Educating boys and men helps dispel myths, stigmas and negative perceptions about menstruation. Bringing them into conversations about menstruation helps foster a supportive environment for girls and women.
- Many boys lack accurate information about menstruation due to insufficient sexual/reproductive education at school and at home.
- Men’s and boys’ knowledge is sometimes laced with negative stereotypes, reinforcing the negative stigmas attached to menstruation.
- Many males in the U.S. reported learning about menstruation primarily from sisters, mothers or through tampon commercials on TV.
- The lack of information about menstruation often results in a lack of empathy by boys and men. Menstrual-related teasing and harassment is common. Many men think menstruation is something to be avoided or looked down upon.
- Fathers are often the breadwinners and decision-makers in families, especially in developing countries. Educating them to MHM is crucial because they determine if funds are available to buy sanitary products.
The Good News
- Many new educational resources that address adolescent changes are becoming available to both boys and girls.
- There are many men working to de-stigmatise and break the silence around menstruation by advocating for improved MHM.
- Building capacities of male NGO practitioners is helping mainstream MHM into Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) programmes.