The "tampon tax" public discourse of policies concerning menstrual taboo

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Publication Type honors thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Sociology
Faculty Mentor Claudia Geist
Creator Hunter, Lea
Title The "tampon tax" public discourse of policies concerning menstrual taboo
Year graduated 2016
Date 2016-04
Description The "tampon tax" is a policy in which feminine hygiene products are taxed as "luxury goods" despite the fact that many countries exempt "necessary goods" - such as basic groceries and medical products-from sales tax. In the summer of 2015, the Canadian parliament took steps to exempt feminine hygiene products. Academic literature supports the idea that menstrual taboo, which stigmatizes open discussion of menstruation, has contributed to the global pervasiveness of gendered taxation policies like the tampon tax. This study examines arguments for and against the tampon tax as well as how menstrual taboo plays into the public discourse in formal (e.g. parliamentary debate and news reporting) and informal (e.g. Twitter) platforms through content analysis. The study reveals trends among certain speakers. Politicians were more likely to use degendered and sterile language. Activists are significantly more likely to break taboo by openly discussing menstruation and using explicitly gendered dialogues. Laypeople engage in the conversation by sharing links and expanding the reach of public discourse. Greater understanding of the significance of menstrual taboo in public discourse reveals important insights into how taboos influence public policy.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Women's rights - United States; Sales tax - Law and legislation
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Lea Hunter
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 25,075 bytes
Identifier honors/id/37
Permissions Reference URL
ARK ark:/87278/s6t47398
Setname ir_htoa
Date Created 2016-06-27
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 205689
Reference URL