Fears and concerns related to menstruation: a qualitative study from the perspective of gender. E mail: abotello us. E mail: rcasado us. The aim of this article is to analyze the fears about menstruation and health that have been passed down to us by oral transmission from a gender perspective. The semi-structured interview was used as a data collection technique.
Two informants per profile were used. Satterthwaite M. Certainly, it can have a physical and physiological effect on the woman. For neither lawful mixture, nor child-bearing, nor the menstrual beliecs, nor nocturnal pollution, can defile the nature Frenchys in sussex nb a man, or separate the Holy Spirit from him. Themes were identified based on study findings and were chosen Menstruation beliefs inclusion because of their contribution to Menstruation beliefs the Menstruation beliefs restrictions placed on women and girls. Putting the men into menstruation: the role of men and boys in community menstrual Menstruation beliefs management. As part of a project to improve menstrual hygiene management in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia, we explored the local understanding of menstruation through focus-group discussions and individual interviews. Feminist economics.
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Herbert, p. Other tribes believed merely touching a drop Menstruation beliefs menstrual blood could relieve severe pain and bring about success and wealth. Retrieved 17 January What's New. Cultural aspects surrounding how society views menstruation. Menstruation beliefs, Period: Germany. New York: Stuart. Her food had to be cooked separately; when it was handed to her, the attendant may not approach her closer than Menstruation beliefs paces, and before Menstruation beliefs it she was to wrap her hand in a cloth. Retrieved 28 December According to Hindu legend, menstruation began after Lord Indra severed the head of Vishwaroopacharya, ostensibly out of anger because he found it impossible to pronounce his name. Anyone who touches her during that time will be unclean until evening. Views Read Edit View history. Hindus Milfs who swallow cum Nepal traditionally keep women isolated during menstruation, when women who are menstruating are not allowed in the household for a period of 3 nights. Much of this suspicion and mistrust had to do with the nature of the process: Roughly every month, otherwise healthy-appearing members of a cultural group began discharging blood from their private parts.
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- Menstruation is a natural biological process that women undergo during a major period of their lives.
Attitudes and beliefs about menstruation can place restrictions on menstruating women and girls, limiting their ability to fully participate in community life, education and employment. Focus group discussions and interviews were undertaken with adolescent girls, women and men in a rural and urban site in each country.
Data were analysed using an inductive thematic approach. Participants described a range of attitudes and beliefs that restrict the behaviour of menstruating women and girls. Some restrictions, such as avoidance of household chores, were perceived as desirable or driven by women themselves.
However participants identified other restrictions, such as not being able to attend church or hygienically wash menstrual hygiene materials, as unwanted, in some cases impacting on participation in school, work and community life. Education initiatives guided by women and girls, implemented by local stakeholders and grounded in a sound understanding of specific contexts are needed to address discriminatory attitudes and beliefs that contribute to unwanted restrictions, and to support enabling attitudes and beliefs regarding menstruation.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Data Availability: Due to restrictions in line with the study's ethical approval through the Alfred Hospital HREC and in-country ethics committees in Fiji, Solomon Islands and PNG , data cannot be made publicly available as public availability would compromise participant privacy.
Given the ethical restrictions on sharing data publicly, data sharing will be made possible upon reasonable request via the Alfred Hospital HREC research alfred.
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. In order to manage menstruation effectively and hygienically, girls and women need access to information about the menstrual cycle and how to manage it effectively; clean, affordable, absorbent materials that can be changed in privacy as often as necessary for the duration of a menstrual period; soap and water for washing the body as required; and facilities to dispose of used menstrual management materials [ 1 ].
This is collectively described as adequate menstrual hygiene management MHM. However for many women and girls, especially those in low and middle-income countries, menstruation presents numerous challenges. These include: discriminatory attitudes, beliefs, social norms and taboos relating to menstruation; lack of access to affordable and effective menstrual hygiene materials; and lack of access to appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene WASH facilities [ 2 — 7 ].
Globally, attitudes, beliefs and social norms relating to menstruation vary widely, and these variations impact on practices during menstruation.
For example, people in some settings believe that menstruation is dirty and that menstruating women are unclean [ 2 , 8 , 9 ]. Restrictions may include diminished mobility, seclusion, dietary restrictions, or being prevented from fully participating in community life [ 10 ]. Cultural perceptions and restrictive practices associated with menstruation can serve to isolate and stigmatise girls and women [ 11 , 12 ].
