From boomers to Gen Z, women of all generations feel this subject is still stigmatized
  • 2 months ago
Thirty-eight percent of women feel like society has a negative stigma about women discussing their bodies — especially Gen Z (55%), according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 women evenly split by generation looked at the stigma around menstruation, finding that this hasn’t changed much for the three in five who said they experienced this stigma when they were growing up.

Growing up, Gen Z women (34%) had nearly as hard of a time talking about their period as baby boomers did (38%).

A third of women also said that conversations about menstruating were tougher than those about finances (25%) or politics (22%) when they were growing up.

Even today, women are more comfortable talking with their loved ones about their mental health (55%) and finances (43%) than menstruation (39%).

Conducted by OnePoll in partnership with Intimina, the survey found that more than three-quarters of women surveyed agree that it’s important to create a social environment for future women to feel comfortable discussing their bodies (78%).

More than a fifth of all respondents believe that younger generations face more challenges when discussing menstruation openly, compared to older generations (22%).

Nearly a third of Gen Z respondents agree that younger generations have to overcome more hurdles in this area (28%).

"Empowering women across every generation involves more than just acknowledging the challenges they face,” said Dunja Kokotovic, global brand manager at Intimina. “It requires a commitment to breaking down barriers, fostering education, and dismantling stigmas. We recognize that each era brings its unique set of obstacles for women. By creating safe spaces, advocating for comprehensive education, and challenging taboos surrounding topics like menstruation, we pave the way for future generations to navigate their journeys with confidence and pride. Let us embrace the responsibility to uplift and support, ensuring that every woman, regardless of age, can lead a life free from judgment and full of empowerment."

Forty-three percent of all women surveyed said that there are more inspirational women today compared to when they were growing up. Gen Z was the most likely to say this (52%) while millennials was the least (38%).

A majority of women surveyed feel inspired by women they know (79%), with Gen Z finding the most inspiration (87%) through figures like their moms, friends and grandmothers.

Half of respondents also feel inspired by celebrity women (52%).

According to respondents, the most inspirational famous women are Rosa Parks (41%), Princess Diana (36%) and Michelle Obama (34%).

Gen Z was the only generation to rank Beyoncé (39%) and Selena Gomez (38%) in their top three famous inspirational women.

Over the past year, women have sought inspiration from other women for fashion and beauty (42%), health (40%) and food (40%).

Lifestyle inspiration has also been helpful for Gen Z respondents (52%) and millennials (41%), while baby boomers have sought fitness and wellness tips from other women (26%).

Yet, a third believe there aren’t enough famous inspirational women today to inspire the next generation (32%), especially millennials (37%).

"We believe our joint mission as a society is to inspire future generations to embrace and be proud of their bodies,” said Kokotovic. “Open conversations about natural processes, such as menstruation, are crucial for fostering a sense of comfort and empowerment. By breaking down the barriers of stigma and encouraging open dialogue, we pave the way for a world where individuals feel confident in their own skin. Our commitment lies in creating a culture where discussing bodily functions is normalized, ensuring that the coming generations grow up with a positive and empowered attitude towards their bodies and the natural processes that shape them."

1. Rosa Parks — 41%
2. Princess Diana — 36%
3. Michelle Obama — 34%
4. Oprah Winfrey — 26%
5. Maya Angelou — 25%
6. Beyoncé — 21%
7. Queen Elizabeth II — 21%
8. Serena Williams — 18%
9. Selena Gomez — 18%
10. Taylor Swift — 18%

Survey methodology:
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 women evenly split by generation was commissioned by Intimina between Jan. 15 and Jan. 21, 2024. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).