June 30, 2016
2 min read

Survey finds female pubic hair grooming prevalent, influenced by demographic factors

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More than 80% of women surveyed in the United States reported pubic hair grooming, with demographic differences determining prevalence, according to study results recently published in JAMA Dermatology.

“Female pubic hair grooming is a common practice seen by all health care professionals and providers of aesthetic treatment for women,” researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote.

The researchers conducted a nationally representative survey in January 2013 of 3,372 women aged 18 to 65 years in the United States. The questionnaire examined a lifetime history of any pubic hair grooming compared with never having groomed.

The data were analyzed between November and December 2015 for 3,316 women who completed the survey questions.

The majority of respondents (83.8%) reported pubic hair grooming, while 16.2% reported never grooming. Daily grooming was reported by 4.8% of the women.

Most women reported grooming the hair above and around the vagina (73.9% and 75.1%, respectively). Most women (62.1%) reported removing all public hair, and 92.8% of women reported performing their own grooming.

Hygienic purposes (59%) and part of their routine (45.5%) were the most common motivations for grooming, while sex (55.6%), vacation (45.7%) and health care professional visits (40%) were the most common situations for which women groom.

Multivariate regression determined factors associated with grooming. Women aged 45 to 55 years (OR = 0.05; 95% CI, 0.01-0.49) and those older than 55 years (OR = 0.04; 95% CI, 0.00-0.34) were significantly less likely to groom compared with women aged 18 to 24 years. Education also was a factor, as women with some college (OR = 3.36; 95% CI, 1.65-6.84) or a bachelor’s degree (OR = 2.39; 95% CI, 1.17-4.88) were more likely to have reported grooming. Other racial groups reported less grooming when compared with white women.

“No association was found between grooming and income, relationship status or geographic location,” the researchers wrote.

The role of partner preference affected grooming, with women significantly less likely to groom when reporting that their partners did not groom (OR = 0.43; 95% CI, 0.24-0.75).

“Familiarity with motivations and characteristics of women who groom can help inform health care professionals in terms of identifying women for counseling regarding grooming risks,” the researchers concluded. – by Bruce Thiel

Disclosure: Rowen reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of other researchers’ relevant financial disclosures.