dissertation | Made-In-STS-UCL | UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS)

A Pathology of Post-Feminism: Deconstructing Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Summary: This project uses the diagnostic construct of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) as a lens through which to examine the relationship between scientific knowledge and the implicit hierarchal structures that constitute Western society. PMDD was legitimised as a psychiatric disorder by its appearance in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 2013, thus represents a new chapter in the history of female mental illness. Throughout this project, Cox emphasises that PMDD is not merely the product of new scientific knowledge renegotiating our understanding of the menstrual cycle. Instead, she maintains that PMDD is a vehicle for cultural conceptualisations of gender and the shifting role of mental illness in society. Thus, the study of PMDD offers important reflections of the sociocultural backdrop it has emerged from. This project will provide a deconstruction of the PMDD concept, scrutinising the assumptions inherent in its creation. Drawing on critiques of medicalisation and social constructionism, She aims to demonstrate that PMDD has played an explanatory in reifying gender differences and neglecting the effects of the marginalisation of women.


TitleA Pathology of Post-Feminism: Deconstructing Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
AuthorRosie Cox
ModuleHPSC3026 Research Project
LeveliBSc year 3
AssignmentThe main assignment for this class is a research project culminating in an report or dissertation not more than 10,000 words.
Other informationSTS academics supervise student projects in HPSC3026.
CitationRosie Cox. 2018. “A Pathology of Post-Feminism: Deconstructing Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder,” UCL Science and Technology Studies. HPSC3026 Research Project.
ActionDownload essay (Cox. 2018. A Pathology of Post-Feminism: Deconstructing Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder)