Reasons for Pubic Hair

The human body is an amazing construction. All the parts work together to do what needs to be done, and everything has a purpose. Or, it seems, almost everything. While it is obvious that, say, eyelashes and nose hairs protect our eyes and noses from stuff getting in them, what about pubic hair? Scientists have theories about the possible purposes of pubic hair, but it still remains somewhat of a mystery.

Pubic hair can seem particularly burdensome during bikini season. (Image: Kraig Scarbinsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Indication of Maturity

Unless there is an underlying health problem, humans don't start to develop pubic hair until the beginning of puberty. This is the time when young people start to become sexually mature, and many scientists, including Robin Weiss of the University College London, think the hair is a signal of this. It is a visual sign to let someone know when a potential partner is able to procreate, and help propagate the species.

Pheromone Diffuser

The most common reason cited for pubic hair is that it helps spread pheromones. According to Health Sciences at Columbia University, the apocrine glands secrete an odorless substance that mixes with the bacteria from the oil that the sebaceous glands give off, to make a unique substance that may or may not have an odor. These pheromones get trapped in pubic hair and underarm hair, where they can enhance sexual awareness in others, and make people seem sexually desirable. This can be either through an actual smell, or subliminally. Once again, pubic hair is helping the human race live on.

Warmth

One theory is that pubic hair keeps the genital area warm. This sounds plausible when you consider that early humans ran around in loincloths, but as the website for Columbia University's health promotion program points out, men generally don't have hair on their penises, and don't have very much on their testicles. Since those parts are the important ones when it comes to making new humans, this theory may be the weakest.

Protection

Another theory holds that pubic hair protects the genital areas, especially the vagina, from dirt, bacteria and viruses. In fact, an article at the "Scientific American" website notes that in recent years, as more people have trimmed or eliminated their pubic hair, incidences of pubic lice--more commonly known as crabs--have decreased. However, reports of chlamydia and gonorrhea have gone up.

Friction Easer

Planned Parenthood reports Dr. Stephen Juan's theory: Pubic hair is there to ease friction when parts of your body--or your body parts and someone else's body parts--rub together. If you have ever experienced chafing or blisters elsewhere, you can imagine how this would be a benefit.

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