Findings: Menstruating Women Do Not Attract Bear Attacks

The question of the ages? Probably – especially if you are a woman.

The story today in Mother Jones today  states that it is a myth, but wait, hold on. You should read further. The MJ story is interesting. It touches not only on the question whether menstruation attracts bears and how that so-called myth got started, but it also hits up gender-bias, not by bears so much as within the park service.

Unfortunately in the quest to make that point, it omits an important qualifier from  National Park Service Report on the subject cited which states quite clearly:

“The question whether menstruating women attract bears has not been completely answered.”

The MJ piece is a good read and it does discuss report that there is “no evidence that grizzly bears are overly attracted to menstrual odors more than any other odor and there is no statistical evidence that known bear attacks have been related to menstruation.”

 It also mentions that the case is not so clear with polar bears. The report says; “four captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) elicited a strong behavioral response only to seal scents and menstrual odors (used tampons).”

But it omits the list of recommended precautions for woman who are suggested by the National Park Service, nor even mentions them. Of course, those might be viewed as more proof of the bias problem for those who are looking.

But I’d suggest you read them both and decide for yourself. Read more: Bears and Menstruating Women

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