Women, pubic hair, and sanitation: Was a study ever done? (TMI?)

I have quite a few female friends who say they shave completely bare down there for sanitary reasons. I’ve also seen the same sentiment reflected here on the SDMB. My question is: humans have only begun to shave pubic hair after having it for eons. Has there been an actual scientific study that shows women getting fewer URI’s or yeast infections due to shaved pubic hair? Or was it simply a matter of taking after the porn industry?

As reluctant as I am to post WAGs in GQ, I think the “sanitation” explanation is a bit more, uh, superficial than UTIs or yeast infections. When you have no pubes, there is nothing for vaginal secretions, menstrual secretions, and scent to cling to. The effect is a feeling of being cleaner.

I have read somewhere (no reliable site) that having no pubic hairs does make it harder for pubic lice to prosper.

I know I read somewhere that women in ancient and Medieval times shaved their pubes (and the medieval reference might have come up in the context of all over shaving for pest control) quite frequently. Will try to dig up a cite.

Well, that didn’t take long. A History of Pubic Hair Removal at beavershaver.com. (Link might be NSFW depending upon how prudish your workplace is - small pics of artwork depicting naked ladies.) Apparently the practice goes way back, and although I know this doesn’t answer your question, it is an informative read. The author mentions hygiene, but does not go into any detail.

Yea, verily, every obscure topic under the sun now has its own web-page. :eek: