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2007 - American Sociological Association Pages: 23 pages || Words: 6047 words || 
1. Winterich, Julie. "Gender, Medicine and the Menopausal Body:How Biology and Culture Influence Women Experiences with Menopause" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City, Aug 10, 2007 Online <PDF>. 2019-12-10 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Abstract: Much of the sociological research on menopause reflects the cultural assumption that menopause is an individual, biological event by documenting rates of physical changes, such as hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness. Such research poses a social problem because it supports gendered assumptions that biology controls women’s moods and behavior. It also bolsters the biomedical approach, which views drugs as the way to treat menopausal “symptoms.” Meanwhile the larger social conditions that contribute to women’s embodied experiences are overlooked. Based on 30 in-depth interviews with a diverse group, this paper uses an integrative analytical framework to understand how biology and culture affect menopause. The findings suggest that women’s embodied experiences are less or more intense depending on medical care and various types of stress. An integrative approach illustrates how biology and culture interact in complex ways. The conclusion proposes social changes that could improve women’s embodied experiences at menopause.

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