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Arch Sex Behav. 2003 Apr;32(2):155-63.

The relationship between attitudes towards menstruation and sexual attitudes, desires, and behavior in women.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, St Jerome's University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


We studied 114 romantically involved women to examine empirically the psychological connections between menstruation and sexuality. As menstruation is a distinctive sign of both reproductive potential and sexual maturity, we hypothesized that the attitudes women have towards menstruation will correlate with their sexual attitudes, desires, and behavior. As predicted, a comfort with personal sexuality was associated with a comfort with menstruation as a normal, publicly acceptable event. This association remained after controlling for liberal attitudes and disgust sensitivity. In addition, women who had engaged in sexual relations with their current partner during menses were significantly more comfortable with menstruation, more aroused by romantic and unconventional sexual activities, and less sensitive to disgust.

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