Friday, April 13, 2007

Indian Women are Required to Reveal Details of Menstrual Cycles

What bloody hell these people want to know about the details of the "bloody moments" of women ?

Outrage at India menstrual form
By Monica Chadha
BBC News, Mumbai

Women civil servants in India have expressed shock at new appraisal rules which require them to reveal details of their menstrual cycles.

Under the new nationwide requirements, female officials also have to say when they last sought maternity leave.

Women civil servants say the questions are a gross invasion of privacy. One told the BBC she was "gobsmacked".

Annual appraisals and health checks are mandatory in India's civil service. The ministry was unavailable for comment.

But one of its most senior bureaucrats was quoted in the press as saying the new questions had been based on advice from health officials.

'No words'

The questions at the root of the controversy are on page 58 of the new appraisal forms for the current year issued by the federal Ministry for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

Women officers must write down their "detailed menstrual history and history of LMP.

Women working in the civil service told the BBC the government had no need for this kind of personal information.

Ms Gokhale said she had also served in the personnel department at the ministry which drafted the new forms and, while the health of officials was always a concern, asking such questions never crossed their minds.

Maharashtra's joint secretary for general administration, Seema Vyas, agreed that the new questions were uncalled for.

According to Satyanand Mishra,Personnel department secretary:

"Menstrual cycles are a natural phenomenon, they are not an aberration. One does not object to questions related to fitness levels - they are important as they can affect work.

"But there is no need for these details as this does not have any bearing on our work," she told the BBC.

"When we apply for maternity leave, we put in the appropriate application and the government already has those records so why ask again?"


When Women are Fertile

A study conducted about women's preference for men revealed that a woman prefers a more masculine man.

A woman prefers a more masculine man when she is fertile and looking for a fling rather than a mate for life, according to a new study.

The finding suggests the value that women place on masculinity changes with context and with women’s reproductive cycles and immediate goals. A woman's preference for manly men also was found to vary based on how attractive she rated herself.

And some of a woman's sex drive might involve tricks in the brain over which she has no control.

Previous research has shown that women view facial masculinity—square jaws and well-defined brow ridges—as good characteristics for short-term partners, while more feminine traits are perceived as better for long-term mates. Another study found that women smell better to men at certain points in their menstrual cycles.

A new look
In the new study, researchers asked women who were at different points in their menstrual cycles (and who were not on the pill) to rate their own attractiveness. Then researchers presented them with image pairs representing “feminized” and “masculinized” versions of the same male body. The women were asked to choose the body they thought was most attractive for a short-term relationship and then again for a long-term relationship.

Some of the women performed the experiment again at the opposite point in their cycle.

Fertile women chose the masculine version of each image 15 percent more often, on average, than women who were not fertile, said lead researcher Anthony Little, a psychologist at the University of Stirling in Scotland. The effect was strongest if they were looking for a short-term partner rather than a long-term one, and if they considered themselves attractive.

These findings, to be detailed in an upcoming issue of the journal Hormones and Behavior, reveal that “preferences are not absolute,” Little said.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Menopause linked to sexual dysfunction

My friend who is single and is approaching her forty fifth birthday thinks that she is already undergoing menopausal stage. She is engaged but she intimated that she hardly feel sexually aroused when her boyfriend and she are into intimate moments.

So I was happy to find this study.

Menopausal women twice as likely to report problems, study finds

NEW YORK - Women who have particularly low levels of the hormone DHEA during menopause may be more likely to have sexual dysfunction, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that among more than 300 women they followed for 3 years, sexual dysfunction became more common as women progressed through menopause. Postmenopausal women were more than twice as likely as premenopausal women to report problems like lack of interest in sex, pain or difficulty reaching orgasm.

But there was also evidence that other factors contributed to sexual dysfunction, including the women’s levels of DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone. Women with relatively low blood levels of the hormone were 59 percent more likely to report sexual problems than those with high levels.
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Dr. Clarisa R. Gracia and colleagues report their findings in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

DHEA is a hormone produced mainly by the adrenal gland that acts as a precursor to testosterone and estrogen. The body’s DHEA production peaks in young adulthood and gradually declines with age; because of this, supplements of synthetic DHEA are widely marketed as an anti-aging panacea.

However, the current findings do not mean that women with sexual dysfunction should turn to the supplements, as there’s not yet any evidence that they’d help, according to the study authors.

“A randomized controlled trial assessing the safety and efficacy of (DHEA) is needed to support its use for the treatment of sexual dysfunction,” Gracia and colleagues write.

The study included 311 women who were between the ages of 35 and 47 at the outset. Once a year, the researchers took blood samples from the women to measure various hormone concentrations. They also questioned the women about their health, menstrual cycles and sex lives.

Overall, Gracia’s team found, one-third of the women had some degree of sexual dysfunction by the end of the 3-year study period.