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Pubic hair is terminal
body hair Body hair, or androgenic hair, is the terminal hair that develops on the human body The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ syste ...
that is found in the genital area of adolescent and adult humans. The hair is located on and around the
sex organ A sex organ (or reproductive organ) is any part of an animal or plant that is involved in sexual reproduction. The reproductive organs together constitute the reproductive system. In animals, the testis Testicle or testis (plural testes) is ...
s and sometimes at the top of the inside of the
thigh In human anatomy The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasis In biology Biology is the natu ...

thigh
s. In the pubic region around the pubis bone, it is known as a ''pubic patch''. Pubic hair is also found on the
scrotum The scrotum or scrotal sac is an Anatomy, anatomical male reproductive structure located at the base of the penis that consists of a suspended dual-chambered sac of skin and smooth muscle. It is present in most terrestrial male mammals. The scr ...

scrotum
in the male and on the
vulva The vulva (plural: vulvas or vulvae; derived from Latin for wrapper or covering) consists of the external . The vulva includes the (or mons veneris), , , , , , , the , , and and vestibular s. The urinary meatus is also included as it opens ...

vulva
in the female. Although fine
vellus hair Vellus hair is short, thin, light-colored, and barely noticeable hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The human body, apart from areas of g ...
is present in the area in childhood, pubic hair is considered to be the heavier, longer and coarser hair that develops during
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natur ...

puberty
as an effect of rising levels of
androgen An androgen (from Greek ''andr-'', the stem of the word meaning "man") is any natural or synthetic steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid that acts as a hormone. Steroid hormones can be grouped into two classes: corticosteroids (typic ...
s in males and
estrogen Estrogens or oestrogens, are a class of natural or synthetic s responsible for the development and regulation of the female and s. There are three major estrogens that have estrogenic hormonal activity: (E1), (E2), and (E3). Estradiol, an ...

estrogen
s in females. Pubic hair differs from other
hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Phy ...

hair
on the body and is a
secondary sex characteristic Secondary sex characteristics are features that appear during puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populo ...
. Many cultures regard pubic hair as erotic, and in most cultures it is associated with the genitals, which both men and women are expected to keep covered at all times. In some cultures, it is the norm for pubic hair to be removed, especially of females; the practice is regarded as part of personal hygiene. In other cultures, the exposure of pubic hair (for example, when wearing a swimsuit) may be regarded as unaesthetic or embarrassing and is therefore trimmed or otherwise styled to avoid it being visible.


Development

Pubic hair forms in response to the increasing levels of testosterone in both girls and boys. Those hair follicles that are located and stimulated in androgen sensitive areas develop pubic hair. The
Tanner scale The Tanner scale (also known as the Tanner stages or Sexual Maturity Rating (SMR)) is a scale of physical development in children, adolescents and adult Biologically, an adult is an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Gre ...
describes and quantifies the development of pubic hair. Before the onset of puberty, the genital area of both boys and girls has very fine
vellus hair Vellus hair is short, thin, light-colored, and barely noticeable hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The human body, apart from areas of g ...
(
stage 1 Stage or stages may refer to: Acting * Stage (theatre), a space for the performance of theatrical productions * Theatre, a branch of the performing arts, often referred to as "the stage" * ''The Stage'', a weekly British theatre newspaper * Stag ...
). At the onset of
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natur ...

puberty
, the body produces rising levels of the
sex hormones Sex hormones, also known as sex steroids, gonadocorticoids and gonadal steroids, are steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid A steroid is a biologically active organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that ...
, and in response, the skin of the genital area begins to produce thicker and rougher, often curlier, hair with a faster growth rate. The onset of pubic hair development is termed
pubarche Pubarche refers to the first appearance of pubic hair Pubic hair is terminal body hair that is found in the genital area of adolescent and adult humans. The hair is located on and around the sex organs and sometimes at the top of the inside ...
. In males, the first pubic hair appears as a few sparse hairs that are usually thin on the
scrotum The scrotum or scrotal sac is an Anatomy, anatomical male reproductive structure located at the base of the penis that consists of a suspended dual-chambered sac of skin and smooth muscle. It is present in most terrestrial male mammals. The scr ...

