexual function may be more related to a woman's perception of her body image than to actual topographical changes from POP.
Article
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.
Article
The methods of hair removal vary between simple inexpensive means of home treatment (shaving, plucking, depilatories) to expensive and potentially time-consuming means used by paraprofessionals, nurses, and/or physicians (electrolysis, lasers, x-ray). The ways in which these different methods induce hair removal, the duration of such removal, and the nuances between devices within the same category of methods are discussed. (J Am Acad Dermatol 1999;40:143-55.) Learning objective: At the completion of this learning activity, participants should be cognizant of the different control mechanisms for hair growth and how the different means of hair removal affect these. Readers will also become familiar with the different types of electrolysis and lasers currently used for hair removal and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
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It has recently been alleged that there was, among Greek men of the classical period, a deep-seated fear of the female genitals, and that pubic hair was a focus of that fear. On account of this phobia, it has been suggested, in order to achieve a satisfactory sexual relationship, Greek men required their women fully to depilate their genitals. The thesis has logical problems: if the cause is the sight of the mother's genitals during childhood, the syndrome can affect only one generation. Besides this, it is clear that any depilation would tend to make the vulva more visible, while a heavier growth of hair would tend to hide it. To put the alleged phobic syndrome further to the test, three questions must be answered: Did Greek women practise total pubic depilation? Did they practise pubic depilation at all? If they did depilate, why did they? As for most questions of daily life, there are two major sources of information: Comedy and vase painting. The evidence presented will show that Athenian women did practise partial genital depilation, and that female genital display—including display of pubic hair—is an important element in Attic erotic painting. These two facts are not compatible with a theory of genital phobia.
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, …
Managing vulvar pruritis in Mumbai
  • N Madnani
Madnani N. Managing vulvar pruritis in Mumbai, India. Presented at the XVIII World Congress of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease. 2006. Queenstown, New Zealand.
The female body hair(less) ideal Available at http://www.focusanthro.org
  • L Yakas
  • Femininity
  • Hair
Yakas L. Femininity, sexuality and body hair: The female body hair(less) ideal. Focus Anthropology 2009;VIII:1–18. Available at http://www.focusanthro.org/archive/2008.2009/yakas_ 0809.pdf (Accessed June 20, 2010).
Exploring the depilation norm: A qualitative questionnaire study of women's body hair removal
  • Toerin
Managing vulvar pruritis in Mumbai, India
  • Madnani
Femininity, sexuality and body hair: The female body hair(less) ideal
  • Yakas