At my high school there was a rumour making the rounds that if one of your friends had their period and rubbed elbows with you, your periods would sync. It was like a menstrual sort of magic trick.
Why elbows? Um, maybe because of the pheromones or something… I don’t know ok. I didn’t come up with the science behind this, I just blindly followed along in the same way I believe the Earth is round because enough people have told me it’s true that it seems legit.
Obviously, as soon as we heard this we immediately began rubbing elbows with one another at every opportunity. We’d sit in class with our elbows out wide, a whole row of us touching elbows like those paper chain dolls. It turns out that elbows are really weird and lots of people’s are kinda scaly but these were the sacrifices we were willing to make to have our periods at the same time.
If you’re wondering why we wanted our periods to sync – I’ve been wondering the very same thing while writing this and I have no idea. I honestly can’t come up with a single reason that would be enjoyable for anyone. I guess part of it may have been driven by the fact that it all did seem a bit… witchy. A bit magical. Screw shedding our lining with the patterns of the moon – we held more power in our elbows than any floating orb!t
And the thing is, it worked! Or at least, we thought it did.
Because actually, just to disappoint my high school self and every other girl and woman since who has squealed “I’m on my period too, we must be synced!”, it turns out that period syncing is a myth. Like Hiddleswift (remember that?!) and the Loch Ness Monster.
But if you’ve been lured into the trap of believing in synchronising periods, you’re not the only one. in fact around 80% of women believe it too – although we may have been the only ones insane enough to believe that our elbows had anything to do with it.
The myth came about because of a study that Martha McClintock conducted in 1971 on 135 female university students who were living in a dorm together and prone to having their periods at the same time. However since then, numerous other studies are proved that it isn’t true at all.
But somehow, the myth persists and most of us really want to believe that our periods might sync up with our pals through something more than pure coincidence. B**ches be witches, ya’ll.
Image: Hailey Hamilton