CitationHavens, Beverly & Swenson, Ingrid Elizabeth (1988). Imagery Associated with Menstruation in Advertising Targeted to Adolescent Women. Adolescence, 89(23), 89-97.
AbstractEducation about menstruation is not restricted to school instruction or information provided by adults and peers; exposure to advertisements in teen media provides imagery depicting menstruation and feminine role expectations. This paper analyzes the imagery in advertisements for sanitary products and products for the relief of menstrual symptoms. A 25% random sample of Seventeen magazine issues from 1976 to 1986 stratified by year were reviewed. A total of 135 ads for sanitary products and 32 ads for products for the relief of menstrual discomfort were analyzed. Each ad was examined for recurrent themes in text, context and tone. Data collected were examined for similarities in themes across both product type and time. The ads depict menstruation as a "hygienic crisis" that is best managed by an effective "security system" affording protection and "peace of mind." The failure of adequate protection places the woman at risk for soiling, staining, embarrassment and odor. Menstruating women are depicted as dynamic, energetic and always functioning at their optimal level. Such imagery may encourage guilt and diminished self-esteem in the adolescent who experiences discomfort. A lack of maternal, teacher or male figures in the ads is evident; the importance of peer support is reinforced.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Swenson, Ingrid Elizabeth