Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Second Department

Science, Technology and Society

Reader 1

Professor Vivien Hamilton

Reader 2

Professor Laura Perini

Reader 3

Professor Nancy Williams

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This paper aims to argue that TSS prevention has been and continues to be the responsibility of the menstruator and that this responsibility restricts menstrual freedoms. First, this paper will demonstrate that tampons were an integral part of menstrual culture when the TSS health crisis began in 1980. Secondly, the efforts of the CDC to mitigate, how the mitigations played out in print media, and what tampon manufacturers were doing will be analyzed to argue that mitigations restricted menstrual freedom while simultaneously making any future occurrence of TSS a product of user error. Finally, the current preventative advice given to menstruators, current CDC activity, and current scientific understandings and activity are analyzed to argue that menstruators are still restricted and made responsible for TSS today.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.