PMS - History


Many researchers started study the Premenstrual Syndrome of women in 19th century. The first person to name and describe the premenstrual syndrome was Robert T. Frank.

PMS was originally seen as an imagined disease, with women who reported its symptoms often being told it was "all in their head". Interest in PMS began to increase after it was used as a criminal defense in Britain during the early 1980s.

In order for a condition to be accepted as a disease by society, many different parts of society must agree on it. Women have contributed to the rise of interest in PMS and society's acceptance of it as an illness. It is argued that women are partially responsible for the medicalization of PMS. By legitimizing this disorder, women have contributed to the social construction of PMS as an illness. It has also been suggested that the public debate over PMS and PMDD was impacted by organizations who had a stake in the outcome including feminists, the APA, physicians and scientists.

The study of PMS symptoms is not a new development. Debates about the definition and validity of this syndrome have a long history. As stated above, growing public attention was given to PMS starting in the 1980s. Up until this point, there was little research done surrounding PMS and it was not seen as a social problem. Through clinical trials and the work of feminists, viewing PMS in a social context had begun to take place.

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