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From Biology to Culture: The Roles of Gender, Race, and Sexuality for Women's Menopausal Experiences

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Abstract:

Abstract: Most past menopause research documents women’s “symptom” rates to investigate how women experience menopause, which reduces menopause to an individual biological event. In contrast, this paper argues that menopause must be examined as a social event that is influenced by cultural ideas about gender, race and sexuality. Based on findings from a qualitative study of a diverse sample of 30 postmenopausal women, I illustrate how women's menopausal experiences are shaped by midlife stress; women’s expected roles to provide care; heavy bleeding at work and the cultural expectation that menstrual blood should be hidden; doctors who treat women of color with disrespect; and past sexual abuse. This paper concludes that analyzing the meaning of menopause illuminates how some women's difficult experiences with menopause are rooted in culture, not biology.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

women (150), menopaus (129), experi (57), research (41), chang (34), may (26), say (26), difficult (24), cultur (24), doctor (23), hot (22), american (21), year (21), life (20), lesbian (20), view (19), age (19), sexual (18), past (18), time (18), flash (18),

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menopausal experiences, gender, race, sexual orientation and health, culture and biology
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Name: American Sociological Association
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MLA Citation:

Winterich, Julie. "From Biology to Culture: The Roles of Gender, Race, and Sexuality for Women's Menopausal Experiences" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta Hilton Hotel, Atlanta, GA, Aug 16, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p107149_index.html>

APA Citation:

Winterich, J. A. , 2003-08-16 "From Biology to Culture: The Roles of Gender, Race, and Sexuality for Women's Menopausal Experiences" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta Hilton Hotel, Atlanta, GA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p107149_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Abstract: Most past menopause research documents women’s “symptom” rates to investigate how women experience menopause, which reduces menopause to an individual biological event. In contrast, this paper argues that menopause must be examined as a social event that is influenced by cultural ideas about gender, race and sexuality. Based on findings from a qualitative study of a diverse sample of 30 postmenopausal women, I illustrate how women's menopausal experiences are shaped by midlife stress; women’s expected roles to provide care; heavy bleeding at work and the cultural expectation that menstrual blood should be hidden; doctors who treat women of color with disrespect; and past sexual abuse. This paper concludes that analyzing the meaning of menopause illuminates how some women's difficult experiences with menopause are rooted in culture, not biology.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 21
Word count: 5764
Text sample:
From Biology to Culture: The Roles of Gender Race and Sexuality For Women’s Menopausal Experiences Introduction “Old wives’ tales” or cultural stories about menopause characterize it as time of physical and emotional upheaval. Women hear stories about debilitating hot flashes mood swings and erratic and heavy bleeding. Similarly much of the past research on menopause focuses on so-called “symptom” rates and only investigates negative changes in women’s bodies and lives. Such research frames menopause as a universal biological experience
Ann Grisso. 1997. Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy: Focus Groups of African-American and Caucasian Women. Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society. 4(2):71-79. Rostosky Sharon Scales and Cheryl Brown Travis. 1996. Menopause Research and the Dominance of the Biomedical Model 1984-1994. Psychology of Women Quarterly 20:285-312. Smith Dorothy E. 1979. A Sociology for Women. Sociology of Knowledge. A. Sherman and Evelyn Torton Beck eds. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Winterich Julie A. and D. Umberson. 1999. How


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