Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Menstruation in Virgins Essay example -- Ancient Greece Puberty Female

Menstruation in Virgins Modern society has grown to believe that puberty in young girls, watching as they develop in to women is something beautiful. Though a confusing time, it is also important and special, and even menstruation is seen as a unique rite of passage. This wasn’t always true. In ancient Greece, it simply signaled the time when a girl could physically begin to reproduce, which also meant marriage and management of her own household. Traditionally, the justification for puberty and menstruation came spiritually, the gods deciding that this was the time for such a transition. Beginning in the 4th century B.C., a small group, including Hippocrates, began to form theories that all behavior, including those associated with menstruation, could be explained physiologically—any erratic activity or withdrawn moods was simply called â€Å"hysteria.† What the Hippocratics failed to appreciate, though, was the cultural significance of the period through which these g irls were going, and the great stress that it created for them. The hysteria that occurred during puberty was due just as much to cultural and psychological factors as physiological factors. According to Hippocrates, menstruation began the same in all women--the blood collected in the womb in order to flow out. When a girl was no longer a virgin, and her â€Å"egress† opened, then she could menstruate safely with a clear pathway from the womb. If the girl’s virginity was still intact, as was common at the time of their first periods, and the egress was not open, then the blood could not flow as freely and instead gathered around the heart and lungs. When â€Å"these [were] filled with blood, the heart [became] sluggish, and then, becau... ...n their own they sound ludicrous as sole explanations for this change and â€Å"insanity† in both females and males. The public knowledge that we all have now was not so true in Greece 2500 years ago. Those that aligned with Hippocrates believed in the physical body, the women themselves behaved culturally and spiritually, and Galen put himself out on a limb to adhere to psychological beliefs--beliefs that would not be rediscovered again until the twentieth century (Galen, Diotima, 352). Perhaps we should be thankful that the modern world does not adhere to just one discipline in order to explain the phenomena occurring in our own bodies—girls experiencing puberty are not hysterical, the gods are not punishing them, and they are not merely encountering â€Å"mental uneasiness.† They are menstruating, and growing, and developing—events that have become something beautiful.

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