Prevalence and Motivation: Pubic Hair Grooming Among Men in the United States

Am J Mens Health. 2017 May;11(3):620-640. doi: 10.1177/1557988316661315. Epub 2016 Aug 1.


Pubic hair grooming is a growing phenomenon and is associated with body image and sexual activity. A nationally representative survey of noninstitutionalized adults aged 18 to 65 years residing in the United States was conducted. Differences in demographic and sexual characteristics between groomers and nongroomers were explored. Four thousand one hundred and ninety-eight men completed the survey. Of these men, 2,120 (50.5%) reported regular pubic hair grooming. The prevalence of grooming decreases with age, odds ratio = 0.95 (95% confidence interval [0.94, 0.96]), p < .001. Adjusting for sexual frequency and sexual orientation, grooming is associated with performing and receiving oral sex. The majority of men report grooming in preparation for sexual activity with a peak prevalence of 73% among men aged 25 to 34 years, followed by hygiene (61%) and routine care (44%). The majority of men who remove their pubic hair groom the hair above the penis (87%), followed by the scrotum (66%) and the penile shaft (57%). Overall, pubic hair grooming is common among men aged 18 to 65 years in the United States. Younger ages are associated with greater rates of pubic hair grooming. Many men groom for sex, in particular oral sex, as well as for routine care and hygiene.

Keywords: grooming; hairiness; oral sex; prevalence; pubic hair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Hair Removal*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Prevalence
  • Pubic Bone
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult