Women are having unnecessary surgery to alter the appearence of their healthy and normal genitals

For some time we have been concerned that unrealistic depictions of female genitals, as required by the Australian film and literature classification board, have resulted in misperception of oneself as abnormal, leading to emotional problems and an increase in unnecessary and poorly understood cosmetic surgery. Fortunately the current guidelines for the classification of publications in Australia are under review. This provides us with an opportunity to have a say on some issues in the scheme which are related to these social and health problems. These problems are ably highlighted in the submission by women's health victoria.

some resources:
Braun, Virginia (2010) "Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery: A Critical Review
of Current Knowledge and Contemporary Debates" JOURNAL OF WOMEN’S HEALTH 19 (7)

to see how much variation there is in even a self selecting sample check out this great site!

and here is an interesting documentary.

the ABC also has some interesting discussions:

We the undersigned write to express concern

1. that Australian law permits realistic depictions of only a limited set of female genitals in literature and film

2. that this limitation creates a misleading picture of normal, beautiful or healthy genitals

3. this false norm causes people to falsely judge themselves to be abnormal

4. this judgement causes inappropriate emotional disturbance and can lead to drastic measures, such as unnecessary cosmetic surgery

We ask

1. that the law be adjusted to allow realistic depiction of the genitals of all women (provide they are willing and of age)

2. that the law be adjusted such that any image of genitals that purports to be realistic actually be realistic

3. that manipulation of photographs or video images of genitals be limited to artistic productions only and outlawed in educational documents and pornography 

with thanks

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