scrotum
or at the upper base of the
penis A penis (plural ''penises'' or ''penes'' () is the primary sexual organ that male animals use to inseminate females (or hermaphrodites) during Copulation (zoology), copulation. Such organs occur in many animals, both #Vertebrates, vertebrate ...

penis
(stage 2). Within a year, hairs around the base of the penis are abundant (stage 3). Within 3 to 4 years, hair fills the pubic area (stage 4) and becomes much thicker and darker, and by 5 years extends to the near thighs and upwards on the abdomen toward the umbilicus (stage 5). Other areas of the skin are similarly, though slightly less, sensitive to androgens and androgenic hair typically appears somewhat later. In rough sequence of sensitivity to androgens and appearance of androgenic hair, are the armpits (
axilla The axilla (also, armpit, underarm or oxter) is the area on the human body directly under the joint where the arm connects to the shoulder. It also contains many sweat glands. In humans, the formation of body odor happens mostly in the armpit. T ...

axilla
e), perianal area, upper lip, preauricular areas (sideburns), periareolar areas (
nipple The nipple is a raised region of tissue on the surface of the breast The breast is one of two prominences located on the upper region of the of s. In females, it serves as the , which produces and secretes milk to feed s. Both females ...

nipple
s), middle of the chest, neck under the chin, remainder of
chest The thorax or chest is a part of the anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανι ...
and
beard A beard is the hair that grows on the jaw, chin, upper lip, lower lip, cheeks, and neck of humans and some non-human animals. In humans, usually only pubescent or adult males are able to grow beards. Some women with hirsutism Hirsutism is e ...

beard
area, limbs and shoulders, back, and buttocks. Although generally considered part of the process of puberty, pubarche is distinct and independent of the process of maturation of the
gonad A gonad, sex gland, or reproductive gland is a mixed gland that produces the gametes (sex cells) and sex hormones of an organism. In the female of the species the reproductive cells are the egg cells, and in the male the reproductive cells are t ...
s that leads to sexual maturation and fertility. Pubic hair can develop from adrenal androgens alone and can develop even when the
ovaries The ovary is an organ found in the female reproductive system 300px, 1. Labia_majora.html"_;"title="Vulva: 2. Labia_majora">Vulva: 2. Labia_majora; 3. Labia_minora; 4. Vulval_vestibule.html" "title="Labia_minora.html ...

ovaries
or
testes Testicle or testis (plural testes) is the male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male or ...

testes
are defective and nonfunctional. There is little, if any, difference in the capacity of male and female bodies to grow hair in response to androgens. Pubic hair and
underarm hair Underarm hair, also known as axillary hair, is the hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The human body, apart from areas of glabrous skin ...
can vary in color considerably from the hair of the scalp. In most people, it is darker, although it can also be lighter. In most cases it is most similar in color to a person's
eyebrows An eyebrow is an area of short hairs above each eye Eyes are organs of the visual system. They provide living organisms with vision, the ability to receive and process visual detail, as well as enabling several photo response functions t ...
. Hair texture varies from tightly curled to entirely straight, not necessarily correlating to the texture of the scalp hair. People of East Asian heritage tend to have straight, wavy pubic hair. Pubic hair patterns can vary by
race Race, RACE or "The Race" may refer to: * Race (biology), an informal taxonomic classification within a species, generally within a sub-species * Race (human categorization), classification of humans into groups based on physical traits, and/or s ...
and
ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of persons considered as a whole. Used in politics and law it is a term to refer to the collective or community of an ethnic group, a nation, to the public or ...

ethnicity
. Patterns of pubic hair, known as the ''escutcheon'', vary between sexes. On most females, the pubic patch is triangular and lies over the
vulva The vulva (plural: vulvas or vulvae; derived from Latin for wrapper or covering) consists of the external . The vulva includes the (or mons veneris), , , , , , , the , , and and vestibular s. The urinary meatus is also included as it opens ...

vulva
and
mons pubis In human anatomy The human body is the structure of a human being Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a ...

