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Pubescent male students' attitudes towards menstruation in Taiwan: implications for reproductive health education and school nursing practice

Chang, Yu-Ting; Hayter, Mark; Lin, Mei-Ling

Authors

Yu-Ting Chang

Mei-Ling Lin



Abstract

Aim.  To explore male students’ attitudes towards menstruation.

Background.  Menstruation is a biological event that is often surrounded by secrecy and social stigma that causes anxiety amongst many young girls. A key element of this is the attitudes of young males towards this reproductive health issue. However, the literature around what young males think and feel about menstruation is limited.

Design.  Qualitative.

Methods.  A sample of 27 male students aged between 10–12 years participated in five focus groups. Data were then subject to a thematic analysis.

Results.  Five themes emerged from the data analysis that reflected the boys’ feelings, experiences and attitudes towards menstruation: ‘A silent topic’, ‘An unimportant issue’, ‘Errant information about menstruation’. In addition, according to their experience, participants gradually came to see menstruation from the ‘menstrual stereotype’ viewpoint. In their social life, they made choices that resulted in gradually regulating their behaviour that affected their ‘relationships with girls’.

Conclusion.  Young boys have misguided knowledge about menstruation and this helps to perpetuate the stigma surrounding this element of reproductive health. Boys also express a desire to learn more but are often restricted in this by home and school. School nurses are the best placed professionals to address this issue.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Menstrual education with boys should take a greater prominence than it often does in sexual health education in schools. Such inclusion will provide boys with a balanced and accurate knowledge base and therefore help towards reducing the social stigma around menstruation that is often experienced by young girls.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2012-02
Journal Journal of Clinical Nursing
Print ISSN 0962-1067
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 3-4
Pages 513-521
APA6 Citation Chang, Y., Hayter, M., & Lin, M. (2012). Pubescent male students' attitudes towards menstruation in Taiwan: implications for reproductive health education and school nursing practice. Journal of clinical nursing, 21(3-4), 513-521. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03700.x
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03700.x
Keywords Menstruation; Nurses; Qualitative descriptive; Reproductive health; School nursing; Sexual health
Publisher URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03700.x
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