My wife has two very constant opinions on the presence of hair on my body:

  1. She hates the idea of me growing a moustache and/or a beard. The main reason seems to be that it interferes with smooching.

  2. When we're in bed, she likes how it feels to run her fingers through my chest hair. I've commented more than once on the way young male actors almost always shave their chests in movies, and she's firmly opposed to the idea.

Who am I to tell her what she likes?

More objectively, though, I think it's all a matter of appearance. When either a man or woman shaves their body, it makes them look younger. Any adult male will instantly add five or ten years to their appearance by growing facial hair, and lose the same number by shaving it off. If a man is nekkid, a shaved chest likewise makes him look closer to adolescence.

Women doubtless started shaving their legs and armpits to create the same effect, except that now it has become more or less a universal standard for their gender. Traditionally, though, it's still more acceptable for a man than a woman to appear "older". Such is the nature of fashion.