Generation smooth: today's young people are taking private grooming further than ever

March 26, 2016, 9:00 AM GMT+0

A new survey for Cosmopolitan Magazine reveals that 1 in 2 women under thirty remove all their pubic hair, and most young men trim

The extent of the fashion for private body grooming among Britain's young adults is revealed by a new YouGov survey for Cosmopolitan Magazine. When asked which bikini line style is preferrable for women, the most popular option among women and men under 30 is the 'hollywood' - all hair completely removed. Young women are even more likely to say they prefer this style (39%) than young men (30%).

The difference in preference between the generations is stark - among over thirties the most popular style (chosen by 31%) is the standard bikini line, to leave most hair alone but neaten up around the knicker line. 14% of over thirties prefer no trimming at all compared to only 4% of under thirties.

A greater proportion of young women remove all of their pubic hair (47%) than say this is ideally what women should do (30%). Most young men either trim (45%) or remove all of their pubic hair (11%). This compares to 37% of men over thirty.

Conversely, women under thirty are twice as likely (18%) as women over thirty (9%) to say women should ideally remove none of their armpit hair, however women under thirty are more likely to say they personally do remove all armpit hair (93%) than older women (80%).

Men are also now expected to trim their pubic hair, and you can see how this changes through the ages. Fully 75% of the older 65+ generation say men should ideally do nothing to their pubic hair, and this falls to 63% of 50-64s, 35% of 25-49s and 29% of 18-24s.

There are a number of explanations for the rise of hair removal among young adults. A tempting one is that young people are more exposed to internet pornography; another is that fashion trends have become more revealing. But it is also possible we have been here before. Hair has been considered unholy in the past - prophets on the Sistine Chapel are all hairless below the neck - and in ancient Greek and Roman times pubic hair was considered uncivilised. The trend could be just a fad, no doubt with influences from sexual culture.

See the full poll results