Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Period drama! Pop culture makes menstruation 'overly traumatic'.

July 12, 2012
A study by the University of Melbourne has raised concerns about Hollywood's treatment of menstruation, and whether it's frightening girls into believing it is worse than the reality.

Researcher Dr Lauren Rosewarne, from the University's School of Social and Political Sciences, has analyzed hundreds of representations of menstruation in film and television.

"The presentation of menstruation on screen is an overwhelmingly negative one," she said.

The analysis included jokes, plotlines and references from popular TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory, Mad Men, Friends and Grey's Anatomy, and blockbuster films like Annie Hall, Anchorman and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

"The regularity, normalcy and uneventfulness of real life menstruation is rarely portrayed on screen. Instead, it's treated as traumatic, embarrassing, distressing, offensive, comedic or thoroughly catastrophic," she said.

"There are numerous portrayals where menstruation is considered as evil, disgusting and as the root of all female evil."

Dr Rosewarne said these negative representations affected how women approached their own experiences.

"Girls in real life are viewing menstruation as a hassle, women are happily filling prescriptions to make it go away, men are mocking it, loathing it and rarely understanding it," she said.

"On screen presentations likely have some complicity."'

The research identified the representation of menstruation in Carrie (1976) as perhaps the most traumatizing.

"The fusion of a naked girl, shower stream, screaming and blood harked back to cinema's most famous shower horror scene from Psycho. Even though the audience presumably recognized Carrie was only menstruating, the character's terror was contagious."

Dr Rosearne's full analysis will appear in her upcoming book, Periods in Pop Culture, to be published by Lexington Books.

The University of Melbourne


Related Menstruation Current Events and Menstruation News Articles


Stop blaming the moon, says UCLA scientist
"It must be a full moon" is a common refrain when things appear more hectic than usual.

Smoking when pregnant increases cancer risk for daughters
A new study has found women who smoke when pregnant are putting their daughters at a greater risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer later in life.

Study finds link between early menopause and CFS
A newfound link between chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and early menopause was reported online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Sugary drinks linked to earlier onset of menstrual periods
Girls who frequently consume sugary drinks tend to start their menstrual periods earlier than girls who do not, according to new research published online today (Wednesday) in Human Reproduction [1], one of the world's leading reproductive medicine journals.

Women, quitting smoking for New Years? Time it with your period
The menstrual cycle appears to have an effect on nicotine cravings, according to a new study by Adrianna Mendrek of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal.

Brain research reveals new hope for patients with anorexia nervosa
Their novel findings obtained by measuring "cortical thickness" for the first time in the eating disorder are now published in the renowned journal "Biological Psychiatry". The authors conclude, "The global thinning of cortical gray matter observed in acutely ill adolescent patients can be completely reversed following successful weight rehabilitation therapy".

Developing a noninvasive test for endometriosis
Researchers at UC San Francisco have identified patterns of genetic activity that can be used to diagnose endometriosis and its severity, a finding that may offer millions of women an alternative to surgery through a simple noninvasive procedure.

Study: Menopausal symptoms may be lessened with young children in the house
A new study by researchers at The Kinsey Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that the timeless, multicultural tradition of grandmothering might have an unexpected benefit: helping some women temper their hot flashes and night sweats during menopause.

Endometriosis a burden on women's lives
Endometriosis often takes a long time to be diagnosed and affects all areas of a women's life, a study has found.

Investing in sexual and reproductive health of 10 to 14 year olds yields lifetime benefits
Age 10 to 14 years, a time when both girls and boys are constructing their own identities and are typically open to new ideas and influences, provides a unique narrow window of opportunity for parents, teachers, healthcare providers and others to facilitate transition into healthy teenage and adulthood years.
More Menstruation Current Events and Menstruation News Articles

Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation

Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation
by Thomas Buckley (Editor), Alma Gottlieb (Editor)


Examining cultures as diverse as long-house dwellers in North Borneo, African farmers, Welsh housewives, and postindustrial American workers, this volume dramatically redefines the anthropological study of menstrual customs. It challenges the widespread image of a universal "menstrual taboo" as well as the common assumption of universal female subordination which underlies it. Contributing important new material and perspectives to our understanding of comparative gender politics and symbolism, it is of particular importance to those interested in anthropology, women's studies, religion, and comparative health systems.

The Period Book: Everything You Don't Want to Ask (But Need to Know)

The Period Book: Everything You Don't Want to Ask (But Need to Know)
by Karen Gravelle (Author), Debbie Palen (Illustrator)


The essential guidebook for every girl.The Period Book is a reassuring must-read for every girl about to have her period, and every parent wishing to prepare a daughter for this important milestone. With more than 300,000 copies sold, The Period Book stands out from the pack by specifically addressing younger girls. And with eleven now the average age at which girls get their period, this supportive and practical approach, providing clear and sensitive answers to common questions, is evern more welcome today.The revised edition includes a new introduction for parents and an additional chapter about body image.

