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Feminist Scholar: Menopause “Depicted” Exclusively as Female Condition

Feminist Scholar: Menopause “Depicted” Exclusively as Female Condition

“We might be inclined to think of a male conspiracy.”

From the “you couldn’t make this stuff up” file, we get the following story. Actually, it comes from the Taylor and Francis Online blog but it is a real academic research article.

It’s a few years old but we just discovered it and wanted to share.

Menopause, Only for Women? the Social Construction of Menopause as an Exclusively Female Condition

Abstract

Over the last three decades the menopause has continued to interest the medical profession, the pharmaceutical industry and the mass media. Although there exist many different views on the menopause, there is one common denominator. Menopause is depicted as an exclusively female condition.

The medical discourse on menopause seems to exclude men. However, a closer look at the history of the medical sciences reveals that there have been and still are, attempts to classify symptoms of ageing men as male menopause or climacterium. Despite these attempts to put men on the menopausal agenda, most attention is focused on women. How can we understand this almost exclusive focus on female bodies? Why does there exist such an emphasis on the medicalization of the third age of women rather than of men? Maybe we might be inclined to think of a male conspiracy, as has been suggested by feminists: women take the pills, while men cash the bills.

We might consider the enormous profits of the pharmaceutical industry. This paper is concerned with finding an alternative explanation for the almost exclusive attention for the female menopause. Based on historical data and more recent discussions in medical journals, the paper shows that the medicalization of the female menopause and the relative silence around the male climacterium can be understood in terms of the social and cultural processes that underly the classification of health problems as specific diseases.

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Comments

Only women have ovaries, only women can physically experience menopause. Each woman’s experience will vary from another.

While certain aspects of aging for males may be described as “male menopause”, that’s not a scientific nor medical description. There is overlap between the two sexes on some shared physical changes brought on by age, but menopause is exclusively female.

This “scholar” isn’t.

Having long since gotten my PhD in women’s studies (they are easier to study when they are wearing g strings and dancing)I’ve noticed there is a difference. Yes, I am a bad person, but any course ending in “studies” deserves to have a little fun poked at it.

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