It seems to be pretty epidemic, these days, but when I was a girl, mostly you just shaved enough to make sure that nothing showed while you wore a bathing suit.
I have shaved "down there" in the past, by special request, and I really got irritated, covered with little pimples, and three days later I ended up with something like a diaper rash and something like a very bad reaction to wearing under pants (it chafed on the stubble?). This was all accompanied by an odd, somewhat funky smell.
I elect not to shave that region now because of the vivid recollection of the discomfort (the diametric opposite of sexy, really). However, I am currently dating a wonderful man (20 years my junior) and I am the only woman he has ever dated that has had pubic hair. Have things changed that much, really? in the 80's, everyone had pubic hair (in gym showers) that I recall.
Is there a hygenic reason to shave? Or is it one of those "society expects it" situations, now? I seem to have missed the memo.