PMS: Legal Usage and Limitations
Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science, pp. 2149-2156, A. Jamieson, A. Moenssens, eds., John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2009
9 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2011 Last revised: 18 Jun 2018
Date Written: 2009
We look at the medical definition and description of the diagnostic symptoms of severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which is commonly referred to as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). We explain how PMS has been used as a basis for insanity, automatism and diminished capacity (responsibility) legal pleas. Such forensic use of PMS in the courtroom has generated controversy with concerns about sexism, potential for stigmatizing all women, its reliance upon acceptance of the legitimacy of PMS and PMDD, the need for expert witnesses and the potential for its misuse.
Keywords: Premenstrual syndrome, PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD, insanity, automatism, diminished capacity, diminished responsibility, women
JEL Classification: K00, I00, I10, J70, J71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation