Self-esteem, coping with stress, and defense mechanisms in Turkish women having hymenoplasty surgery: a case–control study

EDİZ Ç., Gürhan N., Erdoğan G., GENİŞ B.

European Journal of Plastic Surgery, vol.46, no.6, pp.1143-1150, 2023 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00238-023-02080-2
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Plastic Surgery
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1143-1150
  • Keywords: Mental health, Self-esteem, Turkiye; Hymenoplasty, Woman
  • Hakkari University Affiliated: Yes


Background: In some societies, women who lose their virginity before marriage may face humiliation, stigma, alienation, divorce, and extreme violence. Under this background, it is necessary to study whether hymenoplasty can affect women’s mental health. We aimed to understand the mental health of women with hymenoplasty. Methods: The current study with a case-control group investigated the relationship between self-esteem, coping with stress, and defense mechanisms in a sample of 211 Turkish women. The data collection tools were the Socio-Demographic Characteristics Form, the Self-Esteem Scale, the Defense Mechanisms Scale, and the Scale for the Methods of Coping with Stress. Results: “Social pressure” was the main reason for women’s hymenoplasty demands. In addition, women who applied for hymenoplasty had low “self-esteem” and “ability to cope with stress.” Conclusions: Women living under a cultural understanding and moral regime that radically overestimate virginity have low self-esteem and the ability to cope with stress. It can be said that the practice of hymenoplasty is a “measure” that enables women—living under the violence threat under the name of tradition—to question their situation and take action to develop solutions. Level of evidence: Not gradable