College of Charleston public health professor Andrea DeMaria wants to help women live longer, healthier lives. So having her research on pubic hair removal featured in the September 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine is a big deal.
“My research has the ability to impact women’s behaviors, health, and lives. But, it cannot do that if it only sits in the pages of an academic journal,” DeMaria says. “To have my scientifically accurate information presented in a way, and in a place, that could reach millions of women (and men) is quite important to me.”
RELATED: Read DeMaria’s research, originally published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
DeMaria and her co-authors found that 87 percent of women remove at least some pubic hair and the majority (60 percent) have experienced at least one health complication because of the removal. Surprisingly, only 4% of women surveyed had discussed safe pubic hair removal practices with their doctor.
This topic caught the attention of a freelance Cosmo writer who reached out to DeMaria for more information on the study and her research. The article, entitled “The Bush is Back!,” focuses on how public hair can help prevent infection.
DeMaria says, “I don’t advocate for the removal, or non-removal of pubic hair. I do want women to know the purpose of pubic hair and issues that could arise due to removal, like increased risk of abrasions, infection, and irritation.”
Interestingly, this study shows that pubic hair removal is not practiced solely by white women as had been commonly believed, but rather is widespread among divers racial and ethnic groups. DeMaria’s current and past studies on the topic have also show women of all ages have a history of pubic hair removal, and it is more common than not for women to have at least some pubic hair.