Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Crabs, a.k.a. Pubic Lice, dying out due to "Brazilian" bikini shaving?


Are crabs going extinct? No, the other kind...

Don't worry, I won't be stuck on weird sex and drugs stories forever. But there's a lovely one brewing right now in the Netherlands.

Rotterdam's Natural History Museum has put out a call for anybody with crabs, aka pubic lice, to come forward and donate a louse for their collection before they die out.

Anonymity guaranteed, obviously.

Why would lice be dying out? Apparently, because due to the influence of pornographic films on popular culture, most young people are shaving their nether-regions these days.

"It's actually no different than with the Panda bear," curator Kees Moelijker told newspaper Dag. "Chopping down bamboo forests has gotten rid of their natural environment, and brought them to the edge of extinction."

The ultimate source of the story is a couple of British researchers, who issued a paper in last year's journal of Sexually Transmitted Infections called "Did the Brazilian Kill the Pubic Louse?"

Despite rises in the prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhoea, there has been a significant drop in pubic lice over recent years. Sexual behaviour changes cannot account for this discordance in trends of STIs so there must be another explanation. The drop in pubic lice in women appears to be most dramatic around 2000 and coincided with the introduction of extensive waxing techniques, such as the "Brazilian," in women in the United Kingdom.

The "Brazilian" is essentially a normal bikini wax leaving a little "landing strip" of hair or nothing at all. Its origins lie in Brazil where waxing has long been part of the culture. Initially the "Brazilian" was only available at selected London salons but by 2000–1 it had become a widely available and increasingly popular waxing technique across the United Kingdom.

I'm having trouble getting any reputable source to confirm there's a declining trend (or even any data available of any kind on pubic lice.)



Urban legend or law of unintended consequences in action? You be the judge.


Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble getting any reputable source to confirm there's a declining trend (or even any data available of any kind on public lice.)

pubLic lice? can we get rid of those as well by shaving our nether regions? Awesome!

Toby Sterling said...

You are a careful reader, Flurt.

I'm afraid public lice are worse than ever, no matter what the youth of today do or don't shave.


Unknown said...

I did some field research on this topic this weekend in the biggest sauna in the Netherlands and I can confirm that the people at the Rotterdam's Natural History Museum are going to have an extremely difficult time finding a donor, especially in women under 35 or so.

Can we send this story to the people in our government who say that the sexualisation of society is a bad thing?