Video: Should You Shave Your Pubic Hair?

March 20, 2016 by Justin Lehmiller

Survey studies have reliably found that a majority of men and women say they have removed some or all of their pubic hair before. The reasons people report for doing this vary widely and include feeling clean and sexy, wanting to make oneself more attractive to a partner, and (for men) wanting to make their penises look bigger.

In the video below, our friends over at ASAP Science take a look at the science of pubic hair. Specifically, they consider the major theories on why pubic hair is thought to exist in the first place, as well as the potential health implications of removing it.

They rightfully point out that pubic hair removal can potentially increase risk of STI transmission, especially to the extent that the practice results in genital cuts or abrasions and one has sex soon afterward; however, I’m not aware of any studies specifically linking pubic hair removal to increased risk for any STIs other than molluscum contagiosum. Surprisingly few studies have looked at the link between pubic hair grooming and sexual infections.

Although we still have more to learn about pubic hair removal and STI risk, one thing that is advisable is to take precautions that will reduce the risk of grooming injuries. In particular, be sure to take your time, use clean tools, and avoid using objects like scissors (instead, get yourself an electric razor that’s designed for bikini trimming or body grooming).

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Image Source: iStockphoto/VladimirFloyd

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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