Dear Straight Talk: I don't know who to talk to. I walked in on my daughter (17), undressing, and couldn't help but see that she shaves her pubic hair. I didn't say a thing and decided to write you instead. Are all the girls her age doing this? Or is this a sign that my daughter is promiscuous? Thank you for this column. I read it every week. — "Helen," Monterey, Calif.
Editor's Note: Today’s sex education classes and home sex talks need to include the subject of shaving/waxing so that young girls (and boys) know where the trend originated and that there are significant health problems associated with it — in essence, that it's a dumb trend. The home sex talk should start MUCH younger than in pre-Internet times as almost all kids (age 5-11) have at least some exposure to hard-core pornography — with many having lots of exposure. Best is to protect pre-pubescent kids from unattended Internet use entirely, as pornography is, by far, the biggest presence there.
Costs of pubic hair waxing/shaving:
• Monetary: At $40-70 per Brazilian wax job, this comes to $500-800 per year — nearly the cost of a year's textbooks, or auto insurance.
• Medical: The microscopic wounds around the labia, scrotum, and genital area are vulnerable to staph infections (including antibiotic-resistant staph), genital cellulitis, ingrown hair abscesses that can leave scars, increased herpes infections, and suspected increased vulnerability to other STIs.
• Emotional: As we heard from Erin, intense peer pressure to shave leaves straight girls little choice but to go along with it unless they want to feel sexually shunned and unattractive. There is even peer pressure among girlfriends to all look the same. —Lauren
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