• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Menstruation, Rituals Surrounding

Rituals surrounding menstruation have an important role in cultures throughout the world, though different cultures approach menstruation in different ways. From first menses to celebration rituals to ceremonies that ensure purity, menstruation is a complicated cross-cultural event.

Often, menstruating women are separated from their cultures, either to deem menstruation a special and powerful occurrence, or to denigrate it as a potentially contaminating event that could spoil food or otherwise disrupt cultural traditions. In cultures that separate women from their tribes, women are not permitted to cook or have sex with their partners until menstruation ceases. Some cultures even designate a “menstrual hut,” such as the Dogon culture from the central plateau region of Mali. Scholars disagree about whether these societal exclusions represent patriarchal dominance over women, ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles