Publication in: Spring 2023 Issue

Period Policy: Menstrual Equity and Education
Bailey Cook
Political Science
Faculty Mentor(s):
Ashley Moraguez
Abstract / Summary:
There are 1.8 billion people around the world who menstruate every month, many of which face cultural stigmatization regarding their menstrual cycle and insecurities about obtaining proper menstrual management materials. Without proper menstrual resources and equitable policies regarding menstruation, daily activities such as work life and education are hindered. To investigate this I ask: What is the effect of varying levels of menstrual equity on educational attainment across political geography? I theorize that greater cultural stigmatization and forced family roles during menstruation, coupled with inaccessibility to comprehensive menstrual management resources, render it virtually impossible for menstruators to sustain educational attendance and attainment. I use a statistical approach to evaluate my claims cross-nationally and within the U.S. I find partial support for my claims. Primarily, I find that when menstrual materials are accessible and/or free, especially in educational spaces, educational attainment of menstruators increases.
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