Download Hot and Bothered: Women, Medicine, and Menopause in Modern by Judith A. Houck PDF

By Judith A. Houck

How did menopause swap from being a average (and frequently welcome) finish to a woman's childbearing years to a deficiency disorder short of scientific and pharmacological intervention? As she lines the medicalization of menopause over the past a hundred years, historian Judith Houck demanding situations a few largely held assumptions. Physicians not often foisted hormones on reluctant lady sufferers; particularly, physicians themselves have been frequently reluctant to say menopause as a scientific challenge and resisted the common use of hormone treatment for what used to be, finally, a typical transition in a woman's lifespan. Houck argues that the clinical and well known understandings of menopause at any given time relied on either pharmacological ideas and cultural rules and anxieties of the instant. As ladies behind schedule marriage and motherhood and entered the team in larger numbers, the clinical figuring out, cultural which means, and adventure of menopause replaced. by way of studying the historical past of menopause over the process the 20 th century, Houck indicates how the adventure and illustration of menopause has been profoundly encouraged by way of biomedical advancements and by way of altering roles for ladies and the altering definition of womanhood. (20060601)

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Additional info for Hot and Bothered: Women, Medicine, and Menopause in Modern America

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Women and men physicians also differed in their perceptions of the physicians’ role in menopause. The nautical metaphors that fill the literature are particularly helpful for understanding how physicians envisioned their relationship to menopausal patients. In a common scenario, the family doctor serves as pilot, guiding the menopausal woman through the storm. ”119 Women physicians also employed nautical metaphors, but they interpreted the role of the physician differently. While many women doctors downplayed the role of the physician in menopause altogether,120 others offered an alternative vision.

64 His remarks demonstrate that even physicians who embraced hormone therapies did not encourage them for all menopausal women. 65 Howard Aronson, for example, reminded his colleagues in 1936 that they should treat “the patient as a whole, not merely writing out a prescription for bromides or placebos, nor . . ”67 While some only saw conflict, others saw hope. ”68 In 1931, the editor of JAMA agreed that while the present ovarian preparations had no therapeutic value, the “brilliant work” being done in endocrinology “promises to yield much of practical value .

111 Gynecologist William J. Robinson, in his 1925 book The Menopause or Change of Life, Medicine, Menopause, and the New Woman 35 described menopause as “a period of withering, shrinking and closingup,” in which the vagina, particularly in “old maids” becomes so narrow that it makes intercourse painful or impossible. ”112 It might be argued that menopause is indeed a period of decay and that these doctors were not describing women’s loss of appeal and usefulness but rather the biological facts.

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