Pubic hair

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Female genital area with pubic hair Male genital area with pubic hair
Female genital area with pubic hair
Male genital area with pubic hair

With pubic hair (pubes) which is hair and on the male and female sex organs indicated and the adjacent region, which is at the beginning of puberty as part of the body hair thus and as a secondary sex characteristic out forms.

The total or partial removal of pubic hair in the genital area is known as pubic hair removal and is a widespread ideal of beauty .

Expression and growth

Pubic hair begins to grow during puberty, in girls around the age of ten and in boys around the age of twelve. In girls, the pubic hair ( crinis vulvae ) covers the outer labia and the mons pubis . In boys, pubic hair grows on the scrotum and around the base of the penis . In women, the shape of the hair above the gender is reminiscent of a triangle standing on its tip. In men, the pubic hair grows in the shape of a trapezoid or in a straight line up to the navel .

Depending on the genetic makeup, the hair can extend to the anus area. The hair in the anal area is also known as perianal hair. As a rule, only the outer area of ​​the anal canal, the so-called zona cutanea, is hairy . The mucous membrane in the immediate vicinity of the anus itself is hairless. The expression perianal hair (from the Greek περί peri- “all around, surrounding”) is therefore more factually precise.

Anal hair occurs in both men and women and is individually and gender-specifically different in density and intensity . The development from the barely visible, downy vellus hair to the stronger, pigmented terminal hair only takes place in the post-pubertal stage.


Blonde pubic hair of a woman

The pubic hair is usually stronger and darker than the head hair , in red-haired, very light-blond and black-haired people of the same color. In Europeans, they are often curly or puckered, in Africans they are tightly curled, and in Asians and Native Americans, they are more smooth and more tightly fitting. The hair density and the extent to which it spreads, as well as the length of the pubic hair, are genetically determined and therefore individually different.

Without explicit hair removal, all human pubic hair only grows for about six months before it falls out and new hair grows back. It grows about one centimeter per month.


Pubic hair lice infestation

Excessive perianal hair often leads to hygienic problems and forces those affected to do special cleaning after a bowel movement .

The pubic louse is a parasite of humans that mainly affects the pubic hair. Transmission from person to person occurs primarily through sexual contact. The lice lay their eggs in the pubic hair, where they then stick. According to long-term scientific studies, the spread of the pubic louse has decreased proportionally with the increasing removal of the pubic hair.

Biological function

In evolutionary terms, the pubic hair, like the armpit hair, is probably in the service of the evaporation of scent gland secretions for the gender-specific body odor in the pubic and groin area. The pubic hair is used to catch the secretions released from the olfactory glands and thus to intensify the evaporation. The evaporation of these secretions, known as pheromones , is supposed to signal readiness for mating in primates. It is not known to what extent such pheromones still play a role in human partner choice and whether pubic hair is of particular importance.

Pubic hair also offers limited protection against foreign bodies and pathogens, as well as against excessive cold and heat.

In any case, like the growth of the armpit hair and the growth of the beard of men, they function as a secondary sexual characteristic in that they indirectly indicate fertility .

Cultural meaning

The attitude towards pubic hair differs greatly between different cultures and epochs. While in some cultures pubic hair receives a positive erotic or aesthetic rating, in other cultures it is undesirable and is removed.

In various older cultures in the South Seas, Africa ( Pygmies ) and Melanesia , the pubic hair is a symbol of fertility and the ability to marry. In the Islamic culture, pubic hair is removed from men and women. The removal of pubic hair was also common in ancient civilizations. While pubic hair was usually not removed in modern Europe, pubic hair removal has experienced an increasing upswing since the end of the 20th century, with the result that younger people in particular predominantly remove their pubic hair. Based on an increase in pubic haired actors in pornographic media, an increasing acceptance of pubic hair in the general population is discussed; as a result, even hair transplants in the genital area have been reported in isolated cases.

Use in physiological research and forensics

Pubic hair is also used in physiological research and forensics after appropriate sample preparation to clarify specific questions about exposure to or accumulation of heavy metals, the metabolism of ethanol and exposure to drugs .

Pubic hair in art and media

The Origin of the World by Gustave Courbet (1866)
The Boxer Creugas by Antonio Canova (
ca.1800 )
  • Hans Baldung 's Death and the Maiden is considered the earliest pictorial representation of pubic hair in modern European times .
  • The painting The Origin of the World (L'Origine du monde) by Gustave Courbet , published in 1866, portrayed pubic hair in an explicitly demonstrative way. The picture sparked a scandal at the time and still provokes violent reactions in the audience today.
  • The art historian and philosopher John Ruskin is credited with having been traumatized by the sight of female pubic hair on his wedding night and fled, so that the marriage was annulled because he had only seen nudes without female pubic hair in his profession and therefore none of them Existence knew. During Ruskin's lifetime in the 19th century, it was not common to have sex or see women naked before their wedding night.
  • The video installation Hairy Monsters , created by the Viennese media artist Gerald Zahn, is dedicated to the subject of pubic hair as an homage to pornography from the 1960s to 1970s, with kaleidoscopic reflections of pubic hair reminiscent of strange, hairy beings.
  • For her film Hippie Hippie Shake , which is set in the hippie era, the actress Sienna Miller had to be given pubic hair for some nude scenes on the computer afterwards. Since pubic hair removal was unusual among the hippies at the time, the scenes would have seemed inauthentic.
  • Kate Winslet was supposed to wear a pubic hair toupee in the film The Reader because the filmmakers did not find her own pubic hair lush enough, but she refused.

