Monday, June 27th 2022

Book announcement! Period: The Real Story of Menstruation

I’m so happy to finally say that my book is IN to my publisher, Princeton University Press. This summer is for copyedits and page proofs, then soon after it will be available for pre-order. The current release date (pending covid or other delays) is April 11, 2023.

I’ll share more – lots more – when we get closer to the pre-order date. Watch this space as well as my Twitter and Instagram for updates!

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Wednesday, October 2nd 2019

S3 Episode 32 Pinoe and Periods

One of the biggest things I learned through my training as a biological anthropologist, particularly a reproductive ecologist, is that the menstrual cycle and other associated reproductive systems are adaptively flexible. That is, they evolved to be responsive to environment, which means these systems, especially in menstruators, are supposed to be variable depending on what’s going on with your life. This is the exact opposite of what I hear from many of my friends and listeners: they learned that the menstrual cycle is supposed to be one way, and stay that way for life regardless of what the world throws at you.

This is the fundamental misunderstanding that Dr. Meredith Reiches corrected in her great piece at the GenderSciBlog, “Period power or wrong, period? The science of athletic performance across the menstrual cycle.” This blog post was a response to a recent article touting the achievements of the US Women’s National Team… despite their having menstrual cycles. (Oh, no!)

Dr. Reiches and I discuss her recent piece, our dreams for our longitudinal science projects (which include sponsorship and support of Megan Rapinoe), and the importance of bringing a critical lens to scientific research on the body. These articles also get mentioned so I want to be sure to link them:

Dr. Reiches is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Assistant Director of the GenderSci Lab at Harvard. Working with the methodologies and critical apparatus of biocultural anthropology and feminist science studies, Reiches investigates how tenacious, received ideas about sex and gender shape reconstructions of human origins and understandings of contemporary human bodies. Her work has appeared in Signs, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Annual Review of Anthropology, Current Anthropology, American Journal of Human Biology, Annals of Human Biology, and Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.

Dr. Meredith Reiches

Do you want to be a patron, or is there someone in your life who would want to be? Check out my Patreon page for ways to support this podcast. Help me make beautiful things!

Want a better PERIOD?

Subscribe to PERIOD so you don’t miss an episode! Subscribing, especially on Apple Podcasts, helps us a ton with promoting the podcast and getting the word out to more people. So does leaving a review, so please do that too!

Call or write me! I am collecting two things right now: your period questions, and first period stories. Leave me a voicemail with either or both at 262-PERIOD-2 (262-737-4632). Don’t forget to tell me how to contact you if you don’t mind my following up.

Other ways to contact me:

I can’t wait to hear what you think! Thanks for listening!

Direct download: here

Permalink: here



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Monday, September 23rd 2019

S3 Episode 31 Menstrual hygiene, whatever that means

In this week’s episode I interview Dr. Julie Hennegan. Dr. Julie Hennegan is a Research Associate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She undertakes mixed-methods research exploring the design and evaluation of complex social interventions for women’s health. Julie leads multiple programs of menstrual health and hygiene research at Johns Hopkins, including a multi-country project to improve the definition and measurement of core constructs in menstrual health research.

In this episode, Dr. Hennegan and I talk about what’s called menstrual hygiene management, and how what we assume menstruators need isn’t always what they actually need. I also really appreciated what Dr. Hennegan had to say about making sure that the evidence we collect on menstruation and menstrual hygiene is good. That is, when we have the best of intentions it’s tempting to read more into what is currently not a strong evidence base. You’ll see what she means in the interview, so have a listen.

Dr. Julie Hennegan

Do you want to be a patron, or is there someone in your life who would want to be? Check out my Patreon page for ways to support this podcast. Help me make beautiful things!

Want a better PERIOD?

Subscribe to PERIOD so you don’t miss an episode! Subscribing, especially on Apple Podcasts, helps us a ton with promoting the podcast and getting the word out to more people. So does leaving a review, so please do that too!

Call or write me! I am collecting two things right now: your period questions, and first period stories. Leave me a voicemail with either or both at 262-PERIOD-2 (262-737-4632). Don’t forget to tell me how to contact you if you don’t mind my following up.

Other ways to contact me:

I can’t wait to hear what you think! Thanks for listening!

Direct download: here

Permalink: here



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