A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46



Each housewife using Packet Sanitary Towels was asked how many Towels she used each month, and some 826 housewives replied precisely to the question.

The average number per month was 10.5.

Against this figure may be set the Median and Quartile figures. (The Median is the figure for half the sample and the Quartile for the first and third quarters of the sample).

Median 9.6
Upper Quartile 6.3
Quartile 11.8

From these figures it appears that half the sample used 9.6 per month or less, and half 9.6 per month and over. One quarter of the sample used 6.3 per month or less, and one quarter of the sample used 11.8 per month or more.

For purposes of further calculation the numbers used have been further tabulated in groups of six below.

Per Month %
Less than 6 10.3
6 12.7
7 - 11 33.0
12 24.0
13 - 17 9.1
18 5.4
19 - 23 1.4
24 3.5
More than 24 0.6

Some 78 housewives were unspecific, giving only - “A packet.”

The small numbers given in some cases are explained by the fact that amongst those using Packet Sanitary Towels, some 30 housewives also used Washable S.Ts and 12 also used Home-made Towels.

Where the number of Tampax used was given, 1 Tampax was taken as equal to 1 ordinary Sanitary Towel, e.g. a person using 6 Tampax and 6 Sanitary Towels would be counted as using 12 altogether.

Changes in the number of S.Ts used per month.

Each housewife answering the previous question was asked how the number she used compared with the number used formerly, i.e. before there was any question of shortage.

More Less The Same Total
142 74 706 922
15.4 8.0 76.6 100%

Sharp differences appear in the figures for bombed, reception and other areas.

More Less The same Sample
Bombed 26.7 6.3 67.0 272
Reception 7.1 10.8 82.1 185
Other Areas 12.0 8.0 80.0 465

Social Groups.

No notable differences appear between the numbers used in different social groups with the exception of a tendency for the D groups to use less.

Urban and Rural.

Some differences which are statistically significant appear between rural and urben housewives.

More Less Same Sample
Urban 16.9 8.3 74.8 798
Rural 5.7 6.6 87.7 124
Total 15.4 8.0 76.6 922

No statistically significant differences appeared between housewives of different ages.

Reasons of these changes.

Of the 142 housewives using more Sanitary Towels each month, some 121 offered the following reasons:-

Less absorbent, poorer quality, not such good material, so need to change more often. 36
Smaller, so need to change more often. 32
Both less absorbent and smaller 8
More active life and therefore need more. 13
Need more after maternity. 6
Need more for other health reasons 26
Total 121

Of the 74 housewives using fewer Sanitary Towels each month, some 62 offered the following reasons:-

Need less owing to improved health (sometimes improved after maternity) 8
Need less owing to worse health 6
Change of life 18
Pregnancy 11
Other health reasons 2
Sort used now more absorbent than sort used formerly 7
Economy, try to use less 6
Cannot get as many. 4
Total 62

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