Researchers recently conducted a study about pubic hair at two public universities in the U.S.: a large one in the Midwest, and a small one in the South.
They gathered data from 1,100 college-student participants (671 self-reported women, and 439 self-reported men), analyzed the responses, and published their findings in a recent issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
They asked the study participants questions about their pubes, their pubic hair preferences in a partner, and their sexual behavior, among other things.
The study doesn't reflect how all people in the United States treat their pubes, but the findings are still pretty interesting. Especially the findings about men's pubic hair removal (a fairly new topic of study), and what people preferred in their partners, which hadn't been extensively covered before, according to one of the study authors, Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., author of The Coregasm Workout (Seal Press, 2015), in an email to BuzzFeed Life.
Here are some of the researchers' findings:
1. Men were more likely than women to report keeping a fully natural bush over the past four weeks.
Stats: 13% of men and 4% of women reported not trimming or removing any hair during the time period.
2. On the other side of the spectrum, nearly half the men in the study said they'd shaved off ALL their pubic hair at least once in the previous four weeks.
About 49% of guys, compared to 82% of the women, said they'd shaved it all off at some point in the past month.
3. Approximately 95% of people in the study said they'd done some sort of hair removal at least once in the past four weeks.
That could mean anything, though, from minor trimming to going totally bald, all day every day.
4. Roughly 38% of all study participants said that they were "typically hair free."
5. Using hair removal cream was more popular than waxing.
6. Roughly the same percentage of men and women shaved their pubes.
7. About 80% of people who removed their pubes reported experiencing "genital itching" at least once over the previous four weeks.
8. From the article: "Nearly half (45%) of all pubic hair removal episodes were associated with a genital rash."
9. Sexually active people were a lot more likely to report pubic hair removal than people who weren't having sex.
10. More oral sex = less pubes, in general.
"For both men and women, receiving oral sex in the past month was significantly associated with removal of more pubic hair," the study authors wrote.
11. About 1 in 5 men said they preferred their female sexual partners to have at least some pubic hair.
12. More than half the women said they preferred their sexual partners to do some sort of deforestation.
According to the study, 26% preferred a partner who trimmed a bit but didn't remove, 24% preferred a partially shaved/waxed partner, and 24% of women said they preferred their sexual partners to be completely hair-free.
13. Why remove your pubes? The study showed that 60% of women and 32% of men agreed with the statement: "Because it makes me feel clean."
Most people agreed with numerous statements, though. The most common reasons for removing pubes:
"It helps me feel sexy"
"It's a comfortable style"
"It makes sex feel more comfortable"
"It's how most people my age wear their pubic hair."