mons pubis
. On many males, the pubic patch tapers upwards to a line of hair pointing towards the
navel The navel (clinically known as the umbilicus, commonly known as the belly button) is a protruding, flat, or hollowed area on the abdomen The abdomen (colloquially called the belly, tummy, midriff or stomach) is the part of the body between th ...

navel
(see
abdominal hair Abdominal hair is the hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The human body, apart from areas of glabrous skin, is covered in follicles which ...
), roughly a more upward-pointing triangle. As with axillary (armpit) hair, pubic hair is associated with a concentration of
sebaceous gland A sebaceous gland is a microscopic exocrine Exocrine glands are gland In animals, a gland is a group of cells in an animal's body that synthesizes substances (such as hormone A hormone (from the Greek participle , "setting in motion") is a ...
s in the area.


Clinical significance


Pubic lice

Pubic hair can become infested with pubic lice (also known as crab lice). Adult pubic lice are in length. The pubic hair can usually host up to a dozen on average. Pubic lice are usually found attached to hair in the pubic area but sometimes are found on coarse hair elsewhere on the body (for example,
eyebrow An eyebrow is an area of short hairs above each eye Eyes are organs of the visual system. They provide living organisms with vision, the ability to receive and process visual detail, as well as enabling several photo response functions t ...

eyebrow
s,
eyelashes An eyelash (also called lash) (Latin: ''Cilia'') is one of the hairs that grows at the edge of the eyelids. It grows in one layer on the edge of the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelashes protect the eye from debris, dust and small particles and pe ...

eyelashes
,
beard A beard is the hair that grows on the jaw, chin, upper lip, lower lip, cheeks, and neck of humans and some non-human animals. In humans, usually only pubescent or adult males are able to grow beards. Some women with hirsutism Hirsutism is e ...

beard
,
mustache A moustache (; en-US, mustache, ) is a strip of facial hair Facial hair is hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical s ...

mustache
,
chest The thorax or chest is a part of the anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανι ...

chest
,
armpits The axilla (also, armpit, underarm or oxter) is the area on the human body directly under the joint A joint or articulation (or articular surface) is the connection made between bones in the body which link the skeletal system into a functional ...
, etc.). Crab lice attach to pubic hair that is thicker than other body hair because their claws are adapted to the specific diameter of pubic hair. Pubic lice infestations ( pthiriasis) are usually spread through
sexual contact Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves Human sexual activity, sexual ...
. The crab louse can travel up to 10 inches on the body. Pubic lice infestation is found worldwide and occurs in all races and ethnic groups and in all economic levels. Pubic lice are usually spread through sexual contact and are most common in adults. Occasionally pubic lice may be spread by close personal contact or contact with articles such as clothing, bed linens, and towels that have been used by an infested person. Pubic lice found on the head or eyelashes of children may be an indication of sexual exposure or abuse. Pubic lice do not transmit disease; however, secondary
bacterial infection Pathogenic bacteria are bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of biological cell The cell (from Latin ''cella'', meaning "small room") is the basic structural, functional, and biological unit of a ...
can occur from scratching of the skin. They are much broader in comparison to head and body lice. Adults are found only on the human host and require human
blood Blood is a body fluid Body fluids, bodily fluids, or biofluids are liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers t ...

blood
to survive. If adults are forced off the host, they will die within 24–48 hours without a blood feeding. Symptoms of a crab louse infection in the pubic area is intense itching, redness and inflammation. These symptoms cause increased circulation to the skin of the pubic region creating a blood-rich environment for the crab louse. Pubic lice infestation can also be diagnosed by identifying the presence of nits or eggs on the pubic hair. In December 2016
NPR National Public Radio (NPR, stylized in all lowercase, npr) is an American privately and publicly funded non-profit media organization based in Washington, D.C. NPR is based in two locations: main NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. (often re ...

