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Hartman Collection, Duke University Library

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“Can Single Girls Wear Tampons?” Personal Products Corporation, 1952.

Starting with Cashay in 1930, whose instructions recommended that their product was not for virgins, tampons raised concerns about physical damage to the hymen. Popular wisdom said tampons threatened the wearer’s virginity. While tampons attempted to decrease embarrassment, the sexual stigma linked to them could heighten self consciousness and fuel the need for secrecy when buying and using tampons. Makers like Modess had to fight these ideas via advertising.

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