How ‘period parties’ are helping to encourage body positivity in girls, according to new study

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A study by OnePoll on behalf of INTIMIINA found that Two-thirds of mothers want to throw a “period party” for their daughters to boost their sense of empowerment, according to new research. (Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash)

Two-thirds of mothers want to throw a “period party” for their daughters to boost their sense of empowerment, according to new research.

As defined by the survey, a “period party” is a small celebration of a girl’s first menstrual cycle to foster a positive association around periods.

It’s a concept 66% of women surveyed had never heard of — but after learning about it, the majority wanted to partake.

The study of 2,000 women who menstruate examined how women have felt in relation to their cycle and how they hope to increase empowerment when it comes to the female body.

Seventy-two percent of mothers polled who are currently raising daughters revealed they want to encourage body positivity for their daughters but are unsure how.

Today’s mothers’ lack of knowledge on how to foster confidence-boosting ideals in their daughters may stem from their own experiences as children.

And 66% of respondents think menstruation is more culturally accepted today than when they were girls.

The survey, commissioned by INTIMINA and conducted by OnePoll, revealed the experience of learning about menstruation for today’s adult women was a fraught and emotional one.

The average woman was shamed about her period three times in her youth, so it’s no wonder three in five (62%) women associate embarrassment and shame with their first period.

Three in 10 admitted they were “scared” when they first learned about menstruation while a quarter were “shocked” and 32% were “confused.”

The average respondent was educated about the menstrual cycle at age 10 and 43% were told by their mother.

One in 10 learned about periods from a teacher while 7% had to be told by a friend.

“Menstrual education is crucial, especially for young girls that are about to enter the new phase of their lives,” said Danela Žagar, Brand Manager for INTIMINA.

“The changes that they are going through can be very confusing and challenging, so only with the open conversation on the subject, we can make sure they understand and get prepared for what’s coming with the first period.”

Even today, women have a fairly pessimistic view of their cycles. Two-thirds associate their periods as just “a part of life” while 47% describe them as “annoying.”

Nearly two in five (38%) think them to be “burdensome” and three in 10 think they are “gross.”

Still, 12% find menstruating “magical,” which may hint at society’s slowly changing opinions on female anatomy.

Seven in 10 (69%) respondents think there have been positive changes in regards to respecting women’s bodies but think it’s not nearly enough.

In order to help fight the period stigma, 63% think more public conversations in pop culture would help.

Education appears to be a major blindspot since 71% of the respondents think young boys should be taught more about the female reproductive system to remove negative stereotypes about periods.

Other ways respondents think could help encourage a positive association with the female body included a better education of female anatomy (55%), more open acknowledgment of menstruation (50%) and better sex education (53%).

“We should all learn to embrace our bodies and encourage other women to feel empowered, also while bleeding,” added Žagar, Brand Manager for INTIMINA. “The ways to do it are limitless really, but again we believe that open conversation and building awareness are two key points, which can fight body-shaming stigmas.

“Our message to the women all around is: always love yourself and your body, support one another and embrace the fact you are who you are — strong and powerful women that can rule the world!”

HOW TO INCREASE POSITIVE ASSOCIATION WITH THE FEMALE BODY
1. Better education of female anatomy 55%
2. Better sex education 53%
3. More open discussion of body positivity 52%
4. More open acknowledgment of menstruation 50%
5. Less negative stigma around menstruation 47%
6. More honest portrayal of women’s bodies in pop culture 34%

MENSTRUATION WORD ASSOCIATION
1. A part of life 66%
2. Annoying 47%
3. Burdensome 38%
4. Gross 31%
5. Misunderstood 25%
6. Magical 12%

WHO FIRST TOLD RESPONDENTS ABOUT PERIODS
1. Mother 43%
2. Teacher 11%
3. Friend 7%
4. Grandmother 7%
5. Aunt 5%
6. Father 4%
7. Health care professional 4%

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

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