Where this is the case, stigma and silence around menstruation can contribute to gender inequality that discriminates against women and girls throughout the lifecycle [ 13 ]. Such restrictive practices can also influence MHM and the extent to which menstruation can be managed effectively and with dignity [ 4 , 5 ]. Although robust evidence is lacking, unhygienic MHM materials may contribute to skin irritation and reproductive tract infections [ 14 — 16 ].
Restrictive practices during menstruation can have considerable psychosocial implications for girls and women. These are likely to be understood and experienced differently by individuals [ 5 ], and in some cases such restrictions are perceived as positive by women and girls, for example providing welcome opportunities to rest and spend time with other women [ 17 ].
In some cultures, menarche signifies readiness for sexual activity and marriage, with particular implications for sexual and reproductive health as well as educational attainment [ 18 — 20 ]. The onset of menstruation often brings with it new expectations for how girls should behave and interact with others, particularly boys and men.
When menstruating, girls may be expected to stay away from their peer group, avoid male community members, and not visit certain locations, such as churches [ 12 ]. In some contexts, including in the Pacific, menstrual taboos and norms direct girls and women to avoid cooking or eating certain foods, and in some cases, to avoid bathing during menstruation [ 21 ]. Mobility restrictions, lack of facilities to manage menstrual bleeding at school, fear of leakage or staining clothes, and harassment by male students and teachers are demonstrated deterrents to girls attending school both globally [ 12 , 22 , 23 ] and in the Pacific [ 24 ].
Prolonged periods of reduced participation and absenteeism can contribute to school drop-out and reduced educational attainment [ 12 ], with long-term consequences for economic and health outcomes [ 25 — 27 ]. The majority of the available evidence on menstrual health comes from studies conducted in Asia and Africa, and there is limited published literature on the challenges and barriers to managing menstruation in the Pacific. Due to the distinct and diverse cultures and geographies found within the Pacific, it is likely that the challenges faced by women and girls in this region differ from those in Asia and Africa.
These three countries were chosen to provide a snapshot into the barriers to effective MHM in Melanesia. This is the first qualitative multi-country study on menstrual hygiene in the Pacific, and importantly includes the perspectives of predominantly underrepresented groups in the MHM literature including women in informal employment, girls not attending school and women living with a disability. The purpose of this paper is to describe menstruation-related attitudes and beliefs that contribute to restrictive practices in PNG, SI and Fiji; the impact of these restrictions on the lives of women and girls; and associated implications for programming.
The findings presented here are part of a broader study to explore the challenges experienced by women and girls in managing their menstruation, and whether these challenges make it hard for them to equally participate in school, work and community life. The study was conducted in one urban and one rural community in each of the study countries. SI and PNG face significant economic and human development challenges [ 35 , 36 ].
Fiji by comparison has made greater advancement in economic and human development indices [ 37 ]. Gender inequality is a critical development issue in each of the three countries, and women and girls in the Pacific experience some of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world [ 39 ]. For this formative qualitative research project, we undertook focus group discussions FGDs , in-depth interviews IDIs and key informant interviews KIIs with a purposive sample of adolescent girls, women and men.
Topic areas explored socio-cultural norms, attitudes and beliefs related to menstruation, and how these influence the management of menstruation for girls and women. Question guides were developed by the study team in Melbourne and then reviewed and finalised in collaboration with the local research teams in each country. All FGDs were sex-segregated with efforts made to ensure homogeneity of socio-economic status, community hierarchy and age although this was often difficult in practice to ensure that all FGD participants felt comfortable to openly share his or her thoughts and opinions.
One urban and one rural research site was selected in each country based on pre-existing relationships between the local research partners and these communities. These participant groups were selected in order to gauge a wide range of community perspectives on menstruation and related challenges and restrictive practices. A Community Engagement Officer from the local research team visited communities at each site to explain the objectives and proposed methodology of the research and gain permission from community leaders to undertake the project.
Individual participants were identified and invited to participate in interviews or FGDs once community permission was gained. Following community engagement processes explained below individuals were then selected on the basis of their availability and willingness to consent and take part in the study.
