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Sex Roles

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 3–13 | Cite as

American menstrual expressions

  • Virginia L. Ernster
Articles

Abstract

Girls tend to learn menstrual euphemisms at menarche, usually from mothers and female friends. Boys usually report learning them in high school or college from male peers. Women often view the terms as a secret language for use in the company of males or others in whose presence a straightforward statement about menstruation is deemed embarrassing. Among men, menstrual euphemisms tend to have sexual and derogatory connotations. Interpretations which accompany these folk expressions are presented to illustrate general aspects of menstrual and sexual socialization.

Keywords

High School Social Psychology Folk General Aspect Female Friend 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Boone, L. P. Vernacular of menstruation. American Speech, 1954, 29, 297–298.Google Scholar
  2. Joffe, N. F. Vernacular of menstruation. Word, 1948, 4, 181–186.Google Scholar
  3. Koeske, R. K., & Koeske, G. F. An attributional approach to moods and the menstrual cycle. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, in press.Google Scholar
  4. Larsen, V. L. Psychological study of colloquial menstrual expressions. Northwest Medicine, 1963, 62, 874–877.Google Scholar
  5. Paige, K. E. “The curse”: Possible antecedents of menstrual distress. In A. Harrison (Ed.), Explorations in psychology. Belmont, California: Brooks-Cole, 1973.Google Scholar
  6. Parlee, M. Stereotypic beliefs about menstruation: A methodological note on the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire and some new data. Psychosomatic Medicine, 1974, 36, 229–240.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia L. Ernster
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Sociomedical SciencesColumbia UniversityUSA

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