Despite increasing attention and advocacy, periods remain a taboo topic. Always, WASH United and Glocalities surveyed adults and young people from five countries to assess period stigma today.
When getting their first period, young people feel:1
lose confidence at puberty2 and starting their period marks their lowest point in confidence during their teenage years3.
Of the countries surveyed, the UK is in the top 3 for having negative feelings towards their periods or hiding their periods.4
3 in 5 have tried to hide the fact they’re on their period from those around them.4
2 in 5 have felt ashamed or embarrassed by their own period.4
Less than half of adults say they support talking about periods5 and far less actually do talk about them4.
People feel more comfortable talking about other sensitive topics like sex, politics and family problems than they do about periods4.
In the UK, 1 in 3 people have referred to period blood as gross or disgusting.4
In the UK, whilst nearly 1 in 3 believe period jokes are harmless fun, young people say they make them feel self-conscious (42%), embarrassed (33%) and less confident (28%).1
54% of adults feel they have enough knowledge to talk to their children about puberty and periods.
The higher the % of society that talks openly about periods, the more prepared people feel to talk about periods with their children (correlation 0.4).
GET COMFORTABLE TALKING
for period friendly legislation (e.g. free provision of period products for those in need).
1.SurveyMonkey, 2020. Quantitative survey of young people 13–21 yrs in Canada, UK, US. n=4,147.
2.Research Now, 2017. Quantitative survey of females 16–24 yrs in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Russia, Turkey, UK, US. n=9,289.
3.Research Now, 2014. Quantitative survey of females 16–24 yrs in US. n=1,300.
4.Glocalities, 2020. Quantitative survey of adults 18–70 yrs in Canada, China, Russia, UK, US. n=5,139.
5.Glocalities, 2019. Quantitative survey of adults 18–70 yrs, Global. n=30,057.
For both Glocalities studies: Data is nationally representative with respect to age (18–70) by gender, region and education (low & mid-levels of education are combined for China only)