An opinion piece by Cat Rodie published this week in Fairfax media suggests that the social and cultural taboos around female genitalia are contributing to young women and girls both not knowing about what their genitals should look like and being dissatisfied with their genital appearance.
“Girls get socialised not to talk about their genitalia. And then, when they need to talk about it (because they have a weird symptom or something has changed) they find that it’s too embarrassing… We need to normalise conversations about female genitalia so that we can start smashing through taboos”
Titled, “So What is a Vulva Anyway?”, the online booklet was developed in response to an increasing number of young women and girls in the UK having concerns about their genital appearance and requesting female cosmetic genital surgeries.
Commenting on the launch of the booklet, Brook participation and volunteering manager Ms Laura West said:
“All young people deserve education, support and advice about anatomy, but unfortunately there is a lack of accurate and sensitive information available as part of the school curriculum and on the internet. This new booklet will help to address this need and will inform doctors, girls, young women and their families, as to what is normal and where to seek further help and support if required.”
Dr Naomi Crouch, GP, researcher on FGCS, and chair of BritSPAG said: “We hope this resource will provide information for girls and young women that their vulva is unique and will change throughout their life, and that this is entirely normal and healthy.”
You can access the resource which is free to download here.