You Can't Blame Bush for the Global Decline in Pubic Lice

courtesy Deadspin.comcourtesy Deadspin.comLord knows George W. Bush has been charged - right and wrongly - for everything bad that's happened over the past 13 years or so. But here's one trend for which Bush is simply not responsible:

Pubic lice, the crab-shaped insects that have dwelled in human groins since the beginning of history, are disappearing. Doctors say bikini waxing may be the reason.

Waning infestations of the bloodsuckers have been linked by doctors to pubic depilation, especially a technique popularized in the 1990s by a Manhattan salon run by seven Brazilian sisters. More than 80 percent of college students in the U.S. remove all or some of their pubic hair -- part of a trend that’s increasing in western countries. In Australia, Sydney’s main sexual health clinic hasn’t seen a woman with pubic lice since 2008 and male cases have fallen 80 percent from about 100 a decade ago....

“It used to be extremely common; it’s now rarely seen,” said Basil Donovan, head of sexual health at the University of New South Wales’s Kirby Institute and a physician at the Sydney Sexual Health Centre. “Without doubt, it’s better grooming.”

More here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Deforestation devastates wildlife populations.

  • fish_remote||

    How did I know you were going to be comment(1) one!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You're a witch.

  • fish_remote||

    burn me?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    First get on this scale.

  • R C Dean||

    Interesting, no, that female depilation leads to declines in both male and female infestation?

  • Question of Auban||

    Will ladies now demand that their men get waxed?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That seems like it's be a pretty obvious result. Am I missing some joke or sarcasm?

  • Brett L||

    It requires ladies have multiple overlapping partners, probably at higher rates than men.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Multiple partners: yes. Higher rates than men: doesn't seem necessary.

  • Brett L||

    You should have some meta-stable, nonzero number of men acting as a reservoir. That number has to be smaller than the number of women who used to be carriers but no longer are. I guess the alternative is that men fucking notice that shit and get it taken care of.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But the guys who have lice are less likely to pass it around if the girls they are banging are shaved. And there is an entire decade's worth of new young guys who are less likely to have picked them up at all.

  • R C Dean||

    Am I missing some joke or sarcasm?

    No. Just, you know, interesting.

  • ||

    I'm surprised this never came up in the late '90s when it was fashionable for gays to be hairless from the nose down, or in the early 2000s when the metro thing was hip with straight guys.

  • Question of Auban||

    Pthirus pubis will now be declared an endangered species and anyone who shaves that region of their body will be fined by the Department of the Interior.

  • Jordan||

    Department of the Interior. Heh. Well done.

  • Mongo||

    I saw a chyck with a cannabis leaf patch. Man, that was white-trash sexy....

  • John||

    At what point do these things make the endangered list and the EPA starts permitting Brazilians?

  • Question of Auban||

    The government just needs to declare that they are pubic lands.

  • sarcasmic||

    Wetlands.

  • Question of Auban||

    Bushes are required to prevent further erosion.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Isnt this another example of how Bush is evil?

  • Zeb||

    I don't know. Where's the campaign to bring back small-pox? Or reintroduce malaria to the eastern US?

  • John||

    Those are bacteria. This is an insect. It is a "species" within the meaning of the ESA.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Small Pox is caused by a virus and malaria by plasmodia.

    Neither are bacteria.

  • Zeb||

    Actually a virus and a protist.

    I just think it is funny to say to people who think that nothing in the ecosystem must ever change or the earth will die or something.

  • Brandybuck||

    Well they did ban DDT, what more do you want?

  • ||

    It's a tax!!!

    /Roberts

  • ||

    I read a science fiction short story once where an anthropologist went to another planet where the native inhabitants had basically pubic lice crawling all over them. Thinking that the people were unclean she persuaded them to start a hygiene program that ultimately eliminated the pubic lice, but after a few years she noted that she was no longer seeing any young natives, and the people were generally becoming sicker.

    Turns out the pubic lice were in a symbiotic relationship and basically acted the same as bees do with flowers, going between males and females to help the procreation process.

    I'm just sayin'.

  • Question of Auban||

    Who wrote that? Do you remember the name of the story?

  • Counterfly Guard||

    No but it took place in the Crab Nebula.

  • ||

    Well done, biggest LOL I can remember.

  • Doctor Whom||

    It seems to be a common trope in science fiction that well-meaning humans "cure" aliens of a "parasite" that is actually essential to them.

  • Aresen||

    I wonder if some well-meaning aliens would be so kind as to cure us of the pestis politicianis parasite?

