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The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation

Defining Ideal Female Genital Anatomy Through Novel Crowdsourcing Analysis Print

The ASERF Scientific Research Committee and Board of Directors are pleased to announce the following grant award:

Researcher: Herluf Lund, MD & Alexander Lin, MD (Co-PIs)

Grant Award: ASERF Interim Grant

Amount Awarded: $16250.00

Project Name: Defining Ideal Female Genital Anatomy Through Novel Crowdsourcing Analysis

Project Summary:

Labiaplasty continues to increase in popularity in the United States with 10,787 surgical and non-surgical labiaplasty procedures performed in 2017. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reports a 217.3% increase in labiaplasty procedures performed in the United States from 2012 to 2017.  The increased demand for labiaplasty is multifactorial and has been attributed to exposure through television and internet, the growing popularity of shaving the genital area, and increased media attention (Koning et al). Female genitalia displayed in the media is rarely asymmetric and frequently undergoes retouching, thus creating an unrealistic standard to which females compare their own anatomy and creating increased self consciousness in women regarding their genitalia. This has contributed to increased demand of labiaplasty procedures, as these procedures are most often pursued by women who are unsatisfied with the appearance of their genitalia or believe it is abnormal (Laan et al.). Although multiple studies have published ranges of quantitative measurements to define the normal external female genitalia (Gunthert et al., Lloyd et al.), no studies describe ideal female genital anatomy. As with many other procedures in plastic surgery, the goal of labiaplasty is not only a normal result, but an aesthetically ideal one.

In our proposed study we hope to establish ideal anatomic norms for female genitalia through crowdsourcing and identify any differences in ideal female genital anatomy that may exist between demographic groups in order to guide labiaplasty procedure aesthetic outcomes. Crowdsourcing is a novel technology utilizing large number of laypeople via the internet (“wisdom of the crowds”) whose aggregate results are valid in multiple types of studies (Crump et al.), but has not been applied to female genital anatomy.


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