Community Engagement Officers identified one school, one formal workplace and one informal workplace in each site; all School Principals and Organisation Heads for formal workplaces agreed to participate. Participant Information sheets were then distributed to female students from one class and female employees in each workplace. Efforts were made to ensure that one FGD with older schoolgirls aged 17—19 and one with younger schoolgirls aged 14—16 was undertaken in each country.
Due to the requirement for parental consent for adolescent girls attending school, only girls whose parents had signed the consent form and who agreed to consent themselves were able to participate in the FGDs.
At formal and informal workplaces, individual women self-selected to participate in the project. The Community Engagement Officers and community leaders also identified young women not attending school and men from the community who were provided with information about the purpose of the project and the requirements for data collection.
All young women and men who volunteered to participate were included in the FGDs. Participants for KIIs were recruited from participating schools, workplaces and communities, as well as local health centres and shops. Three of the authors LN, YM and CH provided three days of training to all data collectors on the background and purpose of the research, the principles of qualitative data collection including the roles of facilitators and note takers, use of participatory tools and ethical considerations.
Facilitators were always the same sex as FGD or interview participants. In some cases, data collectors had pre-existing professional relationships with study participants such as in the case of interviews conducted with health professionals. Data collectors transcribed and translated audio recordings verbatim into English.
The local research team undertook all FGDs and interviews in private locations to maximise confidentiality. A summary of participant groups and data collection methods are presented in Table 1. Every effort was made to keep ages similar within FGDs with adolescent girls, in order to ensure younger girls felt comfortable sharing their opinions. However, in practice this was difficult to control for, particularly among adolescent girls not in school in PNG.
Once participants for these FGDs came to the site of data collection, the research team decided that it would not be ethical or feasible to turn them away; therefore FGDs with adolescent girls not in school in PNG included young women up to the age of 29 years. The research team obtained written parental consent for all schoolgirls as well as assent from the girls themselves. Written informed consent was obtained from all other participants.
This involved daily debriefing with the local research team where detailed field notes from data collectors were discussed and emerging themes identified. Researchers amended question guides with the addition of specific probes to draw out themes requiring further exploration; the overall topics within the guides were however not altered.
Once data collection was completed, all data were transcribed verbatim into local languages from recordings and translated into English. Using an inductive approach, the senior author LN familiarized herself with the data by reading each transcript before developing and refining one coding framework for all three countries. The authors then organised these codes according to overarching themes [ 44 ] and examined similarities and differences among participant groups and across study sites urban and rural and across countries.
Data were triangulated between relevant participant groups as well as across study sites and countries. The themes explored in this paper emerged from the data and were not preconceived prior to data collection. Themes were identified based on study findings and were chosen for inclusion because of their contribution to understanding the menstruation-related restrictions placed on women and girls. The team leader LN produced a summary of findings that was reviewed for accuracy by the local researchers and shared with communities and stakeholders at the conclusion of the data collection in country.
Once formal data analysis had been completed using the transcripts, LN shared a detailed report with findings and recommendations at an in-country workshop, affording an opportunity for key stakeholders and local researchers to provide feedback.
Participants described a range of attitudes and beliefs that restrict the behaviour of menstruating women and girls across the three countries. We consider each of these themes in turn, describe the restrictive practices associated with the beliefs and attitudes identified, and explore the reported impact that such restrictive practices have on the lives of girls and women.
An overview of the main themes and associated restrictive practices is presented in Table 2 by country and site. As a consequence of this belief, some women and girls were prevented from, or chose to refrain from, household tasks such as food preparation, cooking and housework while menstruating. Indo-Fijian women of Hindu faith held similar beliefs, and reported that menstruating women should not cook food for their husband if he is a priest, or touch food being taken to the temple.
When women in PNG and SI were asked how they felt about restrictions on daily living activities such as cooking and cleaning, attitudes were mixed. Several female participants in urban SI reported a preference for not cooking or handling food while menstruating, seeing it as a break from chores. Women and girls in PNG also stated that these traditional restrictions on cooking and housework were becoming less common and were often not adhered to, particularly in urban areas.
Beliefs about menstrual blood being dirty were often interconnected with beliefs and fears about menstrual blood bringing bad luck to men and boys. In rural and urban settings in PNG and SI, participants commonly believed that food prepared or cooked by menstruating women is harmful to men and boys, causing them to age faster or making them sick.