  • Calidissident||

    If they're crawling all over them, how are they pubic lice?

  • ||

    I was just thinking of this story today. Can't remember the name of it though.

  • entropy||

    Oh my gawd, they're endangered! We need to add pubic lice to the list of federally protected animals who's habitats are endangered by human encroachment. We can't afford to lose any more species. Lice are people too.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's only a matter of time before personal grooming becomes a crime under the Endangered Species Act.

  • ||

    I really don't understand this. What's going to be the overlap between people who get waxed and people who get lice? Am I the only one who would have thought they were two fairly distinct populations? (Outside, maybe, prostitutes)

  • Brett L||

    Honestly, contra my upthread comments, I think that the overlap comes between ladies 17-29 (high rates of multiple partners, high rates of waxing). At 25, a huge chunk of the population goes out and pairs off over the next 3-4 years, which essentially eliminates the spread. Also, I've dated several over 30s who liked the Brazilian, too. Especially in places like FL where we have beaches that can be used 9-12 months a year, young women are pretty militant about keeping their bikini lines clear.

  • SugarFree||

    The spread of pubic lice was worse in the populations that were non-monogamous; the non-monogamous were the ones more likely to wax or trim.

    Head lice and junk lice are different species.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Doesn't anyone call them crabs anymore? Or am I showing my age?

    Further: I wish college girls had done that while I was in college. Bummer.

  • SugarFree||

    Pubic lice are also known as the crab louse, so they are really interchangeable terms.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Crab Louse sounds like a description of Nancy Pelosi.

  • Brandybuck||

    When I was in college the girls were sleeping with everyone... except me. [cries]

  • ||

    The spread of pubic lice was worse in the populations that were non-monogamous; the non-monogamous were the ones more likely to wax or trim.

    Yeah, that was supposed to be my "prostitutes" exception. I guess I am discounting the sluttiness of young women.

  • sarcasmic||

    It is not uncommon for young women these days to have sex with hundreds of different strangers a year. Think about it. A different dude every Friday and Saturday night. It's no wonder why antibiotic resistant gonorrhea is on the rise.

    I'm glad I'm happily married. Don't have to worry about catching anything.

  • ||

    No, dude, that's pretty uncommon.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've read stories where random young women in big cities were interviewed on the subject, and the results were rather shocking. Especially among young career-minded women who didn't want the bother of a relationship but like to get laid often. It's more common than you think.

  • John||

    Were those stories in the letters section of Penthouse?

  • sarcasmic||

    Were those stories in the letters section of Penthouse?

    Daily Mail, dude. Where else?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    The most prolific porn star (female) has about 200 men a year. The most prolific male has about 1200 women a year. This is due to the male performers being 1/3 the number of female ones. I find it highly unlikely the "non-pro" has more sex.

    See this outstanding study

  • Auric Demonocles||

    4 girls a day? Damn.

  • mr lizard||

    Ya but I'd imagine there's a lot of recycling in that 1200

  • Cliché Bandit||

    nope those are unique hits so to speak.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I've got a couple pretty slutty friends, but no one I know is doing a different guy every week, let alone multiple different guys a week.

  • sarcasmic||

    When I was working as a cook in a college town there were waitresses who would sleep with a different guy (or two) every weekend. Damaged goods if you ask me.

  • The Heresiarch||

    You shut your whore mouth.

    I just like saying that.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Jane you ignorant slut.

  • Tim||

    There's half a million wax jobs in Miami who'd give anything for one tenth of what you got. They've been chapped and sunburned. They shave with rats and sawtooth combs and sometimes...each other. At night, the pyres for the pubes light up the sky. It's medieval.

  • ||

    NEEDZ MORE BOOOOSH!

    -your frienz the lyce

  • Brandon||

    I approve of this extinction.

  • Aresen||

    But here's one trend for which Bush is simply not responsible

    If this were in any way deemed to be "bad" (and I doubt even Michael Moore would call it bad), it would be blamed on Bush.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    But the Bush Twins were waxed! Both of them! Wet, waxed, and wanton!

  • Fluffy||

    OK, this is kind of a digression, but do you guys realize that if you read the synopsis of the linked study showing that 80% of college kids landscape down there, you will discover that the feminist authors assert that despite the fact that equal numbers of men and women report shaving their pubic hair, it's STILL a patriarchal conspiracy because they claim that women are doing it for "body shame".

    1. 80% of women shave their pubic hair.
    2. 80% of men shave their pubic hair.
    3. PATRIARCHAL ENSLAVEMENT!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    you have braces...I have braces..wanna wrestle?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement