Female Genital Self-Image Scale (FGSIS)
My first blog post was about how women are taught to view their vulvas, namely, we are taught to forget they exist or we are taught that they are unattractive and should stay hidden. I implied having a more positive self-image would help with caring for pelvic floor health in particular and sexual health in general.
Would you believe this is being studied by many people in the medical community as of late? One study found that self image is strongly related to actively seeing a gynecologist and sexual satisfaction. In other words, the more a woman is confident that her genitals look fine, the more she will seek medical care and the happier she is with her sex life.
Indeed, I see this dynamic repeated in many ways in the lives of women The self-loathing women are taught to have makes them not take care of themselves medically or sexually. This demonstrates how much women separate themselves from their bodies in a profound way, while paradoxically being taught to spend an inordinate amount of time caring for superficial aspects of their bodies. What do I mean by this?
We are taught to take great care with our hair, make-up, clothing and nails (superficial sexual expression and superficial care of the body) while simultaneously denying the value of our real sexual expression and health care (we don't allow women to truly enjoy their sexuality by instilling shame in them and likewise we make them too ashamed to go to the doctor for medical help.) I believe this is the dynamic behind the huge numbers we see of women who suffer from incontinence, but who never tell their doctors, which is around 50%.