Against Nature—Menopause as Herald of Decay

Margaret Lock

in Encounters with Aging

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780520082212
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916623 | DOI:
Against Nature—Menopause as Herald of Decay

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A potent fear of aging, coupled with a quest for immortal youthfulness and sexual desire, seems to be driving the medicalization of menopause. Commercialized and linked to the puritanical heritage of North America with its insistence on individual responsibility for a disciplined body and continued good health, this urge biases our interpretation of demography and reproductive biology and causes us to believe that we can improve on nature's poor design. But, even more important, aging within the amoral realm of science screens us from reflection on the consequences for their health of economic differences among women and above all from the politics of aging while we dwell ad nauseam on ovaries, flashes, vaginas, libido, fragile bones, and risk-benefit analyses.

Keywords: sexual desire; aging; menopause; medicalization; science; immortal youth

Chapter.  16371 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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