Pubic Hair Grooming Prevalence and Motivation Among Women in the United States

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Abstract

Importance

Pubic hair grooming is an increasingly prevalent trend. Several studies have sought to characterize its prevalence, associated demographics, and motivations.

Objective

To characterize current pubic hair grooming practices in the United States.

Design, Setting, and Participants

In this cross-sectional study, a nationally representative survey was conducted in January 2013 of noninstitutionalized adults aged 18 to 65 years residing in the United States via the GfK Group (formerly Knowledge Networks) panel members. Data analysis was performed from November to December 2015.

Interventions

A questionnaire examining pubic hair grooming habits.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Demographic characteristics and motivations associated with pubic hair grooming.

Results

A total of 3372 women were surveyed. Fifty-six women did not answer the grooming question; consequently, 3316 women were included in the analysis. Of these women, 2778 (83.8%) reported pubic hair grooming and 538 (16.2%) reported never grooming. On multivariate regression, several factors associated with grooming were found. When compared with younger women (aged 18-24 years), women aged 45 through 55 years (odds ratio [OR], 0.05; 95% CI, 0.01-0.49; P = .01) and those older than 55 years (OR, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.00-0.34; P = .003) were significantly less likely to groom. Women with some college (OR, 3.36; 95% CI, 1.65-6.84; P = .001) or a bachelor’s degree (OR, 2.39; 95% CI, 1.17-4.88; P = .02) were more likely to have groomed. Race was also significantly associated with grooming, with all groups reporting less grooming when compared with white women. No association was found between grooming and income, relationship status, or geographic location.

Conclusions and Relevance

This study provides a nationally representative assessment of contemporary female pubic hair grooming habits. Demographic differences in grooming were found, which may reflect cultural variations in preference related to pubic hair. Health care professionals and those who provide grooming services can use this information to better counsel patients and understand grooming practices.

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