Nearly 84 percent of women prefer grooming, at least partially, while only 16 percent reported never removing their pubic hair. A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the first to reveal a series of unusual factors that play a significant role in pubic hair grooming habits in women living in the United States.
Researchers wrote in the paper that their findings could help health care professionals and those who provide grooming services to understand better and counsel women by being aware of the factors behind their practices and preferences.
It might be a wired topic for a study published in JAMA, but the authors argue that they wanted to discover the prevalence, associated demographics, and motivations given that pubic hair grooming is on the rise. Their goal was to characterize the current practices in the country.
The study authors conducted a nationally representative survey in January 2013. More than 3310 female adults between the ages of 18 and 65 residing in the United States were included in the data analysis, which was performed from November to December 2015.
The research team found that women aged 18-24 years were significantly more likely to groom than older women, which shows that grooming is strongly associated with age.
Women without some college or a bachelor’s degree were less likely to have removed their pubic hair, and white women reported more grooming than the rest of the groups, meaning that grooming habits are also linked to race. The researchers found no association between grooming and relationship status, geographic location, or income.
While 84 percent reported some removal of their pubic hair, 62 percent said grooming all of it. The following rate might seem incredibly high but Lauren Streicher, clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told the Chicago Tribune that the study shows 62 percent of participants reported having gone totally bare at one time or another. That does not mean that complete grooming is part of their routine.
Reasons why grooming is a trend in the U.S.
Study lead author and University of California San Francisco gynecologist Tami S. Rowen cited a 2009 study on grooming habits to address the representation of the female body in pop culture for the current trend toward total grooming.
“The modern trend of pubic hair removal likely originated in South America, hence the term Brazilian as slang for complete pubic hair removal,” reads the paper published in JAMA. “But the increased prevalence of pornography that depicts bare genitalia, popular magazines and television are primary drivers of the trend in the United States.”
Streicher agrees there, saying the same survey would have revealed completely different results ten years ago, as it would a decade from now. The professor compared grooming trends with the hairstyles on women’s head.
As much as 59 percent of women involved in the survey said they groom because they think it is hygienic or cleaner. Streicher was surprised by the number of women who believe that myth.
“There’s a biological reason we have pubic hair,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “There’s nothing unhygienic about it, as long as you take the occasional shower or bath. It’s no less hygienic than the hair on your head.”
Another 21 percent said they prefer to groom because their partner likes it that way. That is a much more acceptable argument.
There is another myth. Forty percent of women said they groom before an appointment with their gynecologist. The reason behind this habit is not specified in the study, but the way Streicher comments on this matter suggests that most women believe it is medically necessary to go bare before the doctor’s examination.
“I can’t tell you how often women apologize, ‘I didn’t have time to groom,'” Streicher told Chicago Tribune’s Heidi Stevens. “I’m like, ‘Really?’ The truth of the matter is all I care is that they’ve showered in the last week. I really don’t care what hairstyle they’re sporting.”
She said women should remember that they do not need to remove their pubic hair to stay healthy and noted that grooming is a practice that must be done safely. Streicher recommends clipping – just trimming – because it is the safest method. A nonelectric razor was the most common tool among respondents.
Source: Chicago Tribune