Holy Hormones Journal: Menstruation – hormone cycles – moods – these are all fundamental aspects of women’s lives. Why aren’t we teaching boys about this natural process – instead of feeding them misinformation so they wander around in ‘horror’ of women’s bodies.
Years ago, I had the opportunity to share information to at-risk adolescent boys about menstruation and the mental/emotional changes that women go through. I was nervous of course… but I opened the first class with this line: “I have information to share with you that will make you the best friend, lover and partner a woman ever had. Are you interested?” And were they ever. They asked tons of questions… I showed them birth control methods, (and how a girl can trick them into getting pregnant), STD’s – and the phases of the menstrual cycle and the hormone/mood shifts that women go through on a monthly basis. And these dudes appreciated the education.
Why aren’t we teaching men relevant education about women. I mean we live together, work and play together – have sex and procreate together – yet we know very little about each other…. and especially men about women. Remember that book floating around for awhile… “Everything a Man Knows about a Woman” and you open the book and there isn’t a line on the page? Serious? We ask the men in our lives to ‘run’ to the store for tampons or napkins – and yet they do not have a clue about the process?
Seriously though, don’t you think women and men would have more profound and intimate relationships if they really knew each other? Perhaps one of the reasons for the dysfunction in families and the high rate of divorce is in part due to the lack of knowledge about each other?
We Really Ought to Teach Dudes About Periods
Periods are a perfectly natural element of the human experience, not a blood-soaked nightmare from whence we can never wake. But you wouldn’t know that to talk to many dudes out there! And maybe it’s time that we, as a society, maybe fixed that.
A writer at Popular Science takes up the cause. He points to a 2011 study, in which several young men signed up for a college human sexuality course—prime know-nothing-about-periods territory—were surveyed about how they’d learned about that time of the month. Most got a talk at home; a few had to pick it up in places like tampon commercials. (I shudder to imagine what they’re imagining.) But most of them got precisely diddly squat from sex-ed.
Now, it’s hard enough in this country to teach sex ed at all, much less detour into the nuances (physical and emotional) of periods. But that patchy knowledge means there’s a fair number young men careening around the world with a straight-up horror of women’s bodies:
“Boys’ early learning about menstruation is haphazard,” the researchers write in their study. “The mysterious nature of what happens to girls contributes to a gap in boys’ knowledge about female bodies and to some negative views about girls.” In their stories, some of the young men studied described their continuing horror and disgust at the concept of menstruation, how they saw their menstruating girlfriend as crazy, demanding, or overly emotional.