The menstrual taboo in the Judeo-Christian tradition

J Relig Health. 1980 Dec;19(4):298-303. doi: 10.1007/BF00996252.


The menstrual taboo continues to be a primary reason why women in Judaism and Christianity are excluded from positions of authority. This is demonstrated by examining positions taken toward menstruation by religious leaders in past history and in the present day. Jesus and Gregory the Great are notable exceptions to the disdain expressed by male religionists toward menstruants. Only after the removal of this persistent taboo will religious bodies come to treat women as full participants.