They are dirty and you know they have a … cultural belief. Men and women from all three countries described a traditional restriction on sexual intercourse during menstruation. It was unclear whether this restriction was adhered to in SI and Fiji, although some men in PNG reported that sex was still practiced when their partners were menstruating. In SI and PNG the traditional restriction on sexual intercourse was generally linked to beliefs about women being dirty or unclean during menstruation and causing harm to men, although in PNG some men believed a woman was at higher risk of becoming pregnant when menstruating.
Some men in Fiji believed that sex during menstruation should be avoided because of an increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections. It is written in the Bible- do not approach a woman during her uncleanliness period. FGD Men, rural Fiji. It was unclear whether women imposed these restrictions upon themselves or whether other churchgoers or church officials dictated them.
Men in rural SI believed that not attending church while menstruating was a preference among women, relating to the challenges in managing bleeding without access to good quality sanitary products. However, women in rural SI commonly viewed not being able to attend or fully participate in church as an unwanted restriction, and there was a feeling of embarrassment at having to sit at the back of the church because that would make it obvious to others that they were menstruating.
Norris and K. In Buchler, I. Menstruation and the power of Yurok women. Everywhere, Period: Guyana. This is conducted by older women. My goal at Cycle Harmony is to make your healing journey easier. However, because lore is not easily displaced by advances in knowledge, numerous superstitions and taboos still exist throughout the world regarding such females.
Menstruation beliefs. A compendium of menstrual superstitions.
Much of this suspicion and mistrust had to do with the nature of the process: Roughly every month, otherwise healthy-appearing members of a cultural group began discharging blood from their private parts. Given that the sudden seeping of blood generally signals some form of disaster or misadventure having befallen the person leaking his or her hemoglobin, such process was regarded as ill-omened at best or a certain sign of impending calamity at worst.
The relation of conception to menses became clearer in when the belief that a woman menstruated because she failed to conceive was advanced. Physicians had previously wrestled with the question of why women bled from the nether regions on a regular basis, but prior to that time their best guess was it had something to do with the disposal of superfluous blood, possibly to cool a heightened emotional state. However, because lore is not easily displaced by advances in knowledge, numerous superstitions and taboos still exist throughout the world regarding such females.
Not all associations with menstrual blood are negative. Because blood in any context is viewed in the realm of folk belief as a bodily fluid enjoying strong ties to passion, courage, and indeed life and death, some of those links translate to the blood produced by catamenia. Ancient cures used it to treat lepers and those afflicted with hydrophobia rabies.
Some early healers insisted it could cure gout, goiter, hemorrhoids, epilepsy, worms, and headaches. It was also viewed as a potent ingredient to add to a love potion or to slip directly into something that would be ingested by the lusted-for object of affection.
Menstrual blood was viewed as possessing powerful medicinal qualities by some primitive tribes. The apron worn by a young girl during her first menstrual period was highly coveted by relatives who were anxious to wear it themselves, certain it would ensure good health. Other tribes believed merely touching a drop of menstrual blood could relieve severe pain and bring about success and wealth.
Sneezing After Sex Prevents Pregnancy. New York: St. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again. We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. Our report makes that a challenging argument to defend.
That adjustments are made to records of climate is neither a scoop, nor a secret, nor a controversy. The question arises in light of the U. House of Representatives' launching of an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump in fall But it was run by two Ukrainians. Viral tweets and Facebook posts drew a direct link between buying chicken sandwiches and killing LGBT people.
In fact, she may not pray or fast during Ramadan while she is menstruating Engineer, Secondly, she is not allowed to have sexual intercourse for seven full days beginning when the bleeding starts.
Following this washing she is able to perform prayers, fasting, and allowed to enter the mosque. According to stipulated ritual, an Orthodox Jewish wife is responsible for immersing in the Mikvah, the ritual bath, following these 2 weeks. Writing about the Buddhist view of menstruation, Aru Bharatiya notes that though it is considered a natural process, at many Buddhist temples, circumambulation of stupas are not allowed. A menstruating woman is then thought to attract ghosts, and is therefore a threat to herself and others.
An example cited by the Buddha Dharma Education Association says, that while fermenting rice, menstruating women are not allowed near the area or the rice will be spoilt. He writes that among the Eskimos, separate huts are built for the use of menstruating women and special dietary regulations are prescribed for them. Further, the women use cups and utensils that are kept exclusively for their use.
