Predictors of consideration of labiaplasty: An extension of the Tripartite Influence Model of Beauty Ideals

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    Abstract

    Our study investigated predictors of consideration of labiaplasty (the surgical reduction of the labia) using a sociocultural framework. A sample of 351 heterosexual adult Australian women aged 18–69 years completed measures of media exposure, peer influence, relationship quality, internalisation of the genital ideal, genital appearance comparison, genital appearance dissatisfaction, and consideration of labiaplasty. Almost all predictor variables were significantly correlated with consideration of labiaplasty. A structural equation model based on the Tripartite Influence Model focused on beauty ideals showed a good level of fit to the data: The effects of media exposure and peer influence on genital appearance dissatisfaction and consideration of labiaplasty were mediated by internalisation of the genital ideal and genital appearance comparison. We concluded that media exposure, peer influence, and relationship quality influenced consideration of labiaplasty both directly and indirectly. The results contribute to a greater understanding of the sociocultural motivations behind labiaplasty and also demonstrate an important extension of the Tripartite Influence Model beyond the explanation of disordered eating behaviours to the consideration of a specific form of cosmetic surgery. The development of media literacy programmes may be beneficial in addressing genital appearance concerns in young girls.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)182-193
    Number of pages12
    JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
    Volume39
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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