Only humans have pubic hair. What is the evolutionary advantage in having it?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Not true. As far as I know marsupials have pubic hair. (e.g. Macropus eugenii) $\endgroup$
    – Ebbinghaus
    Jul 5, 2016 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ I have no evidence, but it would provide a visual cue about maturity and fitness to potential mates. $\endgroup$
    – Minnow
    Jun 18, 2019 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


Many consider pubic hair to be a sort of protection or warmth, however this can only hold true for the vagina, since pubic hair doesn't offer any additional protective advantages to the male urethra. The most prevailing theory is that simply it is one of the odor producing parts of the body and humans (like most life forms in general) are simply aroused by strong smells. Also most odour producing parts are usually accompanied by hair in order to "catch" pheromones. It is notable that those odours are not the direct product of glandular secretions, as those secrations are in fact odorless. It is their combination with bacteria that gives every person a unique smell. This unique smell gives a lot of important information to the canditate sexual partner. Here is an interesting study about odour importance in sexual reproduction as well as the role of MHC(Major Histocompatibility Complex)

If you are interested you can read further for for the Importance of smell in sexual production

  • $\begingroup$ So in short the pubic hairs catch pheromones that combine with bacteria to give potential sexual partners information. But what is the evolutionary advantage? Are you saying that this applies to other mammals too, but since they tend to have a lot of hair all over their bodies they don't need special hairs by their genitals as humans have got? $\endgroup$
    – user24880
    Jul 5, 2016 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ There isn't a definite theory as to why pubic hair exists.The evolutionary advantage -if any-is exchanging information. The study explains this very thing. Individuals strongly prefer a partner with smell different than theirs.This leads to MHC-heterozygous offspring, which in turn means they are better protected against a wider range of parasites. Still, like no one is completely sure what is the significance of pubic hair. Most likely it is simply catching pheromones. $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2016 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ And as to why swe are the only animals having pubic hair, we are one of the few hairless mammals, so we need some areas covered with hair. Most probably this area was selected because it was warm and close to the genitals (so strongly linked to sexual activity). $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2016 at 4:33

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