Our article presents the findings from a study exploring men’s attitudes towards and perceptions of menstruation. Using a social constructionist framework, we analyzed 48 Australian men’s written accounts in response to an anonymous online questionnaire which explored messages they received about menstruation growing up as well as their current attitudes towards, and experiences with, menstruation. Respondents were 18–69 years-old; most were Caucasian and in an intimate relationship, and they varied considerably in terms of educational attainment. Thematic analysis yielded four themes: (a) managing the stigma of menstruation, (b) talking menstruation today—open and closed communication, (c) menstruation is part of relationships, and (d) menstruation and social commentary. These findings shed light on how boys learn about menstruation and how men’s role in menstruation is constructed, emphasizing the educational, relational, and socio-political contexts in which these attitudes are created. Researchers, health care providers, and educators could use our findings to create more effective reproductive health education programs. Improving communication between parents and children may encourage a more balanced view towards menstruation, working towards reducing the stigma commonly experienced by girls and women.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 16, 2016
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