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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2003 Apr;12(3):241-53.

Factors that influence the decision to undergo cosmetic breast augmentation surgery.

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  • 1Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.



This study examined the factors that motivate women to seek cosmetic breast augmentation surgery.


Twenty-five breast augmentation surgery candidates completed measures of body image dissatisfaction, sociocultural influences on physical appearance, marital and sexual satisfaction, and self-report questionnaires that assessed other motivations for surgery. Thirty physically similar women who were not interested in breast augmentation also completed the measures.


Replicating previous studies, breast augmentation candidates, compared with controls, reported greater dissatisfaction with their breasts. The two groups, however, did not differ on overall body image dissatisfaction or greater awareness or internalization of sociocultural influences on physical appearance. Breast augmentation patients reported more positive sexual functioning compared with controls.


Overall, breast augmentation patients appeared to be motivated by their feelings about their breasts rather than direct or indirect influence from external sources, such as romantic partners or sociocultural representations of beauty. These findings provide new information on the motivations behind breast augmentation and dispute several stereotypes about the factors that influence the pursuit of this surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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