Stop the bikini wax! Save the crabs!

How the growing popularity of the Brazilian is wiping out the pubic pest's "natural habitat"

By Katie McDonough
January 15, 2013 12:26AM (UTC)
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(Flickr Creative Commons)

Weird news, everybody! Pubic lice are becoming an endangered species!

Because more and more people are opting to go bare "down there" -- a 2011 study revealed that up to 80 percent of all college-aged men and women had removed some or all of their pubic hair at least once -- the tiny, pubic-dwelling insects have nowhere to "live." And without a host to feed on, the bugs' breeding cycle has been interrupted, and lice populations are plummeting.


"The 'habitat destruction' of the pubic lice is increasing and they are becoming an endangered species," Janet Wilson, a consultant in sexual health, told Bloomberg News.

Unlike spiders and other species of creepy crawlers, pubic lice serve no real natural purpose. So don't worry about any disruption in the circle of life if these micro-pests disappear.

Want to know who to thank for putting crabs on the run? Michael Patrick King. Or so says Spring Cooper Robbins, a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney. As the sexual health specialist told Bloomberg News, many credit the international rise of the Brazilian -- and subsequent decline of the lice -- to the popularity of "Sex in the City" and its hairless stars.


Well, except for Miranda that one time.


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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