Why Scientists Wrongly Thought Periods Prevented Women From Thinking Clearly - Broadly
A new study shows that hormones released during menstruation have no effect on women’s cognitive abilities, challenging centuries of sexist assumptions.
According to a new study, “period brain” isn’t real. To put this in more sophisticated terms, researchers have found no evidence that cognitive function is impaired by hormonal changes during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
The study, the biggest of its kind, was published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience last week; it followed 68 women over two menstrual cycles, and assessed memory, attention, cognitive bias, and hormone levels throughout both. In news may not surprise anyone with a period and a brain, the researchers concluded that, in general, a person’s menstrual cycle has no effect on her ability to think clearly, make decisions, or concentrate on two things at once.
“The results aren’t surprising,” says Joan Chrisler, a psychology professor at Connecticut College and president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. “We’ve known there’s no effect for years.”