Skip to main content

Women's menarche stories from a multicultural sample

Uskul, Ayse K. (2004) Women's menarche stories from a multicultural sample. Social Science and Medicine, 59 (4). pp. 667-679. ISSN 0277-9536. (doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.11.031) (KAR id:32387)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (239kB) Preview
Official URL


This paper reports on the findings of a focus group study that examines how women have experienced menarche at the personal level and in relation to the larger cultural, religious, and societal environment. Fifty-three women from 34 different countries were recruited in 13 focus groups. On the one hand, at the personal level, menarche stories shared in this study revealed salient themes concerning feelings experienced at the time of menarche, the importance of mother's reactions to their daughter's first menstruation, difficulties around understanding the meanings attached to menarche by others, managing menstrual products, as well as making sense of formal education related to menstruation, and the age of menarche. On the other hand, the discussions concerning how women experienced menarche in relation to the larger cultural, religious, and societal environment revealed secrecy to be a defining feature of many stories. Cultural expectations of learning, and following the rules and regulations surrounding menstruation led to different reactions in women at the time of their menarche. Very few women mentioned a ritual or celebration at the time of their menarche. Findings are discussed in terms of similarities and differences in menarche stories of women from different cultural backgrounds. Limitations of the study are mentioned and suggestions for future research are provided.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.11.031
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Ayse Uskul
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2012 16:23 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2020 04:04 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Uskul, Ayse K.:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year