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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

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5 responses to “Femmostroppo Reader, January 13 2013”

  1. tigtog
  2. Mary Bennet

    Hi

    I was puzzled but haven’t had time to look at the actual research/ decision (from alleged Canadian researchers a few months ago) behind this opinion piece

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/pms-may-be-gone-but-women-are-in-no-mood-to-lose-anger-20130114-2cpnd.html

    but um, am extremely puzzled and wondered if there was a more nuanced view somewhere.

  3. lauredhel

    Mary Bennet: In the very first paragraph, along with the offensive description of the researchers as a “death squad”, is a blatant error that shows the author/editor/whoever has no idea what they’re talking about: PMS is not PMDD. They also haven’t given the author names, paper title, or journal of publication, making it pretty hard to find the source in the first place.

    I’m also pretty deeply suspicious of claims that only Western women “have a concept” of PMS. I suspect that that’s kinda along the lines of saying that only Western babies cry, or women in some mystical elsewhere all give birth painlessly, or no cultures anywhere else in the world contain women who experience any menopausal symptoms, etc. I suspect that it’s a weird mishmash of “noble savage” misconceptions, failing to ask the right people in the right way (or there being no “right way” to ask), higher parity and fewer menstrual cycles reducing the risk of PMS, and a powerful drive on behalf of some to tell those whinging women to STFU about their embodied experiences.

    Hang on. I think I’ve found the source. The NHS gives a fair better explanation of the paper:

    http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/10October/Pages/pre-menstrual-syndrome-pms-pmt-a-myth.aspx

    which includes this:

    The conclusions of this review should be viewed with caution as they are dependent on the quality of the studies included. Many of these studies were very small – some had fewer than 10 participants – which means they lacked the power to detect differences in mood at different times of the menstrual cycle. Also, the researchers were unable to summarise the results in a meta-analysis because the studies varied so widely in the methods they used.

    Due to the lack of statistical rigour, this study seems more of an opinion piece than an example of significant medical research.

    Not only did some of the studies include fewer than 10 participants, but most of them only looked at one cycle for each participant, most of them were not ‘blinded’ (the participants knew exactly what was being studied)… the whole thing’s a mess.

    Here’s the abstract of original review.

  4. Mary Bennet

    Thank you.

    It did strike me as a similar slow news week conversation starter based on massive generalisation from tiny sample and as the Jared Diamond piece about comparative parenting http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/11/traditional-family-values-without-smacking that was reprinted in the Fairfax press last week-end.

  5. Mindy

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