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2003 - American Sociological Association Pages: 21 pages || Words: 5764 words || 
1. 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 Online <.PDF>. 2020-02-18 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript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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