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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 normal (and frequently welcome) finish to a woman's childbearing years to a deficiency ailment 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 commonly held assumptions. Physicians not often foisted hormones on reluctant lady sufferers; fairly, physicians themselves have been usually reluctant to say menopause as a clinical challenge and resisted the common use of hormone treatment for what used to be, finally, a standard transition in a woman's lifespan. Houck argues that the scientific and well known understandings of menopause at any given time relied on either pharmacological thoughts and cultural principles and anxieties of the instant. As girls behind schedule marriage and motherhood and entered the staff in larger numbers, the clinical figuring out, cultural that means, and adventure of menopause replaced. via reading the heritage of menopause over the process the 20 th century, Houck exhibits how the event 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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Extra resources for Hot and Bothered: Women, Medicine, and Menopause in Modern America

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Doan’s Kidney Pills, The Famous Specific Orange Blossom, Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound, and the Miller Company’s Home Treatment were among the many suppositories, tonics, and pills guaranteed to relieve the “peculiar symptoms” of the change of life. Patent medicine, costing just pennies a dose, appealed to women, rich and poor, for many reasons. First, patent medicines were associated with general female complaints. It is not unreasonable to assume that women who chose Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound for menstrual cramps used what they found in their medicine cabinets for the change of life.

129 Although women physicians celebrated the achievements won by the New Woman, they argued that society must continue to increase the social and political opportunities for women. ”131 Mosher argued that “equal suffrage, like many of the economic and philanthropic opportunities now open to women,” would help middle-aged women cope with the changes of menopause. She noted that too often women arrived at menopause without intellectual or social interests. ” This created a Medicine, Menopause, and the New Woman 39 “passive interest in politics” that would continue until a woman’s family responsibilities subsided.

While Tenenbaum admitted that some women sail easily through menopause, he maintained that “the majority have a stormy sea to traverse; no wonder they become seasick; they experience the seasickness of menopause! They are torn between forces which they can neither control nor evade. . ”104 Contrasting the opinions of male physicians with those of female physicians between 1897 and 1937 further illuminates medical assessments of menopause. Focusing on the sex of the physicians brings into relief at least three issues.

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