Similar isolation was also observed among the Tlingit, an indigenous group of people present in Pacific Northwest Coast of North America.
Tlingit women were not even allowed to lie down or chew their own foods. They had to sleep propped up with logs and masticated food was supplied to her.
Pima Indian women, who are Native Americans who live in what is now central and southern Arizona, retire into the bushes for several days during menstruation. Among the Canadian tribes, menstruating women are not even allowed to travel the same path as men. Similar practices could be observed among various indigenous people of South America as well.
For example, tribes of Uaupe have separate menstrual huts for women. Ticunas go a step further and subject menstruating girls to flagellation and plucking of hairs along with seclusion. Araucanians of Chile debars women from visiting sick people and attending any public amusements. Further, Menstruation restrictions could be observed in the indigenous tribes of Siberian region as well.
Kamchatka, Yukaghir, Koryak, Somayeds, etc. A Yukaghir woman was barred from touching fishing and hunting implements during menstruation. Ancient Arabia was also not free of menstruation practices. Among other things, they also isolated menstruating women into special huts. Ancient Persia went a step further and believed that even the very glance of menstruating women was polluting.
No fire was to be kindled in the house during that period, and they were to remain at least fifteen paces away from any fire or any water; all wood was to be removed from the place and the floor strewn with dust. Her food had to be cooked separately; when it was handed to her, the attendant may not approach her closer than three paces, and before receiving it she was to wrap her hand in a cloth.
The Chinese also believe that during her menstrual period, a women is very unbalanced, or liminal. Among the Chinese, the menstrual taboos are rather general. Menstruating women are not allowed to worship gods in public ceremonies, public temples or even ancestral halls; however they can worship the gods in private. Along the lines of public, they are also not allowed to attend weddings, funerals, birthday celebrations, or open houses. Sexual intercourse during menstruation is also taboo for the Chinese.
Fears and concerns related to menstruation: a qualitative study from the perspective of gender. E mail: abotello us. E mail: rcasado us.
The aim of this article is to analyze the fears about menstruation and health that have been passed down to us by oral transmission from a gender perspective. The semi-structured interview was used as a data collection technique. The discourses were subjected to content analysis, following the steps of Grounded Theory. As a conclusion to highlight the lack of women's knowledge about reproductive health and that despite Health Education campaigns there are still ancient misconceptions present about menstruation.
The present article is part of a broader research from a doctoral thesis whose purpose was to study the popular beliefs and social representations about the life cycles of women from a gender perspective and from the "voice of the interviewees".
Each society stipulates what attributes are stereotypically masculine or feminine, considering therefore that there are gender roles depending on whether you are a man or woman. The basic distinction by which sex and gender are defined, is that sex is determined by the sexual difference inscribed in the biological body, whereas gender is related to the meanings that each society attaches to specific physical traits.
It is used to describe the characteristics of women and men that are based on social factors, while sex refers to the biologically determined characteristics. Therefore, it is very important to emphasize that the ways of behaving, thinking and feeling of both sexes, rather than having a natural and unchanging base, are due to social and family structures assigned differentially to women and men.
These patterns of mental and social configuration lead to femininity and masculinity and thereby to gender roles. With regard to life cycles in general and menstruation in particular, these are ideas, beliefs and practices that some women have so internalized that they can either help them live better or, on the contrary, limit their own lives and those of their families.
The menstrual cycle is a multidimensional phenomenon since a whole series of reciprocal influences that are not only biological or psychological, but also social and cultural are given in it.
This explains the need to consider the analysis of those psychosocial aspects that converge within it, studying, apart from the biological functions, the psychological, anthropological and cultural aspects of the cycle which are the least studied due to the difficulty for us to move within personal and subjective grounds.
The menstrual subculture contains language, health tools, social norms, expectations and beliefs about how women should feel, act, behave, etc. It is important to study and understand these social and cultural aspects, as it has been explained that there is a certain inability of emotional, physical and cognitive type during some phases of the menstrual cycle in performing tasks of responsibility. In this case, a biological origin to a number of biases that are used to try to separate women from certain spheres of power and social control was sought.
We begin from the idea that health and illness, and therefore the life cycles, are presented under an encoded symbolic reference frame, resulting in specific practices and behaviors, supported by rooted myths, beliefs and customs. The collective beliefs and attitudes towards the menstrual cycle not only appear to be involved in what women experience but are used as explanations for female behavior.
