Gen Zers are more open than other generations when it comes to talking about periods, according to new research.
A new study of 2,000 women, aged 18-38, found that millennials and Gen Zers are completely shifting the mindset and conversation when it comes to reproductive health, with Gen Z being the most outward.
Conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Lunette Menstrual Cup, the survey uncovered that, despite 65% saying menstruation shame exists today in society, a whopping 62% feel periods are a natural process — and their personal perspective on periods is shifting the cultural norms.
Despite menstrual shame existing today, it’s not stopping these generations from talking about periods openly or approaching the topic with people of ANY sex (67%).
In fact, young women don’t consider periods to be solely a women’s issue — with Gen Zers more likely to think men should be part of the period discussion compared to millennial respondents.
Eighty-three percent of the Gen Z women studied believe menstruation is NOT solely a women’s issue and felt it should also be discussed by and with men. And 72% of millennial women reported feeling the same way.
In fact, young women are no longer feeling embarrassed when it comes to their periods — again with Gen Z women less likely to feel shame over Aunt Flo.
From a generation perspective, it’s Gen Zers that are most comfortable. Nearly half (43%) of Gen Zers have no issue talking about menstruation with anyone, no matter their gender compared to just 35% of millennials.
While 72% of Gen Zers feel menstrual shame exists — compared to 58% of millennials — Gen Zers (16%) are also less likely than their millennial counterparts (21%) to think of menstruation as “gross.”
More Gen Zers have felt negatively judged for their period (52%) than millennials (42%), however, 84% of Gen Zers don’t believe that their periods are something to feel gross about.
And 86% of Gen Zers surveyed revealed they do not consider menstruation to be a “taboo” topic any longer.
Both millennials and Gen Zers agree that men and women view periods very differently (75%).
And, of those feeling negatively judged for their period, the majority of Gen Zers (52%) have experienced that negativity from a male friend, leaving room for the period conversation to extend in helping evolve the opinions of young males today.
“It’s fascinating to us that while the survey confirms menstrual shame unfortunately still exists, we see that the younger population is really shifting that archaic mindset and transcending cultural norms to put reproductive health,” said Heli Kurjanen, Lunette Cup founder.
While young women are leading a new movement of reproductive health empowerment, they are also being fully honest that empowerment doesn’t mean you have to LOVE your period! In fact, results show it’s okay if you don’t.
The majority of young women surveyed admitted they’ve had to alter their day-to-day lives simply because they were on their period, with an overwhelming 92% avoiding certain activities and 63% missing out on events because of their period.
A whopping 66% of those studied admitting to missing out on a fun pool party because they were on their period.
Nearly half (49%) of the young women studied have taken a sick day off work because of their period and 38% do feel being on their period is a valid reason to call in sick.
For those in the dating scene, canceling on dates is usually a result of a period. In fact, the average young woman studied has canceled on a date three times in the past year as a result of being on her period.
And it turns out, the young women studied find their period to be a completely normal and valid excuse — 38% believe being on their period is a valid excuse to cancel on a date.
Lastly, Gen Zers and millennials are looking to newer options than previous generations to solve period, health and environmental challenges.
In fact, the top three reasons both generations would choose a reusable product like a menstrual cup are: cost savings (66%), to reduce waste (65%) and comfort (62%).
“I’m frequently asked by patients about the best period options, especially in the summer months when pool parties, vacations and outdoor activities are at their peak,” said celebrity OBGYN and best-selling author, Dr. Sherry Ross. “I always encourage them to try a Lunette Menstrual cup. When you think about it, not needing to alter what you wear or change a tampon at the beach or on a hike? It’s game-changing.”
Generational differences about periods