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Monday, 22 October 2018
Page: 10535

Health Care

We believe the female vulva is sacred and beautiful. However there is currently an epidemic of young women with record-high insecurity and discomfort levels around the appearance of their vulva. The rate of women seeking surgical labiaplasty, believing their vulva to be unattractive or abnormal is at record high levels. In Australia, images of women's genitals that appear in magazines like Cosmo and Cleo (and in sealed sections and M rated pornography) need to comply with the Guidelines for Classification of Publications, which in practice require genital labia and clitoral hood to be air-brushed in order to meet Guidelines with problematic terms such as "discreet genital detail". As a result, many women have a distorted image of what is normal, which doesn't reflect the reality that about half of all women have labia minora that are longer than the labia majora; and that there is a wide range in the healthy vulva appearance and detail, folds and protrusions of labia majora and minora, and clitoral hood.

We therefore ask the House to review its Guidelines under Australian Classification laws, which is seeing normal healthy female vulvas airbrushed of labia in magazines and publications in Australia, to ensure they are not "high impact" or in-"discreet" or have "genital emphasis". We also ask the House to take action to ensure school students are taught biology and sex education with realistic photographs of a wide range of normal vulvas, and not a single stylised diagram of a vulva.

from 1,009 citizens (Petition No. EN0724)

Petitions received.