Alaa Hasan

Date Approved


Degree Type

Campus Only Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Megan Moore

Second Advisor

Megan Moore

Third Advisor

Julian Murchison


Menarche is the onset of menstruation in girls. Menarcheal age typically ranges from as early as 9 years to as late as 15 years (Steingraber 2007). There has been a decrease in the age of menarche over the last 150 years (Al-Sahab et al. 2010). This decline has been suggested to be influenced by ethnicity, geographical backgrounds, nutritional changes, and socioeconomic factors. Endogenous and exogenous factors that cause the early onset of menarche in adolescents today are explored. Previous studies have suggested that early menarche was influenced by the exposure to war crimes (Steingraber 2007), other studies suggest that it can delay menarche (Mishra et al. 2012). To better understand this phenomenon, a meta-analysis is used to explore the issue of biocultural stresses related to menarche, comparing the age of menarche around the world during times of conflict and peace to determine the effects of war and violence. The hypothesis is that war stressors will have an effect on the age of menarche inducing an earlier onset. The results of this analysis, however, do not support the hypothesis, as the age of menarche will sometimes increase and other times decrease between decades for countries during times of conflict.