NPR
reported that "Frequent removal of pubic hair is associated with an increased risk for herpes, syphilis and human papillomavirus". However, the medical community has also seen a recent increase in
folliculitis Folliculitis is the infection and inflammation Inflammation (from la, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogen In biology Biology is the natural science that studies ...
, or infection around the hair follicle, in women who wax or shave their bikini areas. Some of these infections can develop into more serious abscesses that require incision with a scalpel, drainage of the abscess, and antibiotics. ''
Staphylococcus aureus ''Staphylococcus aureus'' is a Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-positive coccus, round-shaped bacterium, a member of the Firmicutes, and is a usual member of the microbiota of the body, frequently found in the Respiratory tract, upper respiratory ...
'' is the most common cause of folliculitis. Burns can result when depilatory wax is used, even according to manufacturer instructions.


Grooming

Pubic hair grooming has been associated with injury and infection. It is estimated that about 1/4 groomers have had at least one lifetime injury due to pubic hair grooming. Grooming has also been associated with cutaneous sexually transmitted diseases, such as genital warts, syphilis, and herpes.


Society and culture

According to
John Ruskin John Ruskin (8 February 1819 20 January 1900) was an English writer, philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphys ...

John Ruskin
's biographer
Mary Lutyens Edith Penelope Mary Lutyens (pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (orthon ...

Mary Lutyens
, the notable author, artist, and art critic was apparently accustomed only to the hairless nudes portrayed unrealistically in art, never having seen a naked woman before his wedding night. He was allegedly so shocked by his discovery of his wife
Effie Effie is a feminine given name, sometimes a short form (hypocorism) of Euphemia. It may refer to: Women * Effie Bancroft (1840–1921), English actress and theatre manager * Effie Boggess (born 1927), American politician * Effie Cardale (1873–19 ...

Effie
's pubic hair that he rejected her, and the marriage was later legally annulled. He is supposed to have thought his wife was freakish and deformed. Later writers have often followed Lutyens and repeated this version of events. For example,
Gene Weingarten Gene Norman Weingarten (born October 2, 1951) is an American journalist, and former syndicated humor columnist for ''The Washington Post.'' He is the only two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, Feature Wr ...

Gene Weingarten
in his book ''I'm with Stupid'' (2004) writes that "Ruskin had he marriageannulled because he was horrified to behold upon his bride a thatch of hair, rough and wild, similar to a man's. He thought her a monster." However, there is no proof for this, and some disagree.
Peter Fuller Peter Michael Fuller (31 August 1947 – 28 April 1990) was a British art critic and magazine editor. Fuller was born in Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag ...
in his book ''Theoria: Art and the Absence of Grace'' writes, "It has been said that he was frightened on the wedding night by the sight of his wife's pubic hair; more probably, he was perturbed by her menstrual blood." Ruskin's biographers Tim Hilton and John Batchelor also believe that menstruation is the more likely explanation. At puberty, many girls find the sudden sprouting of pubic hair disturbing, and sometimes as unclean, because in many cases young girls have been screened by their family and by society from the sight of pubic hair. Young boys, on the other hand, tend not to be similarly disturbed by the development of their pubic hair, usually having seen body hair on their fathers. A United States study by
Alfred Kinsey Alfred Charles Kinsey (; June 23, 1894 – August 25, 1956) was an American biologist A biologist is a professional who has specialized knowledge in the field of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living orga ...
found that 75% of the participants stated that there was never nudity in the home when they were growing up, 5% of the participants said that there was "seldom" nudity in the home, 3% said "often", and 17% said that it was "usual". The study found that there was no significant difference between what was reported by men and by women with respect to frequency of nudity in the home. In a 1995 review of the literature, Paul Okami concluded that there was no reliable evidence linking exposure to parental nudity to any negative effect. Three years later, his team finished an 18-year longitudinal study that showed that, if anything, such exposure was associated with slight beneficial effects, particularly for boys. With the reintroduction of public beaches and pools bathing in Western Europe and the Mediterranean early in the 20th century, exposure of both sexes' areas near their pubic hair became more common, and after the progressive reduction in the size of female and male swimsuits, especially since the coming into fashion and growth in popularity of the
bikini A bikini is a women's two-piece swimsuit A swimsuit is an item of clothing A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothin ...

bikini
after the 1940s, the practice of shaving or
bikini waxing Bikini waxing is the removal of pubic hair Pubic hair is terminal body hair that is found in the genital area of adolescent and adult humans. The hair is located on and around the sex organs and sometimes at the top of the inside of th ...
of pubic hair off the hem lines also came into vogue.


