Presentation Title

Social Attitudes of Menstruation

Presenter Information

Katherine KoughFollow

Advisor Information

Jay Irwin

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

2-3-2018 2:15 PM

End Date

2-3-2018 3:30 PM

Abstract

Perceptions of menstruation are shaped by many forces including media, religion, and peer communication, and are just some of the factors associated with how individuals conceive their own menstrual processes. Feminist literature, which is utilized in this research, focuses heavily on negative social opinions towards menstruation. Further, research has observed women are influenced by peer-groups, advertisements, and social opinion, generally seeing themselves as disgusting during menstrual periods. Low-income women and women of color often report confusion and low levels of communication amongst their peers and mentors about menstruation, leading to a cycle of misinformation and a lack of resources. Interviews with 20 individuals who self-identify as women and who have experienced menstruation previously were conducted to explore their own internalized feelings.Of key interest were perceptions and attitudes regarding menstruation, both personally and socially. I analyzed for differences by social status among these women. Differing identities and cultures were shown to influence perceptions, and further, had their own perceptions influenced. In this study, race/ethnicity, age, and income had no difference in regards to attitude. Those who did not identify as straight had overall more positive opinions about menstruation than straight participants. Feminist ideology influenced perceptions the most, allowing for a healthy and positive viewpoint of menstruation.

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Mar 2nd, 2:15 PM Mar 2nd, 3:30 PM

Social Attitudes of Menstruation

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Perceptions of menstruation are shaped by many forces including media, religion, and peer communication, and are just some of the factors associated with how individuals conceive their own menstrual processes. Feminist literature, which is utilized in this research, focuses heavily on negative social opinions towards menstruation. Further, research has observed women are influenced by peer-groups, advertisements, and social opinion, generally seeing themselves as disgusting during menstrual periods. Low-income women and women of color often report confusion and low levels of communication amongst their peers and mentors about menstruation, leading to a cycle of misinformation and a lack of resources. Interviews with 20 individuals who self-identify as women and who have experienced menstruation previously were conducted to explore their own internalized feelings.Of key interest were perceptions and attitudes regarding menstruation, both personally and socially. I analyzed for differences by social status among these women. Differing identities and cultures were shown to influence perceptions, and further, had their own perceptions influenced. In this study, race/ethnicity, age, and income had no difference in regards to attitude. Those who did not identify as straight had overall more positive opinions about menstruation than straight participants. Feminist ideology influenced perceptions the most, allowing for a healthy and positive viewpoint of menstruation.