Sunday, 18 December 2016

Women's attitudes to menstruation

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

I could not introduce this better than to use the author's own words: 'Although menstruation is a shared experience for most women, it is a subject and a process that historically has been surrounded with secrecy, shame and lack of knowledge.'

This study from Iceland titled: The role of menstruation in women’s objectification: a questionnaire study' by Sveinsdötter (2016) and published in JAN aimed 'to investigate the concepts of objectification and self-objectification among young women in the context of attitudes towards menstruation, menstrual suppression, menstrual and menarche experiences, disorder eating and exercise habits and to detect predictors of objectification and self-objectification.'  A series of questionanires was administered to over 300 Icelandic women and regression statistical methods were used to analyse the data. Various models were tested and these are described in detail in the article.

The author concluded: 'The study confirms that menstrual-related experiences influence women’s objectification, in particular age at menarche and belief that menstruation predicts behaviour in some
way.' She made a series of recommendations for research and, with relevance to practice, said: Healthcare providers and in particular nurses, could and should assist girls and women in developing a positive view of their body and its reproductive functions. Because of the central role nurses occupy in healthcare systems worldwide, they are optimally placed to give consultations to women and girls on their body and menstruation.'

You can listen to this as a podcast


SVEINSDӦTTIR H. (2016) The role of menstruation in women’s objectification: a questionnaire study. Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.13220

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