Premenstrual syndrome as scientific and cultural artifact

  • Anne E. Figert


Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) has been defined in a variety of scientific and cultural ways over the years, but there is no consistent or agreed upon definition. For some women, the public legitimization of PMS and its symptoms as a real and natural part of the female body have led to a positive sense of vindication. However, a more negative image of PMS as something that controls women once a month, that makes them “crazy” and subject to their hormones, is much more pervasive in our contemporary Western culture. In this essay, the author explores the various definitions: PMS as a medical condition, as a social scientific and feminist issue, as an explanation for women's behavior and moods in the popular culture, and, finally, as something bought or sold in a market. The author shows how PMS is real because, if for no other reason, various people in different situations choose to define it as such.


Popular Culture Negative Image Premenstrual Syndrome Feminist Issue Premenstrual Tension 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne E. Figert
    • 1
  1. 1.Loyola UniversityChicago

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