PMS is normal, right? According to nearly every online medical website PMS can be found, defined, diagnosed, and provides possible treatments. Today as a society we accept that PMS is considered a disorder and is experienced by nearly every women that has menstruation. However, what is everything we know about PMS and simply just myths and little evidence-based research? The speaker on this topic takes a comprehensive look into how society has been ill informed by the myths about PMS and why women shouldn’t be afraid of PMS.

Who is she:

Robyn Stein DeLuca is a scholar and speaker. During her days as a Research Associate Professor at Stony Brook University she taught Women’s Studies and studied the health psychology behind pregnancy and the psychological effects as well as postpartum depression. During her years at Stony Brook, she was the executive director of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program for two years. In addition to receiving her Ph.D. in health psychology, Dr. DeLuca has also received an honorary doctorate in Religious Studies from Harvard and has dedicated her life to answering the women’s health and religious questions of today.

Why should you view:

Definitions and knowledge about PMS have circulated for centuries and has now found its way into pop culture and the media. But, DeLuca suggests that everything we know about PMS is a myth, and one that is used as a benefit to some but a drawback for modern women. Despite the presence of PMS, the speaker says we should all know the real research behind PMS and ultimately the good news for women today.

Discussion questions:

1. What are two main assumptions today about women and PMS?
2. Why does the speaker have an issue with loosely using the term ‘PMS’?
3. In past years, during attempts to understand PMS what mistakes have researchers made when studying PMS, its prevalence, and side-effects?
4. In 1994 the DSM redefined PMS, how was it defined and what was the criteria set forth?
5. From recent studies, how many women in the general population suffer from PMDD?
6. How do pharmaceutical companies benefit from the myths about PMS?
7. How do the myths of PMS prevent women from dealing with their emotions and taking a more active role in societal issues?
8. Lastly, what is DeLuca’s big reveal on the good about PMS?

Making Connections:

A quarter of men admit that they believe they have PMS symptoms every month, make it no longer an exclusive woman experience

The good about PMS with Robyn Stein Deluca


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