Grooming

In some Middle Eastern societies, removal of male and female body hair has been considered proper hygiene, mandated by local customs, for many centuries. Muslim teaching includes
Islamic hygienical jurisprudence Islamic hygienical jurisprudence includes a number of regulations involving cleanliness during ''salat'' (obligatory prayer) through ''wudu Wuḍūʾ ( ar, الوضوء ' ) is the Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al- ...
in which pubic and armpit hair must be pulled out or shaven to be considered as
Sunnah In Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection i ...
. Trimming is taught to be considered acceptable. According to feminist writer Caitlin Moran, the reason for the removal of pubic hair from women in pornography was a matter of "technical considerations of cinematography". Hair removal progressed to full removal. Because of the popularity of pornography, pubic hair shaving was mimicked by women. The presentation is regarded by some as being erotic and aesthetic, while others consider the style as unnatural. Some people remove pubic hairs for erotic and sexual reasons or because they or their sex partner enjoy the feel of a hairless crotch. Flaccid penis with pubic hair trimmed.jpg, Male genitalia with trimmed pubic hair Pubic hair partly shaved genitalia.JPG, Male genitalia with partly shaved pubic hair Young indian man penis.jpg, Fully shaved male genitalia


Methods

All hair can be removed with wax formulated for that purpose. Some individuals may remove part or all of their pubic hair, axillary hair and facial hair. Pubic hair removal using wax is
bikini waxing Bikini waxing is the removal of pubic hair Pubic hair is terminal body hair that is found in the genital area of adolescent and adult humans. The hair is located on and around the sex organs and sometimes at the top of the inside of th ...
. The method of removing hair is called
depilation Hair removal, also known as epilation or depilation, is the deliberate removal of body hair. Hair typically grows all over the human body. Hair can become more visible during and after puberty and men tend to have thicker, more visible body ha ...
(when removing only the hair above the skin) or
epilation Hair removal, also known as epilation or depilation, is the deliberate removal of body hair. Hair typically grows all over the human body. Hair can become more visible during and after puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes thr ...
(when removing the entire hair).
Beauty salon A beauty salon or beauty parlor (beauty parlour), or sometimes beauty shop, is an establishment dealing with cosmetic Cosmetic may refer to: *Cosmetics, or make-up, substances to enhance the beauty of the human body, apart from simple cleaning * ...
s often offer various waxing services. It is sometimes referred to as "pubic
topiary Topiary is the horticultural practice of training perennial plants by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and subshrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes, whether geometric or fanciful. The term also refers to plants w ...
". Some women modify their pubic hair, either to fit in with societal trends or as an expression of their own style or lifestyle. Styles of pubic hair modification include: * Triangle or American wax (pubic hair is shortened from the sides to form a triangle so that pubic hair is hidden while wearing
swimwear A swimsuit is an item of clothing designed to be worn by people engaging in a water-based activity or List of water sports, water sports, such as human swimming, swimming, Diving (sport), diving and surfing, or sun-orientated activities, such as ...
. The triangle can range from the very edge of the "bikini line" to up to an inch reduction on either side. Remaining hair length can be from an inch and a half to half an inch); *
Landing strip According to the International Civil Aviation Organization The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialized and funding agency of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organ ...
/ French wax (pubic hair removed except for a strip of hair extending from the abdomen to the vulva); * Partial Brazilian wax (pubic hair fully removed except for a small triangular strip); * Full Brazilian wax or "sphinx" (complete removal of pubic hair); and * Freestyle. There are variations of the Brazilian wax in which a design is formed out of the pubic hair. Stencils for several shapes are available commercially. A controversial
Gucci Gucci (, ; ) is an Italian luxury Luxury may refer to: *Luxury goods In economics, a luxury good (or upmarket good) is a good (economics), good for which demand (economics), demand increases more than what is proportional as income rises, s ...