In fact, contamination hazards have always been attributed to menstrual blood that justify the rigidity with which women put economic, political or religious activities aside.
The presence of blood gives a special symbolism to this physiological process, as blood has emotional evocations, symbols and rituals for all cultures, which range between life and death; associating its abundance to life, health and its loss to disappearance, illness and death. As the purpose of the research was to determine which fears currently exist in Sevillian women about menstruation from the gender perspective, the study line considered was the analysis of gender determinants in health, as what is proposed to analyze is the social models, roles and identities that are associated.
The theory of Social Representations, defined by a set of concepts, propositions and explanations that originate in daily life and during interpersonal relationships, as well as allowing us to create information and familiarize ourselves with the unknown through the processes of objectification theory and anchorage was used as a reference, recognizing the common sense explanations of the individuals in a community through their myths, traditional knowledge systems and beliefs.
It is emphasized that the study of social representations involves analyzing and understanding different areas that work interdependently: language, thought and behavior. Language is the best example of symbolic system, as social reality is collectively constructed from it. Therefore, the Theory of Social Representations allows us to know what representations women have regarding their menstrual cycle, since the objectification can materialize the word by transforming an abstraction into the concrete, physical and tangible and the anchoring cognitively integrates the object represented to a system of existing social thought that is revealed in the language of the people who share the same social group, conditions and experiencias.
Consequently, recognizing a social representation involves determining what is known information , what is believed, how it is interpreted field of representation and what is done or how it acts attitude.
In addition, so that a social representation is produced, it is necessary to consider the scenario of everyday life, because that is where the events are seen that will subsequently become the definitive representations of something or someone.
The aim of the research was to know what fears currently exist in our society in Sevillian women of different generations and have been passed down to us through oral transmission. And as specific objectives to determine what they know about menstruation, what representations they have about it and how they act or acted during the days of menstruation. A study of qualitative empirical nature 12 with methodological framework of Grounded Theory GT. As the fears about menstruation was the aim of the study, research was of a qualitative type 13 since it allows us to understand the world of subjective experience from the point of view of people who live it.
Thus, this paradigm does not focus on the prediction and control of a phenomenon study of variables , but on the systematic description of everyday experience. Another criterion was the location: rural or urban area. A total of twenty four semi-structuredinterviews was performed, twelve in urban and twelve in rural areas to women in the age ranges set forth above. Two informants per profile were used. A questionnaire of 13 open questions was designed for research following the criteria of qualitative research COREQ 15 related to menstruation beliefs, prohibitions, fears, metaphors.
Prior to the interviews, the informants were asked for their verbal informed consent to record audio interviews for later transcription and they were informed of the objectives of the study, the use of information and anonymity to respect the ethical standards of research.
The 24 interviewees agreed. The interviewees are indicated by the letter M followed by the number of interview, R or U rural or urban and age. The 24 semi-structured interviews were carried out in different scenarios: Faculty of Nursing at the University of Seville, their workplace and at the homes of some interviewees. Each one lasted an average of 45 minutes. Theoretical sampling is ideal when the main purpose of data collection is to generate a substantive theory.
It is continuous and gradual, guided by data collection, analysis and interpretation while establishing the theory. It is especially consistent with the objectives and PDT techniques. This was the one used in the research. Within the profiles established according to the targeting criteria specified, other variables that should be present for their importance in the representation of the interviewees were defined.
Educational level: to study how the level of education affects the existence or not of erroneous popular beliefs. The classification was performed according to the level of education they had in: uneducated no academic degree , media studies non-university academic degrees and university studies bachelor and master degrees.
Likewise, university students were included at the university level; Mothers or women without children: the approach was to study whether women live their life cycle differently being mothers or women without children; Profession: housewives and women working outside home. Whether language has evolved over time was also analyzed. Fears: fear or concern is an emotion identified by an intense unpleasant feeling caused by the perception of danger, real or fake, present, future or past.
Terror is the ultimate expression of fear. Fear is also related to anxiety and the state of anxiety, which is the set of answers given by different species facing danger or a real or potential threat, it arises when a danger or threat manifests itself or in the presence of stimuli that indicate one ambiguous, innate or learned. The data analysis was performed following the steps proposed by the PTD 17 Grounded Theory , widely used in the analysis of qualitative information.
