Gender, Self-Objectification and Pubic Hair Removal
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Pubic hair removal is common in college age men and women in the United States and Australia. The present research addresses two questions related to this practice: (1) Are objectification and body shape concerns related to pubic hair removal; and (2) Do these relationships differ by gender? U.S. undergraduates, 148 women and 76 men, completed questionnaires about the presence, frequency of, and reasons for pubic hair removal; self-objectification, including self-surveillance and body shame; self-consciousness in sexual situations; and drives for leanness, thinness, and muscularity. While both genders reported similar rates of pubic hair removal, women reported greater frequency and higher normative, sexiness, and cleanliness reasons for pubic hair removal. Normative and sexiness reasons were positively correlated with self-surveillance. The relationships among normative and sexiness reasons and self-objectification were significantly higher for women with women’s body shame and self-surveillance scores more strongly impacted by normative and sexiness reasons. Findings are interpreted within the framework of objectification theory.
- Baker, C. N. (2005). Images of women’s sexuality in advertisements: A content analysis of Black- and White-oriented women’s and men’s magazines. Sex Roles, 52, 13–27. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-1190-y. CrossRef
- Boroughs, M., Cafri, G., & Thompson, J. K. (2005). Male body depilation: Prevalence and associated features of body hair removal. Sex Roles, 52, 637–644. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-3731-9. CrossRef
- Brumberg, J. J. (1997). The body project: An intimate history of American girls. New York: Random House.
- Cafri, G., & Thompson, J. K. (2004). Measuring male body image: A review of the current methodology. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 5, 18–29. doi:10.1037/1524-9188.8.131.52. CrossRef
- Calogero, R., & Thompson, J. K. (2009). Sexual self-esteem in American and British college women: Relations with self-objectification and eating problems. Sex Roles, 60, 160–173. doi:10.1007/s11199-008-9517-0. CrossRef
- Chung, Y. B., & Katayama, M. (1996). Assessment of sexual orientation in lesbian/gay/bisexual studies. Journal of Homosexuality, 30, 49–62. doi:10.1300/J082v30n04_03. CrossRef
- Daniel, S., & Bridges, S. K. (2010). The drive for muscularity in men: Media influences and objectification theory. Body Image, 7, 32–38. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2009.08.003. CrossRef
- Dixon, A., Halliwell, G., East, R., Wignarajah, P., & Anderson, M. (2003). Masculine somatotype and hirsuteness as determinants of sexual attractiveness to women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32, 29–39. doi:10.1023/A:1021889228469. CrossRef
- Engeln-Maddox, R. (2006). Buying a beauty standard or dreaming of a new life? Expectations associated with media ideals. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 258–266. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2006.00294.x. CrossRef
- Fredrickson, B. L., & Roberts, T. A. (1997). Objectification theory: Toward understanding women’s lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, 173–206. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.1997.tb00108.x. CrossRef
- Fredrickson, B. L., Roberts, T., Noll, S. M., Quinn, D. M., & Twenge, J. M. (1998). That swimsuit becomes you: Sex differences in self-objectification, restrained eating, and math performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 269–284. doi:10.1037//0022-35184.108.40.2069. CrossRef
- Garner, D. (2004). Eating Disorder Inventory-3 professional manual. Lutz: Psychological Assessment Resources.
- Grieve, R., & Helmick, A. (2008). The influence of men’s self-objectification on the drive for muscularity: Self-esteem, body satisfaction, and muscle dysmorphia. International Journal of Men’s Health, 8, 288–298. doi:10.3149/jmh.0703.288. CrossRef
- Hope, C. (1982). Caucasian female body hair and American culture. Journal of American Culture, 5, 93–99. doi:10.1111/j.1542-734X.1982.0501_93.x. CrossRef
- Johnston, J. (1984). Econometric methods (3rd ed.). NY: McGraw-Hill.
