Traumatized by Truth – “A Women’s Curse?”

Traumatized by Truth

Library Unit 4 – Fun with Menstruation

DuWayne Brayton  

“A Women’s Curse?”
Meredith F. Small
The Sciences, Jan/Feb, 1999 p. 24-29

The bulk of Small’s article discusses the work of UofM anthropologist Beverly Strassmann’s study of menstruation among the Dogon of West Africa. What she was seeking was the possible roles that menstrual taboos could play into “natural fertility” populations. Strassmann believed that there were important biological roles being generally ignored, in regards to menstruation and reproduction.

The Dogon worked out to be a very good choice for study. The Dogon women spend their menstrual cycle segregated to the menstrual huts. Through urinalysis Strassmann determined that this segregation was closely adhered, in spite of most of the women finding the experience extremely unpleasant. This made it very easy to follow the cycles of the women in the villages Strassmann was studying. And with nearly two years of data on 477 complete cycles, studying ninety-three women, there was a great deal to work with.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.