Gucci
commercial included female pubic hair shaved into a 'G'. File:Vulva 1a.png, Natural or "au naturel"—no trimming and therefore no maintenance. File:Vulva 1b.png, Triangle/ American wax—hair shortened from the sides to form a triangle so that pubic hair is hidden while wearing
swimwear A swimsuit is an item of clothing designed to be worn by people engaging in a water-based activity or List of water sports, water sports, such as human swimming, swimming, Diving (sport), diving and surfing, or sun-orientated activities, such as ...
. File:Female pubis with hair.jpg, Triangle/ American wax"—hair shortened from the sides to form a triangle so that pubic hair is hidden while wearing
swimwear A swimsuit is an item of clothing designed to be worn by people engaging in a water-based activity or List of water sports, water sports, such as human swimming, swimming, Diving (sport), diving and surfing, or sun-orientated activities, such as ...
. File:Landing_strip_pubic_hair_pattern_LQ.jpg, Landing strip/ French wax—waxing with a "landing strip" or "metro ticket". File:Pubic hair (Brazilian haircut) Triangle style.jpg, Partial "Brazilian wax" with a small triangular strip left File:Female abdomen frontal view.jpg, " Brazilian wax" or "Sphinx"—a full waxing; no hair at all


Sexual attraction

A woman or man's decision to grow or shave their pubic hair can play a role in attracting a partner. A
Cosmopolitan Cosmopolitan may refer to: Food and drink * Cosmopolitan (cocktail), also known as a "Cosmo" History * Rootless cosmopolitan, a Soviet derogatory epithet during Joseph Stalin's anti-Semitic campaign of 1949–1953 Hotels and resorts * Cosmopo ...
study found that a plurality of respondents, both male and female, preferred partners who shave or at least trim their pubic hair. A smaller percentage of 6% of men and 10% of women preferred their partners to go natural and not shave or trim their pubic hair.


In art

In ancient
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
ian art, female pubic hair is indicated in the form of painted triangles. In medieval and classical European art, pubic hair was very rarely depicted, and male pubic hair was often, but not always, omitted. Sometimes it was portrayed in stylized form, as was the case with
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
graphic art. In 16th century southern Europe,
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known simply as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance In art history, the High Renaissance was ...

Michelangelo
showed the male
David David (; ) (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". is described in th ...

David
with stylized pubic hair, but female bodies were depicted hairless below the head. Nevertheless, Michelangelo's male nudes on the
Sistine Chapel ceiling The Sistine Chapel ceiling ( it, Soffitto della Cappella Sistina), painted by Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known simply as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, p ...
display no pubic hair. In the late 18th century, female pubic hair was openly portrayed in Japanese
shunga is a type of Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...
(erotica), especially in the
ukiyo-e Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art Japanese art covers a wide range of art styles and media, including ancient pottery Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsRembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching, c.1630 Printma ...'s ''Th ...

ukiyo-e
tradition.
Hokusai known simply as Hokusai, was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching, c.1630 Printma ...

Hokusai
's picture ''
The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife , also known as ''Girl Diver and Octopi'', ''Diver and Two Octopi'', etc., is a moku hanga, woodblock-printed design by the Japanese artist Hokusai. It is included in ''Kinoe no Komatsu'' ( en, Young Pines), a three-volume book of shunga erotica f ...
'' (1814), which depicts a woman having an erotic fantasy, is a well-known example. In Japanese drawings, such as
hentai Hentai is anime is hand-drawn and computer animation " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery Computer-generated imagery (CGI ...
, pubic hair is often omitted, since for a long time the display of pubic hair was not legal. The interpretation of the law has since changed.


In history

Evidence of pubic hair removal in ancient India is thought to date back to 4000 to 3000 BC. According to ethnologist F. Fawcett, writing in 1901, he had observed the removal of body hair, including pubic hair about the
vulva The vulva (plural: vulvas or vulvae; derived from Latin for wrapper or covering) consists of the external . The vulva includes the (or mons veneris), , , , , , , the , , and and vestibular s. The urinary meatus is also included as it opens ...

vulva
, as a custom of women from the
Hindu Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic re ...

Hindu
Nair The Nair , also known as Nayar, are a group of India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countr ...

Nair
caste. In
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...

