Date of Award

5-24-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Sociology and University Honors

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Tina Burdsall

Subjects

Menstruation -- Social aspects, Menarche -- Social aspects, Menstruation -- Public opinion, Teenage girls -- United States -- Social conditions, Shame

DOI

10.15760/honors.750

Abstract

At menarche, menstruators receive messages from various sources that urge them to conceal evidence of their menstruation. Concealment refers to the notion that menstruation is to be hidden, especially from men. This belief is often exploited and/or expressed in interactions between menstruators, mothers, and peers, in advertisements, educational materials, day-to-day conversation, and personal disciplinary actions. Themes of concealment are analyzed within a social constructionist framework to understand how narratives develop over time to guide human behavior and maintain social order. This paper argues that the menstrual concealment taboo is a social construction that has been institutionalized into the fabric of American society and mediates experiences of menstruation to promote body shame.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/28931

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