Advertisement

Sex Roles

, Volume 52, Issue 9–10, pp 637–644 | Cite as

Male Body Depilation: Prevalence and Associated Features of Body Hair Removal

  • Michael Boroughs
  • Guy Cafri
  • J. Kevin Thompson
Article

Abstract

In order to investigate the relatively new phenomenon of male body depilation, 118 male university students provided details regarding the reduction and removal of their body hair using a questionnaire developed from the results of structured interviews (Boroughs & Thompson, 2002). It was found that well over one-half of the sample (63.6%) was engaged in body depilation (i.e., the reduction or removal of body hair below the neck). The sites, methods, reasons, and injuries related to body depilation were assessed, as well as its effect on affective dimensions. Findings are considered in light of these ramifications and how they may contribute to a better understanding of men’s body image.

Key Words

body image men hair depilation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Agliata, D., & Tantleff-Dunn, S. (2004). The impact of media exposure on males’ body image. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 7–22.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed. revised). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Apfelber, D., & Alster, T. (2001). Lasers. In R. M. Goldwyn, & M. N. Cohen, (Eds.), Plastic surgery (pp. 237–252). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  4. Basow, S. (1991). The hairless ideal: Women and their body hair. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 83–96.Google Scholar
  5. Basow, S., & Braman, A. (1998). Women and body hair: Social perceptions and attitudes. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 22, 637–645.Google Scholar
  6. Boroughs, M., & Thompson, J. (2002). Body depilation in males: A new body image concern. International Journal of Men’s Health, 1, 247–257.Google Scholar
  7. Cafri, G., & Thompson, J. (2004). Measuring male body image: A review of the current methodology. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 5, 18–29.Google Scholar
  8. 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.Google Scholar
  9. Gomes, L. (2001, September 5). That thicket of hair just spoils the view of all those muscles: Many young men are taking it off to look like guys in the pages of Men’s Health. Wall Street Journal, p. A1.Google Scholar
  10. Hope, C. (1982). Caucasian female body hair and American culture. The Journal of American Culture, 5, 93–99.Google Scholar
  11. Lewis, J. (1987). Caucasian body hair management: A key to gender and species identification in U.S. culture? Journal of American Culture, 10, 7–14.Google Scholar
  12. Luciano, L. (2001). Looking good: Male body image in modern America. New York: Hill and Wang.Google Scholar
  13. Pope, H., Gruber, A., Choi, P., Olivardia, R., & Phillips, K. (1997). Muscle dysmorphia: An underrecognized form of body dysmorphic disorder. Psychosomatics, 38, 548–557.Google Scholar
  14. Pope, H., Phillips, K., & Olivardia, R. (2000). The Adonis complex: The secret crisis of male body obsession. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  15. Rosen, J. (1996). Body dysmorphic disorder: Assessment and treatment. In J. K. Thompson (Ed.), Body image, eating disorders, and obesity: An integrative guide to assessment and treatment (pp. 149–170). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  16. Schuler, L. (2000, May). How to lose your hair: A man’s guide to waxing, shaving, plucking, burning, and shocking away unwanted body foliage. Men’s Health, p. 4.Google Scholar
  17. Simpson, M. (1994, November 15). Here come the mirror men; Metrosexual men wear Paul Smith, use moisturizer, and know that vanity begins at home. The Independent, p. 22.Google Scholar
  18. Simpson, M. (2002, July 22). Meet the metrosexual: He’s well dressed, narcissistic and bun-obsessed. But don’t call him gay. Salon, Retrieved January 4, 2005, from: http://archive.salon.com/ent/feature/2002/07/22/metrosexual/
  19. Smith, H. (2000, July 10). Why Zorba can’t keep his hair on. New Statesman, p. 12.Google Scholar
  20. Stein, J. (1999, September 20). Shaving the body, Fantastic. Time, p. 12.Google Scholar
  21. Stuever, H. (2000, August 3). Mr. Rug; for men, a hairy back is a closely held secret. Washington Post, p. C1.Google Scholar
  22. Tiggemann, M., & Kenyon, S. (1998). The hairless norm: The removal of body hair in women. Sex Roles, 39, 873–878.Google Scholar
  23. Toerien, M., & Wilkinson, S. (2003). Gender and body hair: Constructing the feminine woman. Women’s Studies International Forum, 26, 333–344.Google Scholar
  24. 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.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Boroughs
    • 1
  • Guy Cafri
    • 1
  • J. Kevin Thompson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of South FloridaTampa
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South FloridaTampa

Personalised recommendations