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Is it permitted for a male nowadays to shave his pubic hair for non-medical reasons? Perhaps this question could be phrased a different way: Assuming that the market for male-specific shaving products that are designed for body hair is an indication that it is currently normal for (non-Jewish) men to shave their body hair, would this in turn permit a Jew to shave his body hair since it has become a norm?

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Thanks for your question, John, and welcome to our rapidly-growing site, Mi Yodeya, where I hope you'll find much to interest you, including our forty-three other questions about men and males. Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. –  msh210 Aug 1 '13 at 19:07
See also judaism.stackexchange.com/posts/comments/76794 –  msh210 Aug 4 '13 at 22:08
judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/16453/can-a-man-remove-hair doesnt answer? I dont if apply to nowadays... –  juanora Dec 3 '13 at 19:16

1 Answer 1

The Shulchan Aruch in the beginning of YD 182 says:

א.המעביר שער בית השחי ובית הערוה אפילו במספרים כעין תער היו מכין אותו מכת מרדות בד"א במקום שאין מעבירין אותו אלא נשים כדי שלא יתקן עצמו תיקון נשים אבל במקום שמעבירין אותו גם האנשים אם העביר אין מכין אותו: {הגה: ואפילו לכתחילה שרי (ר"ן פ"ב דעבודת כוכבים) רק החברים נמנעים בכ"מ (שם ובב"י בשם נ"י)

My rough translation: One who shaves his armpits or pubic area, even using scissors in a similar manner to a razor (i.e. Cutting the hair short); they would lash him "rabbinic lashes". When is this said? In a place where only women shave (those areas) so that they shouldn't practice a women's practice, but in a place where men do also, we don't lash him. Rema says: And it is even permitted. Only Rabbis withhold (from this practice) in all places

Additionally, see prisha who states explicitly that a when a practice becomes normal for Gentile and irreligious males, it becomes permitted for Jewish males.

As far as prevalence of this practice, a Cosmopolitan article says that 95% of men "manscape". If so, the practice is, in my opinion, certainly permitted.

As always, be sure to ask your LOR, as awkward as that may be.

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And 99.9% of women wear pants. –  Double AA Apr 3 at 3:27
@DoubleAA That's reb Obadiah's argument. But the minchas Yitzchok says that even woman who wear pants do it to be like men, so it doesn't count. Seems like a weak argument to me nowadays, but he said it about 50 years ago... –  Ish Ploni ViKohen Apr 3 at 6:52
And 99.8% of women wear pants for non-gender related reasons. –  Double AA Apr 3 at 14:48
@doubleaa definitely now, but was that true in the 50s? –  Ish Ploni ViKohen Apr 3 at 22:35
I don't know, and I'm not really sure why I should care? –  Double AA Apr 3 at 22:46

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