Aims: Menstrual disorders and sexual harassment are common among young women and interfere with their life and activities. We aimed to describe the association of sexual harassment and menstrual disorders among female university students. Methods: This cross-sectional, observational study examined the association between sexual harassment and menstrual disorders in a sample of 349 university students in Italy. Students answered an anonymous self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive bivariate analyses and logistic regression analyses were performed. Main outcome measures were associations between levels of exposure to sexual harassment (none, levels 1 and 2) and five menstrual disorders (premenstrual symptoms, heavy bleeding, pain, irregular cycles, and amenorrhea). Results: Among the women interviewed (mean age 20.4 ± 1.45 years), 146 (41.8%) had experienced sexual harassment in the previous 12 months: 91 (26.1%) level 1 and 55 (15.7%) level 2. The frequency of premenstrual symptoms was 31.9% (n=110); heavy bleeding, 35.3% (n=124); pain, 51.4% (n=181); irregular cycles, 55.5% (n=195); and amenorrhea, 6.7% (n=23). After adjustment for age, place of birth, being in a couple relationship and receiving hormone therapy, the frequency of menstrual disorders, except for amenorrhea, was increased with sexual harassment, with a regular gradient from no harassment to level 2 harassment. Introducing factors of depression, specific gynaecological problems and lifetime sexual violence did not change the results. For instance, the adjusted odds ratios of premenstrual symptoms were 2.10 [1.19–3.68] for women with level 1 harassment and 3.58 [1.83–7.03] for women with level 2 compared with women without harassment exposure. Conclusions: Sexual harassment is related to the prevalence of menstrual disorders. Healthcare providers should encourage dialogue with patients and address the issue of sexual violence or harassment.

Sexual harassment and menstrual disorders among Italian university women: A cross-sectional observational study

ROMITO, PATRIZIA;BASTIANI, FEDERICA;BELTRAMINI, LUCIA;
2017

Abstract

Aims: Menstrual disorders and sexual harassment are common among young women and interfere with their life and activities. We aimed to describe the association of sexual harassment and menstrual disorders among female university students. Methods: This cross-sectional, observational study examined the association between sexual harassment and menstrual disorders in a sample of 349 university students in Italy. Students answered an anonymous self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive bivariate analyses and logistic regression analyses were performed. Main outcome measures were associations between levels of exposure to sexual harassment (none, levels 1 and 2) and five menstrual disorders (premenstrual symptoms, heavy bleeding, pain, irregular cycles, and amenorrhea). Results: Among the women interviewed (mean age 20.4 ± 1.45 years), 146 (41.8%) had experienced sexual harassment in the previous 12 months: 91 (26.1%) level 1 and 55 (15.7%) level 2. The frequency of premenstrual symptoms was 31.9% (n=110); heavy bleeding, 35.3% (n=124); pain, 51.4% (n=181); irregular cycles, 55.5% (n=195); and amenorrhea, 6.7% (n=23). After adjustment for age, place of birth, being in a couple relationship and receiving hormone therapy, the frequency of menstrual disorders, except for amenorrhea, was increased with sexual harassment, with a regular gradient from no harassment to level 2 harassment. Introducing factors of depression, specific gynaecological problems and lifetime sexual violence did not change the results. For instance, the adjusted odds ratios of premenstrual symptoms were 2.10 [1.19–3.68] for women with level 1 harassment and 3.58 [1.83–7.03] for women with level 2 compared with women without harassment exposure. Conclusions: Sexual harassment is related to the prevalence of menstrual disorders. Healthcare providers should encourage dialogue with patients and address the issue of sexual violence or harassment.
Pubblicato
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1403494817705559
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2904017
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