Research takes a closer look at pubic hair

A study asked over 1,100 young men and women about their pubic hair grooming practices and preferences.

There are only a few scientists who take the study of sexual pleasure seriously, and the team at the Indiana University Center for Sexual Health Promotion is among the best of them. A few years ago, they measured how U.S. women style their pubic hair, and now they’re taking a closer look at this topic. In a study of over 1,100 young folk, this team asked both men and women about their pubes. It’s the first time that researchers have asked people about their preferences for partners’ pubic hair, and in-depth questions about whether they’d had any health issues as a result of pubic hair grooming.

Women and men: some similarities, some differences

The study found some interesting differences between young men and women:

  • Most women (75%) removed some of all of their pubes, while men were most likely to remove some hair or trim (44%).

  • For both, shaving was the most common way to remove pubic hair, with waxing and cream coming in as distant seconds.

  • People had lots of reasons for removing or trimming pubic hair, such as “It makes me feel clean”; “It helps me feel sexy”; “It’s a comfortable style”; “It makes sex feel more comfortable”; and “It’s how most people my age wear their pubic hair.”

  • Three-quarters of women said they preferred partners who were hair-free, partially shaved, or trimmed. Sixty percent of men reported that they preferred hair-free partners, and 10% said they didn’t have a preference about partners’ pubic hair.

The potential downside of shaving

If people in the study had ever removed their pubic hair, the researchers asked if it caused any problems. The most common problems people reported were feeling itchy (80%), cuts from shaving (51%), and a rash (45%). Women were more likely than men to have any of these symptoms, which may be because they reported shaving more often than men. Only 3% of people had ever sought medical care as a result of these side effects.

Vive la difference!

The interesting thing about this study is that is shows a wide range of pubic hair preferences and practices among both women and men. So go au naturel or style however you like, and if you decide to shave, here are some tips for reducing the itch.

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