After collecting evidence, the coding or data analysis was carried out. Even very significant literal expressions of some informants were respected, reflecting, very comprehensively, beliefs and positions, in what is known as "live code". The women's experiences, their beliefs, their lives, were being analyzed and comparing incident to incident, incident to concept and concept to concept, thereby obtaining saturation codes.
Among other codes, women's fears, lack of knowledge and information regarding their own bodies and reproductive health were strongly emerging as well as personal improvements and strategies to achieve it. Data collection was extended until the researcher considered it sufficient for understanding the phenomenon studied, which coincided with the 24 people interviewed. The triangulation of different sources has also been performed with the help of a licensed Atlas. From each of the analyzed documents field notebook notes, verbatim transcripts of the interviews they have been related to the categories and crosscutting with the literature.
The Helsinki declaration of ethical principles for research involving human subjects has been followed. All participants were informed and were asked to consent to recording the interviews respecting the anonymity and confidentiality agreement.
As a limitation of the study, to point out the difficulty of moving within subjective and personal grounds that sometimes made the discourse difficult due to their embarrassment. I was told by the mothers of other friends; my mother did not really tell me much, in fact, she avoided the issue, but the mothers of the other friends told me, 'do not wash with cold water', 'do not get into the shower' 'do not wash your hair' M9.
The origin of these fears is the erroneous beliefs that menstrual blood is incompatible with water and that it is toxic. Women who lived and live with these integrated fears really had a bad time in the face of such harmless situations such as wetting their feet in the days of menstruation. So, do not wash your hair, do not shower M It is seen in the testimonies that the feeling of fear was because they did not want anything bad to happen to them, and when they have daughters, they do not want anything bad to happen to their daughters, even their granddaughters.
Menstrual blood has three basic features that make it have a much stronger emotional impact than any other: It is human, spilling outside the control of women and is related to sex and procreation. This could explain the taboos and myths surrounding menstruation.
And taboo means forbidden, dangerous, but sometimes has a sacred character at the same time. The menstrual cycle is a feminine fact, as the woman is the dominated sex, myths and taboos do nothing but manifest that situation. In this sense, it is still observed, even in the twentieth century, the idea of protecting others from menstrual blood in sentences such as: women feel menstruation as a special problem is expressed in some books on gynecology and maternal-child nursing of the nineties in the last century.
The menstrual flow, with its normal musky odor, is a source of embarrassment for Western women It is a set of widespread fears. This fear was very present in informers over sixty-five. Nowadays, as has been proven in research, it is still being transmitted in some women, but it has lost a lot of strength. The aim was to protect them from possible diseases or affections. In Figure 1 those conditions that have appeared after the analysis of the speeches are reflected.
The belief in the harmfulness of menstruating women is very old, as it was believed that menstrual blood contained strange, irritating, toxic or poisonous substances. The origin is that menstrual blood is incompatible with water.
Although, as informers have said, due to their relationship with the belief that menstruation produces a "state of heat in the body" which has to be maintained during those days. De Beauvoir, in his book "The Second Sex" 22 states that the moment a woman is capable of giving birth, she becomes impure. He reviews the severe taboos that primitive societies make about girls on their first day of menstruation, such as leaving them exposed on the roof of a house, abandoned in a cabin situated outside the town limits, even not being able to touch nor look at them.
Once past this first test, menstrual taboos are less severe but still rigorous and strict. According to different authors, menstruation should not be seen as something dirty or a sign of inferiority but to turn it into a biological warning of our organism when it breaks the chronological cycle.
It consists of the fear that menstruating woman can go crazy if they have a shower or bathe during menstruation. It is closely related to the previous fear. The fact of giving an example of an actual case is common in informers to which they associate this evil because of having washed their hair or showered during menstruation, thus the fear of the community is strengthened: [ Fear also related to the fact of wetting one's hair [ It is what I was told.
If I washed my hair when I had my period [ Some young informants refer to how their mothers have taught them: [ The fear that menstruation can be cut off by having sour or cold foods was observed in some informants, young and old, [ According to other authors there are a great number of topics, misconceptions, referring to women, which are transmitted from generation to generation without any scientific basis with undoubted impact on their health which confirms that the lack of studies, research and fact-finding by professionals has frequently led to a transmission of inappropriate knowledge.