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J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2012 Feb;25(1):12-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2011.06.015. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

The incidence, attitudes and practices of the removal of pubic hair as a body modification.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



To evaluate the incidence, attitudes, and practices of the removal of pubic hair as a body modification.


A voluntary, anonymous survey was conducted among adolescents and young women 12-20 years of age seen in gynecology clinics in Houston, Texas.


There were a total of 171 adolescent participants surveyed, of whom 70.4% of reported routinely shaving or waxing their pubic hair. More traditional body modification methods were evaluated, and 3.5% reported tattoos and 57.1% reported piercings. Sexually active participants were more likely to remove pubic hair routinely. The areas of the body where the participants felt there was "too much" hair included the genital area, upper lip, and abdomen. Of total respondents, 14.7% reported feeling "pressure" from friends or family to participate in body modification such as tattooing, piercing, or removal of pubic hair. The decision to participate in body modification was mostly influenced by friends and family.


Based on this study, removal of pubic hair as a body modification is common. The results of this study demonstrated that removal of pubic hair was more common in sexually active participants compared to non-sexually active participants. Therefore, providers should additionally be aware that removal of pubic hair may be a warning sign of sexual behaviors or impending sexual activity.

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