Pubic hair, the hair that grows around the genital area of an adolescent or adult human – and sometimes stretches beyond – seems not to be in vogue these days. We start to see it during what we call the puberty phase of growing-up, when androgens in males and estrogens in females rise. Some girls will start to have early stages of pubic hair at around eight years old, and by the time they are thirteen, most will have much thicker hair. Boys will develop public hair at the earliest at age nine, but puberty more commonly starts for them at the age of twelve. Some youngsters develop fast, which is known as “precocious puberty”, and others are late to the starting gates. Many adults these days shave, crop, style and wax their bush, which might not always be the best decision. Today we’ll find out why, in this episode of the Infographics Show, Why do we have pubic hair?
The reason we start growing pubic hair is like we said, down to hormones. Girls become young women and boys become young men, racing towards a stage in life in which together they can reproduce. While that doesn’t happen too often when they reach puberty, it can. The age of consent usually is well after puberty in most countries, with the world’s lowest and highest being between 11 and 21, according to the organization Age of Consent. Shockingly, the youngest mother ever on record was only five and half years old, with doctors stating that the Peruvian girl had entered very precocious puberty. The Huffington Post tells us the youngest father on record was an 11-year-old from New Zealand who impregnated his school friend’s 36-year-old mother. He was also a very fast developer as most boys can’t reproduce at that age. It’s also likely the young man had hair around his genitals when he slept with the woman. The question today is why, and not just why it actually grows, but what is the reason for having it?
This question was posed to Men’s Health magazine and the answer that came from the expert was: “We don’t really know.” The respondent, a PhD sex researcher, did offer some hypotheses. One of these is that pubic hair might keep our reproductive organs warm. Another was that the thicket of hair might trap pheromones – sexual signals we send to each other – and another was that pubic hair is simply a marker that lets us know we are able to reproduce.
In another article, The Guardian went a bit further, stating that our pubic hair has a job to do and we should stop getting rid of it for the sake of style. The article starts with evidence of the pubic hair grooming industry booming, stating that the “clean and bare” look is very much en vogue these days. Whether you take a razor to your pubes, or opt for waxing, depilatories (creams, lotions, gels, etc) or electrolysis, some doctors say you are going to cause unnecessary irritation to the cleared site. This could cause bacterial pathogens to appear, or boils and abscesses, and there’s a greater chance of herpes infection on a smooth playing field, says the article. Our bed of hair stops friction of the skin, and without it we are more likely to get infections in the pubic area. So, perhaps if we believe that, then one reason we have pubic hair is so it doesn’t happen.
In fact, if you look at all the possible reasons out there why we have pubic hair, most experts believe in a handful of hypotheses. These are: trapping pheromones, unwanted friction, keeping us warm; protecting us from bacteria and disease, and the indication that we have matured. That seems like a good enough set of reasons, and if you think you look better without pubic hair, you might bear in mind that by not trapping your magical pheromones, you are actually making yourself less attractive.
If you worry about pubic lice encroaching into your nether regions, you may heed some doctors that say while incidences of ‘crabs’ have gone down, chlamydia and gonorrhea infections are up. Indeed, The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that a study found pubic hair removers have a higher rate of sexually transmitted infections. One other reason we found that may be a reason for keeping your bush growing is that it absorbs sweat, rather than a wet patch appearing on your shorts while strutting around the gym. In general, most of the people in the know regarding our well-being and health tell us it’s time to put the razor down and let it all hang out.
By the way, hair in the anus area is not considered pubic hair. But if you want to know, most experts believe that is there to stop your butt cheeks from chafing, keep us warm, and also again it traps those wonderful pheromones. Women’s health magazines also provide all kinds of tips on getting rid of this hair, that is essentially pubic hair growing around the back. The same methods are used for removal, but might be somewhat more difficult, dangerous, or embarrassing for some.
With all this mind, why are so many people nowadays opting to have fashionable pubes or going completely bald? Women seem to be under more pressure than men, and they have a much harder time keeping things trim. It has for a long time been seen by many to be an ungainly sight to have hair in plain site outside of what we call the bikini line. Elle magazine talked about this pressure, stating in 2016 that 83% of women aged 16-24 in a survey said there was too much weight on their shoulders regarding pubic hair grooming and removal. Another survey taken in the UK said half of all the women they talked to under the age of 35 got rid of their pubic hair completely. In the USA, one study in 2016 found that 80% of women groom their pubic hair. Elle itself interviewed its own staff and found that 95 percent of its staff trimmed or shaved everything off.
It seems that men are less likely to shave down there, or remove everything, and on some forums men said they did it only to make their appendage look bigger. That said, when a study was taken which asked women about the pubic hair of the men they had slept with, it was revealed that 90 percent of the men had done some amount of ‘man-scaping’ in the pubic region. Men of course can be hairy just about everywhere, and if they are, it seems that some women like that and others don’t, according to media that asked women the question of if they like a hairy guy.
One Reddit post asked women what they preferred regarding men’s pubic hair and just about all the respondents said that a trim was fine, but men should not go for a full shave. They gave a variety of reasons, but many women said it looks too childlike and some said it doesn’t feel good – on different parts of the body – when it turns into stubble.
As for the question of does shaved or trimmed hair grow back thicker? Well, that’s just another myth that has made the rounds of mankind. No, it doesn’t.
So, there you go. All you needed to know about shaving your pubic hair. The conclusion, it seems, is, don’t do it if you want optimum health, but in terms of what people want, it also seems a little trim now and again will keep you popular. In the aesthetic, visual sense anyway, not in terms of how we sexually sense each other.
Thanks for watching, and please let us know in the comments what your thoughts are on this subject. To shave or not to shave, that is the question. Also, be sure to check out our other video called How Much Do You Poop in a Lifetime!