PSYC 3480 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Menarche, Ovulation, Hypothalamus

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
School
York University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3480
Page:
of 4
Chapter Four Notes
Psychology of Women
PUBERTY AND MENSTRATION
Puberty
Most girls enter puberty between ages 9-13 and have their first menarche at
age 12
Black and Latina girls get it earlier than European American girls however
Asian American girls get it later then European American Girls
Body weight and nutrition important factors
Women’s reactions vary widely in response to their first menarche young
girls who have someone to talk to are more positive about the experience
Around 10-11, girls begin to experience secondary sex characteristics
change breasts and pubic hair sexual characteristics not involved in
reproduction directly
Women accumulate body fat in the hips and thighs often resented because
of negative cultural attitudes with body fat
Biological Aspects of the Menstrual Cycle
Hypothalamus monitors estrogen levels in the body low estrogen makes
hypothalamus signal pituitary gland pituitary gland produces both follicle
stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone
FSH acts on eggs to produce more estrogen and progesterone
LH develops ovum / egg
Estrogen produced in the ovaries helps promote the production of the
uterine lining or endometrium
Progesterone also produced in the ovaries, monitors this system
Ovaries walnut sized follicles that hold ova or eggs to produce estrogen and
progesterone
14th day of menstruation, egg breaks out of follicle and ovulation begins.
Eggs moves into fallopian tube then into the uterus where egg is either
implanted into the uterine lining or if unfertilized then released as menstrual
flow
The process of brain structure monitoring and the rise and fall of hormone
levels is known as a feedback loop
Menstrual Pain
Dysmenorrhea menstrual pain typically the feeling of abdomen cramps,
headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, pain in lower back
Do not confuse dysmenorrhea for PMS it is not the same
Contractions of the uterus caused by prostaglandins substances that body
produces in high concentrations just before menstruation
Highly anxious women report having more menstrual pain then less anxious
women
Menstrual pain probably caused by a combination of psychological and
physiological reasons
Culturally, women of our society expect periods to be painful
The Controversial Premenstrual Syndrome
Menstrual pain is expected by women during menstruation
Premenstrual syndrome name given to the cyclical set of symptoms that
may occur a few days before menstruating
Headaches, breast soreness, swelling, nausea, increased sensitivity to pain,
allergies and acne, depression, irritability, anxiety, dizziness and low energy
PMS is controversial because the symptoms vary so vastly that researchers
have no operational definition for it
Cannot be tested by blood tests, only journals or reports from the women
experiencing various symptoms
Some researchers think that ALL women experience PMS while others think
that we culturally constructed this myth
Mood Swings
Most research that supports the concept of PMS is plagued by bias
Media reports women having extremely negative moods during PMS when in
reality they are less extreme
Reason: since our cultural is so accustomed to the concept of PMS, women
tend to clue into their emotions and over exaggerate their degree and blame
the cause of them on PMS
Concept of PMS encourages people to think that women are at the mercy of
their raging unpredictable hormones
Creates a sense of hesitation toward women because popular belief is that
they are uncontrollable for several days each month
Coping with Premenstrual Syndrome
Monitor your emotions, exercise, avoid salt, sugar and caffeine
Positive Reactions to the Menstrual Cycle
Menstrual Joy Questionnaire revealed that women generally rated their
mods more positively then enforced by media
Energy bursts and higher arousal
Some women feel that they are connected to women during menstruation,
reaffirms their status as a women
Cultural Attitudes Toward Menstruation
Creek Indians in Oklahoma do not allow menstruating women eat from the
same dishes as others
A taboo against menstruation
European American women usually do not speak openly about menstruation
Study: women dropped either a hair clip or tampon out of her purse, people
judged women with tampon falling out more harshly then women with clip
falling out
“That time of the month” EA never discuss openly
Latina 55% never spoke about menstruation with mother
EA are shaped by media and cultural rejection of how menstruation is seen
as a “problem” that should be secretive and concealed
SELF-CONCEPT AND IDENTITY DURING ADOLESCENCE
As adolescents develop a larger cognitive capacity to think abstractly,
therefore they begin to ask questions about their identity his or her self
rating of personal characteristics physically psychologically and socially
Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is a measure of how much you like and value yourself
Reported modest difference in gender self-esteems
Used meta-analysis to provide a statistical value for this question
combined results of many studies
Results: gender differences between blacks are small but between EQ are
large, gender differences largest during late adolescents, gender differences
large about lower and middle class
Body Image and Physical Attractiveness
Emphasis on female attractiveness is exaggerated during adolescence
young woman learns to view herself as an object that can be looked at and
judged by other people
So concerned about being slender some develop eating disorders
Media encourages this emphasis on slenderness
Black women especially likely to comment about “normal women” aka bigger
sized women are not in the media
Girls who participate in sports can escape from the dominant images
presented to adolescent females
Increased participation of women in athletics
Feminist Identity
Feminism the principle that values women’s experiences and ideas in
addition emphasizes that women and men should be socially, economically
and legally equal

Document Summary

Most girls enter puberty between ages 9-13 and have their first menarche at age 12. Black and latina girls get it earlier than european american girls however. Asian american girls get it later then european american girls. Women"s reactions vary widely in response to their first menarche young girls who have someone to talk to are more positive about the experience. Around 10-11, girls begin to experience secondary sex characteristics change breasts and pubic hair sexual characteristics not involved in reproduction directly. Women accumulate body fat in the hips and thighs often resented because of negative cultural attitudes with body fat. Hypothalamus monitors estrogen levels in the body low estrogen makes hypothalamus signal pituitary gland pituitary gland produces both follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. Fsh acts on eggs to produce more estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen produced in the ovaries helps promote the production of the uterine lining or endometrium. Progesterone also produced in the ovaries, monitors this system.