Scientific American May 2019

Age-old taboos against menstruation have led to a lack of research on how women’s cycles work, with serious consequences for their health

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” data-newsletterpromo-image=”” data-newsletterpromo-button-text=”Sign Up” data-newsletterpromo-button-link=”” itemprop=”articleBody”>In 2007 Susan Brown encountered the repelling power of period blood. While studying what menstrual fluid might reveal about a woman’s health, she wanted data from a cross section of subjects beyond the student volunteers at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where she worked as an evolutionary psychologist. Brown’s team members set up a booth near the entrance of a Walmart in downtown Hilo and hung a sign that said, “Menstrual Cycle Research.” Then they waited. All afternoon women and men would spot the sign, then gingerly skirt past without making eye contact.

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