PSYC 3480 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Fetus, Breast Pain, Fetal Movement

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15 Oct 2016
PSYC 3480
Chapter 7
October 13,2016
The Menstrual Cycle
Follicular phase
Ovulatory phase
Luteal phase
-Emphasis on the biological structures of the reproductive system
- the internalization of this is problematic males blame females for the negativity of the
- focusing on the negative aspects of women’s lives.
Menstrual pain
Dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain): Painful abdominal cramps and lower back pain
during menstruation
Reported by 55-73% of women
Women who report high levels of menstrual pain also report psychological stress,
poorer health, smoking, drinking
Possibly caused by prostaglandins
Uterine contractions
Decreased blood flow
Increased sensitivity to pain
Relieving menstrual pain
Attitudes toward menstruation
Historically and currently negative
Myths and taboos
Euphemistic terms
Research on current attitudes (Forbes et al., 2003)
Menstruating woman rated by men and women as more irritable, angry, sad,
less energized, less sexy than average woman
Men viewed menstruating woman as annoying, unreasonable, less reliable
than average woman
Women saw menstruating woman as more maternal, strong, and trustworthy
than average woman
Menstrual joy: Experience of menstrual period as self-affirming, creative, pleasurable, and
signifying fertility (Lorber, 2010)
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Completion of menstrual joy questionnaire before a menstrual distress
questionnaire associated with reporting lower distress and more favorable attitudes
toward menstruation (Chrisler et al., 1994)
Positive aspects of menstruation do not generate media publicity or further
Premenstrual Syndrome
Experience of severe symptoms that impair normal functioning
Experienced by 3 to 9% of women
Psychiatric diagnosis: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Must experience multiple symptoms during week before menstrual period,
including depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability/anger
Symptoms must interfere with work or social relationships
Symptoms must only be present during premenstrual phase
Validating and empowering? (Chen, 2009)
Stigmatizing and stereotyping? (Bobel, 2010)
Treating PMS
Contraception in adolescence
Contraceptive use has increased, but still used inconsistently or not at all
Reasons for resistance
Insufficient power and control in heterosexual relationships (Stevens &
Galvao, 2007)
Diminishment of sexual pleasure (Regnerus & Uecker, 2011)
Inconsistent with feminine sexual identity
Factors associated with contraceptive use
Being in a committed relationship
High educational aspirations and achievement
Good communication with parents
Supportive peers
Condom distribution in school
- Females are forced to not use contraceptives because it diminishes the pleasure.
- There was childless norm in society back in the days seen as a deviation from
societal norms. There has been a shift from this.
- The Motherhood mandate- radical feminist point of view that women believe that
thy still have to bear children to conform. This does not mean that all women who
decide to have children are unable to escape the pressures to conform.
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- Parenthood itself has problems where motherhood is a way to indicate to society
that you fit in. but the consideration of being a parent is more gender neutral.
Nowadays its called childfree rather than childless.
- DINCs---Dual income with no children
Methods of contraception
Birth control pills
Tubal ligation
Emergency contraception
Commonly performed procedure
Abortion as right, means for attaining individual freedom and equality
Abortion as threat to morality, family, society
Roe vs. Wade (1973)
Other legislation
Parental notification
Use of Medicaid funds
Late-term abortion
Nearly half of pregnancies among American women unplanned
Nearly half of unplanned pregnancies terminated by abortion (Russo & Tartaro,
Abortion rate declining
Demographics of women who obtain abortions
75% under 30
Most unmarried
More than half already mothers
Nearly half had previous abortion
Nearly 40% of all abortions among white women
Abortion rates higher among women of color than white women
Abortion rates similar regardless of legality (Sedgh et al., 2007), but safer where
- More teenage / unwanted pregnancies are more prevalent e.g the zika virus was
going to affect the offspring. Women were told not to become pregnant but a lot of
women do not have the choice e.g sexual violence, poverty making it no access to
contraception. These factors alone implicate people and because of their religious
belief abortions are not allowed and have broad social consequences.
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