Pubic Hair Removal More Common Among Women Than Men

Removing pubic hair is a “widespread” practice, researchers report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. But it’s more common among women than men.

The research team surveyed 2,687 men and 1,735 women in Flanders, the northern section of Belgium. The youngest respondent was 15 years old; the oldest were in their sixties. All participants answered questions about their sexuality, their own pubic hair removal practices, and their preferences regarding partners’ pubic hair.

About 80% of the women said they removed some or all of their pubic hair. Only 39% of the men said they did the same.

Why did these participants remove their pubic hair? Many said they felt more comfortable receiving oral sex after they’d removed it. Others said they felt cleaner and softer. And some said their partners preferred it.

Concerns about side effects (like itching and bumps) and partner preference were often-cited reasons for not removing pubic hair.

About a third of the men who didn’t remove their pubic hair said they thought the practice was “more appropriate” for women.

“These results suggest that both men and women adhere to social norms that link hairiness to masculinity and hairlessness to femininity,” the authors wrote.

If you’re interested in grooming your pubic hair, be sure to do it safely. Even the tiniest cuts from razors can allow bacteria (including sexually-transmitted infections) to enter your body. Hair removal products can burn the skin, and some people are allergic to them. Call your doctor if you develop pain, itching, rashes, bumps, pimples, or any other unusual skin conditions.

Resources

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Enzlin, Paul, PhD, et al.

“ ‘To Shave or Not to Shave’: Pubic Hair Removal and Its Association with Relational and Sexual Satisfaction in Women and Men”

(Full-text. Published online: May 15, 2019)

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(19)31116-6/fulltext

SexHealthMatters.org

“Pubic Hair Removal”

(December 15, 2014)

https://www.sexhealthmatters.org/sex-health-blog/pubic-hair-removal

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