I'm a grad student writing a research proposal about squicky health issues/stuff that is uncomfortable to talk about and how online communication can aid "paradigm shifts" (how people change long-held attitudes). As my main focus I'm examining menstrual cups (because, hello, you will pry my DivaCup out of my cold, dead hands).
I'm trying to find out how people talk about menstruation and what hinders discussion. This community is a great example of how chicks can speak more freely, so hopefully I can do some actual research later about what helped us get that way.
I'd like to get a handle on what types of issues/hindrances I should bring up. Could you please answer some or all of these questions, in as little or as much detail as you'd like? Don't worry about duplicating answers; just talk about whatever you like.
Thanks so much!
1. When you were younger and/or before you found the wondrous menstrual cup...
--to whom did you talk about your period, and when/why? (if you had problems, sharing stories in general, getting The Talk, etc.)?
--what were the things you found most worrisome/annoying/embarrassing about your period?
2. When and where did you first hear about menstrual cups?
--What were your first reactions and/or questions?
--How long after that did you try one?
3. When did you start discussing your period online? Did it have anything to do with a) finding out more information about things like cups, b) sharing embarrassing stories, or c) asking questions when you were worried about something out of the ordinary?
4. What are the best reasons in your opinion why women should switch to a cup?
5. Has online communication helped you become more comfortable with menstruation and/or your body in general? Has cup use helped you become more comfortable?
6. Are there things related to menstruation that you wouldn't talk about online in a community like this?
7. Do you ever feel a sense of "everyone else but me" in some way related to communication or menstruation? Examples: "I won't talk about it, but it's okay if other people do." "Everybody else seems so much more comfortable than I do." "I am much more comfortable with my period than lots of other people."