See also

Web links

Commons : Pubic Hair  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: pubic hair  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. From Latin pubes, is : "lower abdomen, lap", meton. "Shame". Not to be confused with pubes, -eris "manly, adult", from which Latin pubertas comes, which in turn also metonymically means "beard fluff" - that is, male facial hair. (see Der kleine Stowasser , Munich 1971). If pubes is translated or used as pubic hair , it is a pars pro toto : Pubes is the entire area of ​​the pubic region.
  2. Bravo - Dr. Summer: pubic hair . On: vo 2015; last accessed on March 11, 2016.
  3. Bravo - Dr. Summer: Curled or straight: the hair in the pants! On: from July 8, 2010; last accessed on March 11, 2016.
  4. Henning Rohde: Teaching Atlas of proctology . Thieme, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 3-13-140881-2 , p. 222 ff. ( Limited preview in the Google book search).
  5. Homeless without pubic hair - Are pubic lice dying out? On: from June 3, 2014.
  6. Pubic hair not biologically necessary - evolutionarily useful? . On: from April 24, 2014; last accessed on March 11, 2016.
  7. The Frisky: 10 Important Moments In The History Of Pubic Hair On: of November 8, 2012; last accessed on March 11, 2016.
  8. ^ The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada: Female Pubic Hair Removal . On: from April 2012; last accessed on March 11, 2016.
  9. ^ Bronisław Malinowski , Havelock Ellis, Eva Schumann: The sex life of the savages in north-west Melanesia. Love / marriage and family life among the natives of the Trobriand Islands / British New Guinea; an ethnographic representation. Grethlein, Leipzig / Zurich 1928.
  10. ^ Pia Kruckenhauser, Barbara Schaumberger: Intimate hairstyle: The new trends . On: (Woman) from January 15, 2013; last accessed on March 11, 2016.
  11. D. Herbenick, V. Schick, M. Reece et al .: Pubic hair removal among women in the United States: Prevalence, methods and characteristics. In: The Journal of Sexual Medicine . Oct. 2010, Volume 7, Number 10, pp. 3322-3330, doi: 10.1111 / j.1743-6109.2010.01935.x .
  12. Nice hair - but please not there - intimate shave. in: Youth sexuality in the Internet age. A Qualitative Study of Social and Sexual Relationships among Adolescents. P. 223–232 - Federal Center for Health Education full text
  13. ^ How and Why Pubic Hair Is Back in Porn
  14. Is pubic hair finally back in fashion?
  15. Surge in women's hair transplants on their bikini lines
  16. ^ M. Wilhelm, FK Ohnesorge, D. Hötzel: Cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc concentrations in human scalp and pubic hair. In: Science of the Total Environment . Vol. 92, 1990, pp. 199-206, PMID 2326621 .
  17. D. Wiechuła, K. Loska, D. Ungier, A. Fischer: Chromium, zinc and magnesium concentrations in the pubic hair of obese and overweight women. In: Biological Trace Element Research. Volume 148, 2012, pp. 18-24, PMID 22351101 .
  18. P. Kintz, M. Villain, E. Vallet, M. Etter, G. Salquebre, V. Cirimele: Ethyl glucuronide: unusual distribution between head hair and pubic hair. In: Forensic Science International. Volume 176, 2008, pp. 87-90, PMID 17997064 .
  19. AM Tsatsakis: Judicial applications of hair testing for addicts in Crete: sectional hair analysis of heavy heroin abusers. In: Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine. Volume 5, 1998, pp. 109-113, PMID 15335529 .
  20. ^ R. Cordero, S. Paterson: Simultaneous quantification of opiates, amphetamines, cocaine and metabolites and diazepam and metabolite in a single hair sample using GC-MS. In: Journal Of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies In The Biomedical And Life Sciences. Volume 850, 2007, pp. 423-431, PMID 17210273 .
  21. Michael Sims: Adam's Navel and Eve's Rib: An Exploration of the Human Body. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-608-94116-6 , p. 273 ( in the Google book search ).
  22. Nigel Barley: Nice new hair . In: Der Tagesspiegel from January 1, 2007, last accessed on June 12, 2014.
  23. Hairy Monsters . Video performance by Gerald Zahn on the subject of female pubic hair.
  24. Sienna's virtual change . In: of July 25, 2008; last accessed on May 5, 2014.
  25. Lindsy Van Gelder: Your Bikini Line, Your Business? On: on August 26, 2009; last accessed on January 30, 2016.