A study by Bodyform revealed a whopping 52 per cent of 1,000 girls surveyed would rather get bullied at school than have a chat about periods with their parents.
Following the results of the study, shared exclusively with Huffpost UK, parents are being encouraged to speak honestly and openly about periods with their children.
Sadly, the study also highlighted that 43% believed that periods are an ‘off-limit’ topic for discussion and 87% said they have even gone as far as ‘hiding’ their periods.
Talking to the Huffpost UK, Dr Radha Modgil, GP said: ‘[Talking about] periods is still an issue we need to break.’
To further hammer this point home, another survey carried out by girls’ rights charity, Plan International UK also found that 48% of girls aged 14-21 years old in the UK are ’embarrassed’ by their periods.
Dr Modgil thinks that young people see discussing periods as still taboo, because people don’t talk openly about it, which leads to a lack of understanding and means myths about periods circulate and are never set straight.
Parents may also be avoiding the topic with their children because, as Nadia Mendoza from The Self-Esteem Team, told the title: ‘It’s no wonder it’s not an easy topic to talk about – periods are a bit gross.
‘They are unpredictable, leak through underwear, pass in clots, can be
any and every shade of black-red to brown, cause chronic cramps, affect
mood, and leave you wandering around with something that resembles an
adult nappy or a piece of string dangling between your legs.’
She adds: ‘What’s not OK is the fact periods are entrenched with shame.’
Even with this in mind, Nadia believes that parents need to know it’s okay to bring this topic up with their children.’
And it doesn’t just stop at girls talking with their parents – in a revolutionary move, Bodyform and The Self-Esteem Team have teamed up with Plan International UK to teach boys about periods in schools.
There are generations of men who skulk by the ‘feminine hygiene’ aisles, eyes awkwardly averted, who refuse, point blank, to touch a box of tampons let alone buy one for when you’ve ran out – and that kind of behaviour needs to stop.
The classes are identified with a #AboutBloodyTime and they aim to help reduce the stigma about periods by educating boys early.
The main objective is to show them that that periods aren’t something to be ashamed of. Nadia says: ‘It’s important we’re having these conversations with boys too so they widen their understanding and it doesn’t escalate to playground taunting of “oh you must be on your period”.’
What do you think? Would you push your son to take these classes? Let us know in the comments box below.