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“The pain she feels, I don’t feel it, but I feel for her”: A case study of urban teenage schoolboys’ knowledge and attitudes towards menstruation in Ghana
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Menstrual health management can be a difficulty for menstruating women and girls, especially in low- and middle-income countries or other areas of poverty. Menstruation being characterized by stigmatisation, myths and taboo makes it especially troublesome, preventing women and girls to handle their menstruation safely and with dignity. Male attitudes have been argued to play an important role in perpetuating these stigmas and taboos, yet little is known about them. This study sets out to investigate male menstrual knowledge and attitudes, the role of religion in shaping menstrual attitudes and the potential consequences for menstruating women and girls. Qualitative data from group interviews with 24 boys aged 15-19 in a Senior High School in Accra, Ghana is used as basis for analysis. The results are organised along three themes, reflecting the three sub-research questions guiding the study. Findings demonstrate how schoolboys have an elemental understanding of the physiological process of menstruation yet demonstrate a deep understanding of cultural restrictions and the way menstruation may be experienced. Attitudes contain both positive and negative elements, including menstruation as normal and natural on the one hand, and the menstruating girl as unclean and impure on the other. Religion seem to play in important role in perpetuating negative menstrual attitudes, reinforcing the idea of menstruation as impure and unclean. Potential consequences of these attitudes risk menstruation continuing being considered as unclean and impure in addition to be neglected as a “girl’s matter”. However, respondents also identified menstrual difficulties which may foster supportive involvement in menstruation. The findings suggest the importance of continuing to address the surrounding communities of menstruating women and girls, including within and outside of educational and religious institutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 44
Keywords [en]
Menstruation, Male menstrual attitudes, Menstrual health management, Religion, Ghana.
National Category
Social Sciences Globalisation Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-394431OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-394431DiVA, id: diva2:1358967
Subject / course
Development Studies
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Peace and Development Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-10-15 Created: 2019-10-08 Last updated: 2019-10-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
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More languages
Output format
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