Research about menstruation is rare, and that’s part of the problem, right? People don’t want to talk about such personal matters, especially when blood is involved.
I admit to being in that camp. I, probably like most people, was raised to never discuss menstruation. But if we don’t discuss it, then it will continue to be a problem that vexes young girls around the world.
Here at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri, we are trying to break the trend of silence. And like anything, understanding the nuances helps. Enter Dr. Deb Toomey’s Marketing Research class. They spent a semester gathering menstruation-related information from students, faculty and staff at our university.
The results confirmed some suspicions, and also revealed some surprises.
For example, we were pretty sure that students miss class because of some menstruation problem, but we weren’t sure how frequently this happens. The class research revealed that 41% of respondents have missed class due to a period-related issues. Forty-one percent!
Keep in mind that some classes only meet once a week, and the semesters are only 15 weeks long. If a student misses one of 15 classes, believe me, they are lost.
We also learned that 82% believe the university should provide tampons and pads for free… just like they provide toilet paper, soap and paper towels. Basic hygiene products don’t seem like too much to request.
We Gotchya believes that tampons and pads should be offered for free on campus, not locked in boxes that, if they are working, require a quarter, which most students don’t carry. If you agree, sign our petition here.
To see the entire research results, visit WeGotchya.org/NWresearch.