An investigation into the attitudes of male undergraduate students towards menstruation: The psychometric properties of the Menstrual Attitude Questionnaire
Menstruation is an integral and normal part of human life, indeed of human existence. Instead of being celebrated as a noteworthy landmark of biological maturity in a young girl‟s life, menstruation has become an organic experience burdened with socio-cultural implications (Ussher, 2006). Existing studies suggest that males often view menstruation in a more negative light, which have shown to promote sexism and negative attitudes towards women (Marvan, Vazquez-Toboada, & Chrisler, 2013). The Menstrual Attitude Questionnaire (MAQ) was designed to assess attitudes towards menstruation among men and women and has been applied in a variety of contexts (Brooks-Gun and Ruble, 1980). Despite the extensive use of this scale in various contexts (Jarrah & Kamel, 2012; Neşe Sahin Ozdemir, 2013) there is limited information on its psychometric properties, specifically the factor structure of the instrument. For the MAQ to be meaningful when used in South Africa, it is first necessary to explore the psychometric properties of the instrument when applied to a South African sample. Participants (n = 163) for the study were young male students from the University of the Western Cape who were recruited through purposive sampling. Permission to access students was obtained from the registrar‟s office. Informed consent was obtained from participants for data collection and for use of the data for research purposes. The questionnaires were anonymous in order to protect participant identities. To further ensure confidentiality, all data was kept on a password protected personal computer. Furthermore, this study utilised a cross-sectional research design. Two self-report measures were administered: the MAQ and a demographic questionnaire. Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was used to uncover the underlying structure of the MAQ. The study found that both the EFA, as well as the forced factor solution, did not produce a meaningful pattern of loadings. All ethical guidelines stipulated by the University of the Western Cape were strictly adhered to.