This study examines the embodied nature of menarche through a focus on themes of shame, concealment, and sexual maturation. Using a narrative analysis, it examines menarche stories of 155 undergraduates in the Pacific Northwest, USA, aged 21 years and younger, who started their periods between 1999 and 2003 and who grew up in a culture with changing attitudes and practices about women and the body. Unlike findings from past studies and those with older participants, women reported more positive experiences of menarche. While these data provide evidence for changing attitudes and practices associated with menarche, they may also reflect cultural changes that increasingly commodify the female body and encourage girls to identify the maturing female body as an asset.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 25, 2008
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