Majority of young adults shave legs and armpits
Leipzig, Germany - Young adults are taking the offensive against undesirable body hair, according to a study of 314 students conducted by the University of Leipzig.
The study showed that 97 per cent of the women and 79 per cent of the men questioned regularly shave, epilate or otherwise remove hair from at least one part on their body. The average age of the study's participants was 23, and more than two-thirds of the participants were women. The study did not count the shaving of men's beards and moustaches.
Nine of 10 women in the study or 89 per cent who regularly shave, epilate or trim, said they removed hair from three or more places on their body. Almost half said they removed hair from four places. Researchers said women most commonly shave their legs, armpits and genital areas, and some also shave their eyebrows.
Among men, who regularly remove hair - not including their beards and moustaches - more than 50 per cent said they removed hair from two or three places on their bodies. For men the primary places are the armpits, genital area and the upper body.
Asked why they need to be rid of the hair, the participants said they wanted to look attractive and meet society norms.
Researchers link the shaving trend, particularly among women who remove hair from their genital area, to a desire to look pre-pubescent and signal sexual immaturity. This strengthens a man's sense of superiority, the researchers said. At the same, time shaving intimate areas could also be interpreted as a sign of heightened feminine liberation and a sense of mature feminine self- confidence.
Professor Elmar Braehler, who was responsible for the study, said basically there is a general cultural trend toward shaving.
"Ever-skimpier bathing suits as well as the strong presence of nudity in the media contribute to the emergence of an aesthetic norm for these areas," said Braehler. Thus, an imperative form for the genital area has developed. As with all fashion, an opposing trend will follow, according to the researchers.
"Sooner or later lush hair again will be considered chic." (dpa)