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CC Hosts Menstrual Cycle Research Conference

CC Professor of Psychology Tomi-Ann Roberts is the current president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and conference chair.

The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research is holding its 23rd biennial conference at Colorado College June 6-8.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Traversing the Ridge: Connecting Menstrual Research and Advocacy,” reflects the organization’s commitment to evidence-based work on menstrual health. “The conference acknowledges that when scholarship, activism, and advocacy meet in the same room, we can mutually inform one another in ways that truly promote menstrual and reproductive justice,” says Tomi-Ann Roberts, professor of psychology at Colorado College, current president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, and conference chair.

“It’s interesting when you consider how ‘hot’ periods are these days to note that the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research has been working on matters of menstrual health and justice for over 40 years,” Roberts says.

The two-and-a-half-day conference includes plenaries, paper symposia, posters, workshops, panels, networking, a book slam, and exhibits. The approximately 140 participants, who are coming from six continents, can expect to tackle such provocative topics as menstrual leave, hormone replacement therapy, product distribution in developing nations, and transgender menstruation.

Chris Bobel of the University of Massachusetts will present the keynote address on June 7, titled “What We Talk About When We Talk About Menstruation.” She will reflect on the burgeoning global health movement, taking stock of its priorities, assumptions, and blind spots.

Carol Tavris, who has devoted her career to writing, teaching, and lecturing about feminism and psychological science, will deliver the June 8 keynote presentation. She and oncologist Avrum Bluming recently authored “Estrogen Matters: Why Taking Hormones in Menopause Can Improve Women’s Well-being and Lengthen Their Lives — Without Raising the Risk of Breast Cancer.” Tavris’s presentation is titled “Rethinking Estrogen – Yes, Again.”

Poster sessions include topics such as:

  • Menstrual Hygiene Management in Public Schools
  • Menstrual Inequity is Gender Inequality: A Case Study from Pakistan
  • No Matter the Location, Period Pain Negatively Impacts Education in Young Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
  • Assessing Menstrual Poverty in Mississippi from a Socio-Ecological Framework
  • Menstrual Shame: Does Talking About it Make it Worse?

The conference also features two performances. “Hungry Ovaries,” a one-woman performance piece that combines dance, comedy, and science, to illustrate the changing hormonal patterns of a woman’s menstrual cycle, is performed by Jess Grippo. “Menstrual Accessory” is presented by Vanessa Dion Fletcher, a Potawatomi and Lenape two-spirit artist who draws upon her role as a woman in a colonial world to create performances that challenge preconceived notions of identity.

Colorado College neuroscience major Ciara Bowen ’21, and psychology majors Ellen Buford ’20 and Nan Elpers ’20 are working as student conference interns. The public is welcome to visit the exhibits and vendors in Bemis Lounge.