The Menstrual Mark: Menstruation as Social Stigma

  title={The Menstrual Mark: Menstruation as Social Stigma},
  author={Ingrid Johnston-Robledo and Joan C. Chrisler},
  journal={Sex Roles},
In this theoretical paper, we argue that menstruation is a source of social stigma for women. The word stigma refers to any stain or mark that renders the individual’s body or character defective. This stigma is transmitted through powerful socialization agents in popular culture such as advertisements and educational materials. We demonstrate, in our review of the psychological literature concerning attitudes and experiences of predominantly American girls and women, that the stigmatized… 
Female trouble: menstrual hygiene, shame and socialism
ABSTRACT Drawing on semi-structured interviews, and an analysis of advertisements for menstrual hygiene products in socialist Slovenia and wider Yugoslavia, this article seeks to contribute to the
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 scholars
Moving Past the Stigma?: The Narrative of Menstruation in Wash and MHM Organizations
Menstruation is associated with social stigma, however, over the past decade menstrual hygiene management (MHM) has received increased attention as a global concern. MHM emerged from the water,
(In)Visible Bleeding: The Menstrual Concealment Imperative
Wood offers a new conceptual framework, “the menstrual concealment imperative”, to explain how women’s internalization of menstrual discourse contributes to their disembodiment and
Challenging Menstrual Normativity: Nonessentialist Body Politics and Feminist Epistemologies of Health
Guillo-Arakistain examines the ways in which alternative politics of menstruation are challenging the paradigm of sexual dimorphism and heteronormativity. She does this through consideration of
Sociocultural Attitudes Surrounding Menstruation and Alternative Menstrual Products: The Explanatory Role of Self-Objectification
Reactions to an alternative menstrual product were predominantly negative, supporting prior research on stigma and shame surrounding menstruation and implications for women's health are discussed.
Understanding menstruation: Influence of gender and ideological factors. A study of young people's social representations
This research investigates social representations of menstruation. It analyses firstly how young Spanish people understand menstruation in their everyday lives. And secondly, it explores how gender
‘This is a natural process’: managing menstrual stigma in Nepal
This study explored how women describe their experiences and the strategies they adopt to manage age-old stigma in a rapidly modernising society where they have multiple roles as workers, wives and mothers.
Menstruation During a Lifespan: A Qualitative Study of Women's Experiences
Using thematic analysis, it is found menstruation to be a complex phenomenon that binds women together and is perceived as an intimate and private matter, which makes women want to conceal the occurrence of menstrual bleeding.


The Social Stigma of Menstruation: Fact or Fiction?
In a study examining the effects of a social stigma on impression management concerns, 28 menstruating and 30 nonmenstruating women were interviewed by a male confederate who either was or was not
Bleeding out Loud: Communication about Menstruation
Girls in the USA receive mixed messages about menarche: menarche is traumatic and upsetting-but act normal; menarche is an overt symbol of sexual maturity-but also a mysterious, secret event. Girls I
The portrayal of the menstruating woman in menstrual product advertisements.
It is concluded that the portrayed women, in an attempt to avoid others' discovery of their menstruation, employed a complex menstrual management system, which often includes feminized menstrual products, to act as an antidote to a tainted state of femininity.
Cultural Perceptions and Practices around Menarche and Adolescent Menstruation in the United States
  • M. Stubbs
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2008
The persistence of negative characterizations of the menstrual cycle as a feature of the current cultural context in which girls begin menstrual life in the United States is details and research on girls' current menstrual attitudes and experiences within this context is reviewed.
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 obligations
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.
Issues of Blood: The Politics of Menstruation
This is a valuable book on three major counts. The academic/theoretical issues raised, the methodology employed and its potential for changing the lives of women. Academically, the socio-political
Leaks, Lumps, and Lines
Women’s bodies have often been positioned in art and popular culture as monstrous or defiled and women’s bodily products (e.g., menstrual fluid, breast milk) as disgusting. This framing has led to
The extended curse: being a woman every day.
Inductive analysis of the portrayal of menstruating women in contemporary menstrual product advertisements revealed a profound shift in the meaning of feminine hygiene over the last few decades, with serious implications for contemporary women's self-images.
Attitudes Toward and Experience with Menstruation in the US and India
American women scored significantly higher than Indian women on the knowledge test, and they also reported that they had better preparation for menarche thanIndian women did, and implications are discussed in light of cultural messages women receive.