The Menstrual Cycle

Attitudes and behavioral concomitants

Authored by: Joan C. Chrisler , Jenifer A. Gorman

Routledge International Handbook of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138490260
eBook ISBN: 9781351035620
Adobe ISBN:


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Here we review beliefs about and attitudes toward menstruation and consider how they result in taboos and social expectancies that restrict women’s behavior. Negative attitudes reflect ideas that women are debilitated, vulnerable, and even dangerous during certain phases of the menstrual cycle. However, decades of psychological research designed to show evidence of physical, cognitive, and emotional debilitation, which is also reviewed here, do not support these ideas. Most women’s behavior is not significantly affected by their menstrual cycles.

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