Western
societies, after the spread of Christianity, public exposure of a woman's bare skin between the ankle and waist started to be disapproved of culturally. Upper body exposure due to the use of the popular vest bodices used in Western Europe from the 15th century to early 20th century, as the widespread
dirndl A dirndl () is a feminine dress A dress (also known as a frock Frock has been used since Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman con ...

dirndl
s used even in more traditionally conservative mountain areas and the more or less loose shirts under these, enabled a permissive view of the shoulders,
décolletage Cleavage is the narrow depression or hollow between the breasts of women. The Superior (anatomy), superior portion of cleavage may be accentuated by clothing such as a low-cut neckline that exposes the division. Joseph Breen, head of the U.S. fil ...
and arms allowing a free exposure of upper body hair in women of all classes with less rejection or discrimination than body hair on the sex organs, obviously to conceal by implication. Many people came to consider public exposure of pubic hair to be . It may be regarded as immodest and sometimes as
obscene An obscenity is any utterance or act that strongly offends the prevalent morality Morality (from ) is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and Social actions, actions between those that are distinguished as proper (right) and those th ...
. However, it never came to have a full hold in Western culture in wide tracts of Central Europe, until the encroaching of
Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a majority of the population in , and believe that is the , whose comin ...
during the 16th century on formerly more tolerant customs. In the 1450s, British prostitutes shaved their pubic hair for purposes of personal hygiene and the combatting of
pubic lice In vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that func ...
and would don (or pubic wigs) when their line of work required it.''Oxford Companion to the Body'',
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press A university press is an academic publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for fre ...

Oxford University Press
, 2002.
Among the British upper classes during the
Georgian era The Georgian era is a period in British history The British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe Mainland or continental Europe is the contigu ...
, pubic hair from one's lover was frequently collected as a souvenir. The curls were, for instance, worn like
cockade File:William Mosman - Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 1720 - 1788. Eldest son of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart - Google Art Project.jpg, Hat with a white cockade (Prince Charles Edward Stuart) A cockade is a knot of ribbons, or other circular- o ...

cockade
s in men's hats as potency talismans or exchanged among lovers as tokens of affection. The museum of St. Andrews University in Scotland has in its collection a
snuffbox A decorative box, or snuff box, is a form of packaging that is generally more than just functional, but also intended to be decorative and artistic. Many such boxes are used for promotional packaging, both commercially and privately. Historical ...
full of pubic hair of one of King
George IV George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A polit ...

George IV
's mistresses (possibly Elizabeth Conyngham), which the notoriously licentious monarch donated to the
Fife Fife (, ; gd, Fìobha, ; sco, Fife) is a council areas of Scotland, council area, Historic counties of Scotland, historic county, registration county and lieutenancy areas of Scotland, lieutenancy area of Scotland. It is situated between the ...

Fife
sex club, The Beggar's Benison.


In literature

In the erotic novel '' My Secret Life'' the narrator "Walter", an evident connoisseur of female pubic hair, talks with clear delight of a fine bush of a Scotswoman's thick red pubic hair:
"The bush was long and thick, twisting and curling in masses half-way up to her navel, and it spread about up her buttocks, gradually getting shorter there."
In another part of his autobiography Walter remarks that he has seen those "bare of hair, those with but hairy stubble, those with bushes six inches long, covering them from bum bone to navel." And he adds reflectively – "there is not much that I have not seen, felt or tried, with respect to this supreme female article." In like vein, in ''
The Memoirs of Dolly Morton ''The Memoirs of Dolly Morton: The Story of A Woman's Part in the Struggle to Free the Slaves, An Account of the Whippings, Rapes, and Violences that Preceded the Civil War in America, with Curious Anthropological Observations on the Radical Diver ...
'', an American erotic classic, the attributes of Miss Dean are noted with some surprise – her spot was covered with a "thick forest of glossy dark brown hair," with locks nearly two inches long. One man remarked,
"But Gosh! I've never seen such a fleece between a woman's legs in my life. Darn me if she wouldn't have to be sheared before man could get into her."


See also

* Hair fetishism * ''The Naked Woman'' * Pubic Wars


Notes


References

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

{{Authority control Pubic hair, Secondary sexual characteristics Puberty