Period.: A Girl's Guide

Period.: A Girl's Guide
by JoAnn Loulan (Author), Bonnie Worthen (Author), Marcia Quackenbush (Illustrator), Chris Wold Dyrud (Illustrator)


The start of hormonal changes can be troubling, even traumatic, for young girls. Now fully revised and updated with a parents' guide, Period explains in a straightforward manner the changes all girls go through, answers common questions, and includes a brief description of a pelvic exam.

Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle

Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle
by Lucy H Pearce (Author)


"Life-changing" is the term that hundreds of women around the world have used to describe this book.

Moon Time is a book of empowerment to help you to find healing and learn to celebrate yourself as a woman.

Personal, wise, gently humorous, warm and welcoming, it opens a dialogue on what is often a taboo subject:menstruation. If you are looking for...
- deeper harmony with yourself and your menstrual cycle;
- natural ways of dealing with PMS;
-a way to balance your hectic life and your body's needs;
- how to create a Red Tent or moon lodge;
- how to celebrate you daughter's impending womanhood;
- positive language to describe your amazing body and its natural functions;
- a greater connection to nature's cycles, seasons and the moon...

...

Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation

Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation
by Elissa Stein (Author), Susan Kim (Author)


In this hip, hilarious and truly eye-opening cultural history, menstruation is talked about as never before. Flow spans its fascinating, occasionally wacky and sometimes downright scary story: from mikvahs (ritual cleansing baths) to menopause, hysteria to hysterectomies—not to mention the Pill, cramps, the history of underwear, and the movie about puberty they showed you in 5th grade. Flow answers such questions as: What’s the point of getting a period? What did women do before pads and tampons? What about new drugs that promise to end periods—a hot idea or not? Sex during your period: gross or a turn-on? And what’s normal, anyway?  With color reproductions of (campy) historical ads and early (excruciating) femcare devices, it also provides a fascinating (and mind-boggling)...

Growing Up: It's a Girl Thing

Growing Up: It's a Girl Thing
by Mavis Jukes (Author)


The bestselling "It's a Girl Thing" has a new little sister that's just right for younger girls curious about what puberty will bring.

New Blood: Third-Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation

New Blood: Third-Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation
by Professor Chris Bobel (Author), Professor Judith Lorber (Foreword)


New Blood offers a fresh interdisciplinary look at feminism-in-flux. For over three decades, menstrual activists have questioned the safety and necessity of feminine care products while contesting menstruation as a deeply entrenched taboo. Chris Bobel shows how a little-known yet enduring force in the feminist health, environmental, and consumer rights movements lays bare tensions between second- and third-wave feminisms and reveals a complicated story of continuity and change within the women's movement.

Through her critical ethnographic lens, Bobel focuses on debates central to feminist thought (including the utility of the category "gender") and challenges to building an inclusive feminist movement. Filled with personal narratives, playful visuals, and original humor, New Blood...

Honoring Menstruation: A Time of Self-Renewal

Honoring Menstruation: A Time of Self-Renewal
by Lara Owen (Author)


Every time a woman menstruates she has the opportunity to develop greater self-knowledge and spiritual awareness. Drawing on information from several cultural traditions as well as from her own experiences and those of other women, Lara Owen shows how your period can become a time of emotional deepening and physical renewal during which you can tap into inner wisdom. "Honoring Menstruation" is an updated, revised and expanded version of Owen's first book, "Her Blood Is Gold" and includes a new section on natural healing methods for menstrual symptoms, as well as a detailed description of the spiritual and emotional phases that occur within the menstrual cycle.

Sister Moon Lodge: The Power & Mystery of Menstruation

Sister Moon Lodge: The Power & Mystery of Menstruation
by Kisma K. Stepanich (Author)


Menstruation study.

The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo: Menstruation

The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo: Menstruation
by Karen Houppert (Author)


A provocative look at the way our culture deals with menstruation.The Curse examines the culture of concealment that surrounds menstruation and the devastating impact such secrecy has on women's physical and psychological health. Karen Houppert combines reporting on the potential safety problems of sanitary products--such as dioxin-laced tampons--with an analysis of the way ads, movies, young-adult novels, and women's magazines foster a "menstrual etiquette" that leaves women more likely to tell their male colleagues about an affair than brazenly carry an unopened tampon down the hall to the bathroom. From the very beginning, industry-generated instructional films sketch out the parameters of acceptable behavior and teach young girls that bleeding is naughty, irrepressible evidence of...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com