“Kiss Your Period Good-Bye”: Menstrual Suppression in the Popular Press

“Kiss Your Period Good-Bye”: Menstrual Suppression in the Popular Press The purpose of this study was to analyze the content of popular press articles about menstrual suppression, a relatively new and controversial health care option. Twenty-two American and Canadian articles, published before the FDA approval of Seasonale, were coded for basic information about and indications for menstrual suppression, viewpoints included, and coverage of risks and benefits. Menstrual suppression was most often recommended for women with menstrual disorders but was also recommended to menstruating women in general as a matter of convenience. Advocates of menstrual suppression were quoted twice as often as opponents. Monthly menstruation was frequently described as messy, inconvenient, bothersome, unhealthy, and unnecessary. From this analysis, we concluded that popular press coverage of menstrual suppression is insufficient and biased. The articles reflect and reinforce the taboo status and medicalization of menstruation. This coverage may have primed potential consumers to anticipate the FDA approval of Seasonale eagerly, to evaluate it uncritically, and to pursue it as a birth control and menstrual health option. Implications for research, health care providers, and menstrual activists are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

“Kiss Your Period Good-Bye”: Menstrual Suppression in the Popular Press

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-006-9007-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze the content of popular press articles about menstrual suppression, a relatively new and controversial health care option. Twenty-two American and Canadian articles, published before the FDA approval of Seasonale, were coded for basic information about and indications for menstrual suppression, viewpoints included, and coverage of risks and benefits. Menstrual suppression was most often recommended for women with menstrual disorders but was also recommended to menstruating women in general as a matter of convenience. Advocates of menstrual suppression were quoted twice as often as opponents. Monthly menstruation was frequently described as messy, inconvenient, bothersome, unhealthy, and unnecessary. From this analysis, we concluded that popular press coverage of menstrual suppression is insufficient and biased. The articles reflect and reinforce the taboo status and medicalization of menstruation. This coverage may have primed potential consumers to anticipate the FDA approval of Seasonale eagerly, to evaluate it uncritically, and to pursue it as a birth control and menstrual health option. Implications for research, health care providers, and menstrual activists are discussed.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 3, 2006

References

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