Sunday, March 16, 2014

First Reader Week Nine

From this weeks readings on the female reproductive model, what I found most interesting was the differing opinions, culturally, that were held about menstruation. According to the typical American viewpoint, menstruation is always looked down upon and dredded. But other cultures do not view it in the same light that I have always heard. Pages 192 and 193 of chapter 9 focus on the cultural impacts and views. In answer to the question, “Do you like having periods?”, 50% of women in Hong Kong, 33% in Shanghai, 35% of White women in Cape Town, 75% of Black women in Cape Town, 26% in Scotland, and 81% in Nigeria all said that yes, they did “like having periods”. I found the cultural differential astounding. Going into this part of the chapter, I knew there would be cultural differences, but I didn’t not expect the differences to be quite so vast. It would be extremely interesting to have a greater background on these women's perceptions of menstruation. I would like to know why Nigerian women feel so positively about it, and why Scottish women feel the exact opposite. Why, even though 81% of Nigerian women answered yes to “do you like having your period”, why do 73% of Nigerian women also answer yes to “would you consider a method of contraception that stopped your period”? Even though such a large percentage of Nigerian women “like having their period”, would they prefer not to, given the choice? This would make for an thought-provoking research study.

1 comment:

  1. I also found the different attitudes of women from different cultures about menstruation as very enlightening and it really forced me to look at my own views, which I had never examined before. I noticed how often women in our cultural complain about our menstrual cycles and a common thing for us is to think why do I have to go through this and we tend to have a very negative attitude about menstruation. I had to think about if I liked having my periods and while I've often wished I did not have to go through the pain and annoyance they bring, I have never really considered any type of birth control to greatly reduce them for just that purpose. I realized I had just come to accept this as a part of life. I wonder if that is why people in other countries have a higher percentage of women saying they like having their period, simply because it is as accepted as a part of life and maybe some societies see it as being healthy. It would be really interesting to see what motivated these women to say they liked having their period. I wonder if it could be a case of being proud that you are a woman who goes through this tough physiological change. Also why do we view menstruation as something negative? Does it have any root in feminism and/or the idea we need to have more sexual freedom? I agree that asking why the women would also choose to greatly reduce the occurrence of menstruation would also be enlightening. I think these attitudes could also help women learn more about their body and how to educate them on why our body functions this way and what effects different forms of birth control have on our bodies.