Narrative review of changing medical and feminist perspectives on menopause : from femininity and ageing to risk and choice

Murtagh, M.J. & Hepworth, J. (2005) Narrative review of changing medical and feminist perspectives on menopause : from femininity and ageing to risk and choice. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 10(3), pp. 276-290.

View at publisher


Meanings and descriptions of menopause have shifted focus over the past century and a half; more particularly the past sixty years has seen a shift from descriptions of hormone decline and its relation to ageing, femininity and symptoms of menopause since the 1960's to the possibility for preventive medicine afforded by menopause. Medicine is not a static field in its construction of menopause. It has changed, not least by its engagement (positively or negatively) with critique from both within (epidemiological) and without (feminist and social sciences). In this review we identify three recent changes:

(1) Increasing concern with women's decision-making. (2) The emergence from within medicine of the rejection of the use of language which defines menopause as a condition of deficiency. (3) New insights from postmodern and poststructural analyses of menopause that examine the epistemological foundations of medical and feminist concepts of menopause and contest fixed descriptions of the experience of menopause.

Key aspects of a ‘medical menopause’ nevertheless remain constant: menopause is a loss of hormones that results in predictable effects and risks and may be ameliorated by hormone replacement therapy. A question therefore emerges about how and to what effect medical practitioners have engaged with critiques of the medical menopause?

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 60195
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Menopause, femininity, hormone replacement therapy, decision making, risk, choice, subjectivity
DOI: 10.1080/13548500500093225
ISSN: 1465-3966
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 23 May 2013 23:25
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2013 05:21

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page