Study questions linkage between body image, labiaplasty, and pornography
Preliminary research into the relationship between pornography and genital satisfaction has found women are generally content and were not considering drastic cosmetic surgery to their genitals.
The findings contradict the popular belief about the increasing incidence of labiaplasty, and the theory that pornography is the main driver of surgery.
"The general porn thesis is that pornography is responsible for female genital satisfaction is overly simplistic," said Bethany Jones, Post-Doctoral Fellow, National Institute for Mental Health Research.
While there has been some research into the predictors of cosmetic surgery and genital dissatisfaction, this is the first study to attempt to determine whether the popular porn thesis is a realistic account of the motivations of women getting labiaplasty.
Ms Jones, found that pornography consumption and demographics alone could not explain women's genital satisfaction.
"Pursuing cosmetic surgery is an extremely complex behaviour. We really should be looking at things like variables of individual difference, psychological characteristics, and mental health indicators."
The researcher's online survey recruited 1083 women from 25 countries through Facebook, with 85 per cent from Australia.
The sample found that 93 women, or 8.7 per cent, indicated they were somewhat likely or very likely to consider the procedure.
"We couldn't really analyse the openness to labiaplasty properly because it was an extremely unpopular option among the participants," she said.
Ms Jones said some of the hype surrounding labiaplasty was driven by cosmetic surgeons, who have an interest in promoting surgery.
"Normalising this sort of surgery only increases its popularity," she said.
The research is published in the latest edition of Porn Studies.
Ms Jones and Dr Camille Nurka are collaborating on future research into what influences people to have genital cosmetic surgery.