‘We do not know’: a qualitative study exploring boys perceptions of menstruation in India

In low-middle income countries and other areas of poverty, menstrual hygiene management (MHM) can be problematic for women and girls. Issues include lack of knowledge about menstruation and MHM, and stigma around menstruation, also access to affordable and absorbent materials; privacy to change; adequate washing, cleaning and drying facilities; as well as appropriate and accessible disposal facilities. In order to effect change and tackle these issues, particularly in patriarchal societies, males may need to become advocates for MHM alongside women. However, little is known about their knowledge and attitudes towards menstruation, which may need addressing before they can assist in acting as advocates for change. The present study was undertaken to explore knowledge and attitudes about menstruation among adolescent boys across India, in order to gauge their potential to support their ‘sisters’.

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