Is Pornography to blame?

April 27th, 2011
Is Pornography to blame?

Pornography has been blamed as a major cause for an increase in labioplasty surgery.

It seems many more women than normal are now asking for operations on their private parts in their pursuit of what’s been described as designer genitals. This has alarmed the medical profession who see this as being a direct consequence of Internet pornography. And it isn’t just women, as many more men are also seeking something similar.

The research carried out by King’s College in London is looking at the motivations behind this disturbing issue. One of the researchers, Professor Linda Cardozo, a gynaecologist, says that many women seeking surgery request it because of discomfort during sexual intercourse, while more disturbingly some request surgery purely for cosmetic reasons. A lot of the operations are carried out by the private sector, something that Professor Cardozo is also concerned about.

She told reporters: “The private sector is not recorded, audited or regulated. We have no way of knowing how many surgeries take place there. It’s possible to go on a [surgery] course for $75,000 in the US, come back with your own laser equipment and set up. At least if you have it on the NHS you have to go through your GP and that’s a gatekeeper.”

Labioplasty is perhaps more risky than many cosmetic surgery operations. Risks include permanent scarring, infections, bleeding and irritation. There is also the chance of increased or decreased sensitivity if any nerves get accidentally snagged during the operation.

Labioplasty operations are intended to make the labia smaller or more symmetrical, but it appears (according to Professor Cardozo) that many women are seeking it as a cure for their psychological problems. She said: “A lot who come to me for labiaplasty are depressed and some are on medication. That’s a major issue, because you shouldn’t have cosmetic surgery when you are like that. It definitely needs to be investigated.”

These views were also echoed by an expert in cognitive behavioural therapy, Dr. David Veale who is also involved in the King’s College research said: “We haven’t completed the research, but there is suspicion that this is related to much greater access to porn, so it is easier for women to compare themselves to actresses who may have had it done.

“This is to do with the increasing sexualisation of society – it’s the last part of the body to be changed.”

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