N O T E S
Introduction: Plastic Bodies
1. See Natansohn (2005) for a detailed analysis of the women’s programs on which
Coutinho appeared as a gynecologist and on their portrayal of gender relations and
2. The Oxford University Press English edition’s title is more subdued than the Por-
tuguese original, which would translate as “Menstruation: Useless Bleeding.”
3. Ninety percent of the press articles presenting menstrual suppression (from Cos-
mopolitan to Time or the Washington Post) present the arguments put forward by Coutinho
and Segal in Is Menstruation Obsolete? (Johnston- Robledo, Barnack, and Wares 2006).
Advocates of menstrual suppression are quoted twice as often as opponents, thus bias-
ing coverage and massively downplaying potential risks or uncertainties that prevail
around the practice.
4. For a detailed review of the new hormonal contraceptives currently being devel-
oped, see Bahamondes and Bahamondes (2014).
5. These rates are highly variable internationally, as a Population Reference Bureau
(Clifton, Kaneda, and Ashford 2008) analysis reveals. Worldwide, only 8 percent of
married women use the pill, although this represents more than 3.5 billion people.
The rate is 18 percent for “more developed” nations and reaches 45 percent in France,
which has one of the highest national rates. Four percent of the world’s married women
use hormonal injections, with particularly high rates in South Africa (28 percent) and
Malawi (30 percent).