Menstruation has been characterized as powerful, magical, and mysterious. Historically, it was believed menstrual blood could cure leprosy, warts, birthmarks, gout, goiter, hemorrhoids, epilepsy, worms, and headaches. Menstrual blood was used as a love charm and as a means to ward off river demons or evil spirits, and could be used to honor a god (DeLaney, Lupton, & Toth, 1988, pp.8-9). Contemporary studies reveal that women around the world continue to celebrate their power to create. The World Health Organization studied attitudes of women of all socioeconomic classes in 10 countries (Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Pakistan, Philippines, United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Korea) and found that most women saw menstruation as a positive event (DeLaney et al., 1988, p. 14). In a similar study, Mexican-American women perceived menstruation positively, as a process that "cleans" the body (DeLaney et al., 1988, p. 14).
- Reports of Mood and Sexual Activity through the Menstrual Cycle in a Lesbian Sample