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Aesthet Surg J. 2019 Sep 26. pii: sjz254. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjz254. [Epub ahead of print]

The Role of Pornography, Physical Symptoms, and Appearance in Labiaplasty Interest.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA.



With the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reaffirming its 2007 opposition to labiaplasty in 2019, the procedure continues to be controversial. Particular emphasis on pornography as a major influencer on women seeking labiaplasty contributes to its controversy and distracts from other motivations. Few articles have established pornography's influence relative to functional and appearance related symptoms.


The objective of this study was to look at the relative influence of pornography on women's decision to seek labiaplasty relative to other factors, with comparison with a control cohort.


In this prospective study, 124 consecutive patients consulting about labiaplasty and a control cohort of 50 women were questioned 11 labia-related symptoms and the influence of pornography as possible.


The mean age was 34.2 and 38.9 in the labiaplasty and control cohorts, respectively. Women within the labiaplasty cohort had on average 2.8 out of the 6 queried physical symptoms and 3.2 out of the 5 queried appearance-related symptoms. In comparison, control patients reported an average of 0.3 of the 6 queried physical symptoms and 0.2 out of the 5 queried appearance-related symptoms. (p<0.001) Less than half (47 percent of the labiaplasty and 42 percent of the control cohort) never viewed pornography. Pornography was not an influential factor to seek labiaplasty in 42 percent of the labiaplasty cohort and 54 percent of the control cohort. A minority (11 percent in the labiaplasty cohort and 4 percent in the control cohort) said that pornography influenced them to seek labiaplasty. There were no statistically significant differences between these two groups.


Pornography influences some women to seek labiaplasty, but relative to other motivating factors, its role is minor.


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