Restriction and Renewal, Pollution and Power, Constraint and Community: The Paradoxes of Religious Women’s Experiences of Menstruation

  title={Restriction and Renewal, Pollution and Power, Constraint and Community: The Paradoxes of Religious Women’s Experiences of Menstruation},
  author={Nicki C. Dunnavant and Tom Roberts},
  journal={Sex Roles},
Across cultures and historical time, menstruation has tended to be perceived as mysterious, dangerous and potentially contaminating. Most world religions place prohibitions on and prescribe codified purity rituals for menstruating women. We surveyed 340 religious and non-religious women from the Rocky Mountain West region of the United States regarding their attitudes and experiences of menstruation. We found that prescriptive religious women rated their periods as more bothersome, embarrassing… Expand
Womanhood, reproduction, and pollution: Greek Cypriot women's accounts of menstruation
Abstract Through in-depth interviews with 20 Greek Cypriot women between the ages of 23 and 73 living in Cyprus, I explore and examine the multiple and diverse meanings Greek Cypriot women ofExpand
A study exploring isi-Xhosa women’s experiences and meaning making around the portrayal of menstruation and menstrual products in television advertisements
Menstruation can be defined as the cyclic shedding of the uterine wall in response to the production of hormones from the ovaries. Although menstruation is experienced as both a positive and negativeExpand
Cycling Together: Menstrual Synchrony as a Projection of Gendered Solidarity
Though researchers have hotly debated the phenomenon of menstrual synchrony—women menstruating in tandem when living in close quarters with one another—no conclusive evidence has proven or disprovenExpand
Policing a menstrual monster: how working class girls discuss their menstrual reactions and experiences
ABSTRACT Much of the research on menarche and menstruation has been conducted with white, middle-class, heterosexual participants. The purpose of this study was to investigate among a group of urban,Expand
Experiences and Constructions of Menarche and Menstruation Among Migrant and Refugee Women
This work explored experiences and constructions of menarche and menstruation among migrant and refugee women resettled in Sydney, Australia, and Vancouver, Canada and identified the overall theme “cycles of shame” and two core themes. Expand
Menstruation and Religion: Developing a Critical Menstrual Studies Approach
Cohen develops a critical approach to menstruation and religion by showing how in both Judaism and Hinduism menstruation is part of larger purity systems concerned with defining the boundaries ofExpand
A vicious cycle of silence: What are the implications of the menstruation taboo for the fulfilment of women and girls' human rights and, to what extent is the menstruation taboo addressed by international human rights law and human rights bodies?
Although half the population of the world has menstruated since the beginning of time, it has been a taboo topic in cultures across the world for almost as long. Recent grass roots activism in theExpand
Positioning Periods: Menstruation in Social Context: An Introduction to a Special Issue
The menstrual cycle is often conceptualized in the biomedical literature as a unidimensional, biological, and pathological aspect of women’s bodies and health. Feminist social science scholarsExpand
Menstrual Knowledge and Taboo TV Commercials: Effects on Self-Objectification among Italian and Swedish Women
Despite menstruation being a physiological phenomenon in women’s life, social research has highlighted that there are still many taboos, also conveyed by advertising, which prevent an open discourseExpand
“I Treat My Daughters Not Like My Mother Treated Me”: Migrant and Refugee Women’s Constructions and Experiences of Menarche and Menstruation
Hawkey, Ussher, and Perz bring attention to the constructions and experiences of menarche and menstruation from the perspective of migrant and refugee women resettled in Australia and Canada. TheExpand


The menstrual hut and the witch's lair in two eastern indonesian societies
Menstrual huts are associated with ideas of pollution, misogyny, and intersexual tension in the literature, but in Huaulu, Seram, I found an ambivalently charged but not necessarily negative view ofExpand
Women's lives, women's rituals in the Hindu tradition
In this book, Tracy Pintchman has assembled ten leading scholars of Hinduism to explore the complex relationship between Hindu women's rituals and their lives beyond ritual. The book focusesExpand
Reproductive Shame: Self-Objectification and Young Women's Attitudes Toward Their Reproductive Functioning
Women who reported higher levels of Body Shame and Self-Surveillance had significantly more shameful attitudes toward these reproductive functions than women with lower scores on these measures of self-objectification. Expand
Menstrual Taboos Among Major Religions
A look at major religions of the world shows that, without exception, they have placed restrictions on menstruating women. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism have all madeExpand
Sexual Activity During Menstruation: A Qualitative Study
This study utilized a grounded theory method to analyze qualitative narratives about sexuality and menstruation from 108 young women and 12 young men and found young adults who were comfortable with menstrual sex saw it as just another part of a committed intimate relationship. Expand
Female Trouble: The Menstrual Self-Evaluation Scale and Women's Self-Objectification
Strong cultural messages are sent to women that their bodies are unacceptable as they are, thus encouraging engagement in a variety of body-altering practices. It seems that one of the obligationsExpand
“Feminine Protection”: The Effects of Menstruation on Attitudes Towards Women
An experiment tested the hypothesis that reminders of a woman's menstrual status lead to more negative reactions to her and increased objectification of women in general. Participants interacted withExpand
The Relationship Between Attitudes Towards Menstruation and Sexual Attitudes, Desires, and Behavior in Women
Women who had engaged in sexual relations with their current partner during menses were significantly more comfortable with menstruation, more aroused by romantic and unconventional sexual activities, and less sensitive to disgust. Expand
From a “Pot of Filth” to a “Hedge of Roses” (And Back): Changing Theorizations of Menstruation in Judaism
Concerning the Jewish laws of purity and impurity, including hilkhot niddah, the laws pertaining to the menstruating Jewish woman, the twelfth-century rabbi, philosopher, and physician Moses benExpand
Close Encounters: Some Preliminary Observations on the Transmission of Impurity in Early Sunnī Jurisprudence
The Prophet said, al-tahāra shatr al-īmān , "purity is half of faith." In this essay, I attempt to elucidate what appears to be a uniquely Islamic approach to the acquisition and impartation ofExpand