- Kim, J. L., Sorsoli, C. L., Collins, K., Zylbergold, B. A., Schooler, D., & Tolman, D. (2007). From sex to sexuality: Exposing the heterosexual script on primetime network television. Journal of Sex Research, 44, 145–157. CrossRef
- Martins, Y., Tiggemann, M., & Churchett, L. (2008). Hair today, gone tomorrow: A comparison of body hair removal practices in gay and heterosexual men. Body Image, 5, 312–316. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2008.04.001. CrossRef
- McCreary, D., & Sasse, D. (2000). An exploration of the Drive for Muscularity in adolescent boys and girls. Journal of American College Health, 48, 297–304. CrossRef
- McCreary, D., & Sasse, D. (2002). Gender differences in high school students’ dieting behavior and their correlates. International Journal of Men’s Health, 1, 195–213. doi:10.3149/jmh.0102.195. CrossRef
- McCreary, D. R., Sasse, D. K., Saucier, D. M., & Dorsch, K. D. (2004). Measuring the drive for muscularity: Factorial validity of the Drive for Muscularity Scale in men and women. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 5, 49–58. doi:10.1037/1524-9220.127.116.11. CrossRef
- McCreary, D., Hildebrandt, T., Heinberg, L., Boroughs, M., & Thompson, J. K. (2007). A review of body image influences on men’s fitness goals and supplement use. American Journal of Men’s Health, 1, 307–316. doi:10.1177/1557988306309408. CrossRef
- McKinley, N. M. (2006). Longitudinal gender differences in objectified body consciousness and weight-related attitudes and behaviors: Cultural and developmental contexts in the transition from college. Sex Roles, 54, 159–173. doi:10.1007/s11199-006-9335-1. CrossRef
- McKinley, N. M., & Hyde, J. S. (1996). The Objectified Body Consciousness Scale: Self-objectification, body shame, and disordered eating. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 22, 623–636. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.1996.tb00467.x.
- Moradi, B., & Huang, Y. P. (2008). Objectification theory and psychology of women: A decade of advances and future directions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32, 377–398. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2008.00452.x. CrossRef
- Morrison, M. A., Morrison, T. D., & Sager, C. (2004). Does body satisfaction differ between gay men and lesbian women and heterosexual men and women? A meta-analytic review. Body Image, 1, 127–138. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2004.01.002. CrossRef
- Murnen, S. K., & Smolak, L. (2009). Are feminist women protected from body image problems? A meta-analytic review of relevant research. Sex Roles, 60, 186–197. doi:10.1007/s11199-008-9523-2. CrossRef
- Murnen, S. K., & Smolak, L. (in press). “I’d rather be a famous fashion model than a famous scientist”. The rewards and costs of internalizing sexualization. In E. Zurbriggen & T. A. Roberts (Eds.), The sexualization of girls and girlhood. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Piran, N. (2001). Re-inhabiting the body from the inside out: Girls transform their school environment. In D. L. Tolman & M. Brydon-Miller (Eds.), From subjects to subjectivities: A handbook of interpretive and participatory methods (pp. 218–238). New York: New York University Press.
- Pope, H., Phillips, K., & Olivardia, R. (2000). The Adonis complex: The secret crisis of male body obsession. New York: Free.
- Porche, D. (2007). Male body depilation. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 3, 14–15. doi:10.1016/j.nurpra.2006.11.010. CrossRef
- Smolak, L. (2010). Gender as culture: The meanings of self-silencing in women and men. In D. C. Jack & A. Ali (Eds.), Cultural perspectives on women’s depression: Self-silencing, psychological distress, and recovery (pp. 129–146). New York: Oxford.
- Smolak, L., & Murnen, S. K. (2008). Drive for leanness: Assessment and relationship to gender, gender role and objectification. Body Image, 5, 251–260. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2008.03.004. CrossRef
- Tiggemann, M., & Hodgson, S. (2008). The hairlessness norm extended: Reasons for and predictors of women’s body hair removal at different body sites. Sex Roles, 59, 889–897. doi:10.1007/s11199-008-9494-3. CrossRef
- Tiggemann, M., & Kenyon, S. (1998). The hairlessness norm: The removal of body hair in women. Sex Roles, 39, 873–885. doi:10.1023/A:1018828722102. CrossRef
- Tiggemann, M., & Lewis, C. (2004). Attitudes toward women’s body hair: Relationship with disgust sensitivity. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 381–387. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2004.00155.x. CrossRef
- Toerien, M., & Wilkinson, S. (2003). Gender and body hair: Constructing the feminine woman. Women’s Studies International Forum, 26, 333–344. doi:10.1016/S0277-5395(03)00078-5. CrossRef
- Toerien, M., & Wilkinson, S. (2004). Exploring the depilation norm: A qualitative questionnaire study of women’s body hair removal. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1, 69–92.
- Trager, J. (2006). Pubic hair removal—Pearls and pitfalls. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 19, 117–123. doi:10.1016/j.jpag.2006.01.051. CrossRef
- Wiederman, M. (2000). Women’s body image self-consciousness during physical intimacy with a partner. The Journal of Sex Research, 37, 60–68. CrossRef
- Wiederman, M. W. (2002). Reliability and validity of measurement. In M. W. Wiederman & B. E. Whitley Jr. (Eds.), Handbook for conducting research on human sexuality (pp. 25–50). Mahwah: Erlbaum.
- Wiseman, M., & Moradi, B. (2010). Body image and eating disorders symptoms in sexual minority men. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 57, 154–166. doi:10.3149/jmh.0703.288. CrossRef
- Gender, Self-Objectification and Pubic Hair Removal
Volume 65, Issue 7-8 , pp 506-517
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Body hair removal
- Body image
- Objectification theory