Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

The woman, the serpent and the cycle

March 13th, 2012 by Chris Hitchcock

According to a recent study, women are best at picking out a picture with a snake during the days immediately before their period. You might think this would be a surprise, given the general idea of premenstrual compromise in women. Mind you, there isn’t much data to support poorer thinking or performance for women during the premenstrual period.

However, the authors were able to salvage the idea of premenstrual compromise here. They argue that about 30% of women have premenstrual syndrome, and most of the rest of us show some kind of cyclicity. And so they attribute the 200 millisecond (1/5 of a second) faster response to anxiety and fear. Either that, or it is maternal instinct, protecting the small cluster of cells that might possibly be an impending pregnancy.

Media has picked this up, with headlines about PMS being good for something after all.

Sometimes it seems that women can’t win for losing.

2 responses to “The woman, the serpent and the cycle”

  1. Laura Wershler says:

    Wow. We cycle. Our sense sensitivity cycles. Who knew? You’re right, Chris. We can’t win for losing.

  2. Tomi-Ann says:

    Oh good grief. Snakes? Wow. “Ooooh, I’m ‘PMSing’ and all I can see is big, long SNAKES.” Pathetic phallocentrism much?

Readers should note that statements published in Menstruation Matters are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.