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Body Image. 2008 Sep;5(3):312-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2008.04.001. Epub 2008 Jun 30.

Hair today, gone tomorrow: a comparison of body hair removal practices in gay and heterosexual men.

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  • 1School of Psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.


Although hairlessness is rapidly becoming a component of the ideal male body, little research has examined men's concerns about their body hair or their hair removal practices. Samples of gay and heterosexual men completed questionnaires that assessed whether they had ever removed their back, buttock or pubic hair, the frequency with which they did so, the methods used and their self-reported reasons for removing this hair, as well as their level of appearance investment. Results indicated that many gay and heterosexual men remove their back, buttock and pubic hair regularly and that their primary reason for doing so is to maintain or improve their appearance. The frequency of hair removal was also associated with the motivational salience component of appearance investment. The findings offer further support to the premise that gay and heterosexual men exhibit similar body image concerns.

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