What Should Be the Surgeon's Role in Defining “Normal” Genital Appearance?
AMA Journal of Ethics, April 2018
The recent rise in women seeking cosmetic surgery of their genitalia (labiaplasty) coincides with the increasing number of surgeons posting videos of these operations on social media accounts and websites. Sociocultural influences significantly contribute to our ideas of what constitutes healthy and pathologic, and surgeons have historically played a role in defining "normal" and "abnormal" anatomy. In the nineteenth century, Saartjie Baartman-a woman with a large posterior and unusually long labia minora-was used by physicians to "educate" the public about these differences. We examine the parallels with the twenty-first century practice of surgeons using social media to educate patients about the operations they perform and discuss ethical and professional hazards associated with this practice.
|Members of the public||12||63%|
|Practitioners (doctors, other healthcare professionals)||5||26%|
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|Student > Doctoral Student||3||25%|
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|Medicine and Dentistry||6||50%|
|Nursing and Health Professions||1||8%|