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Examination of gendered differences in the advertising of cosmetic surgery procedures in the United Arab Emirates

 Department of Psychology and Counseling, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Zahir Vally,
Department of Psychology and Counseling, P. O. Box: 15551, Al Ain
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/HMJ.HMJ_15_18

Background: The number of cosmetic surgery procedures has steadily increased, in the United States (US) as well as on a global scale. Research reports that the majority of surgical procedures are performed on women, despite societal changes that have precipitated increased interest from potential male consumers. Much less is known about cosmetic surgery practices outside of the US. Objectives: This study investigated the differential targeting of cosmetic surgery advertising directed towards male and female patients. Methods: An exploratory review of publicly available online information was conducted. A systematic search strategy was employed to find cosmetic surgery practice websites operating in the United Arab Emirates. Website content was examined to determine the procedures performed, whether services were specifically targeted at male patients and the gender of the images contained on the website. Results: The content of 34 websites was accessed and examined; 90 surgeons who were predominantly male (75%), some of whom had trained in the US (21%) and were primarily working from metropolitan cities formed the sample. The majority of practices did not specifically target male patients, 82% did not have a male services section, only 18% displayed images of male patients or models, but more than half of the practices performed gynaecomastia. Conclusions: It appears that despite socio-cultural and attitudinal changes in this region of the world towards cosmetic surgery, many practices continue to ignore male consumers in their online advertising efforts.

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