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In this study I suggest that there are three distinct time periods mark new developments in society’s understanding of menopause, Victorian America in the mid and late nineteenth century, mid-twentieth century America, and contemporary America. This is the case not only in terms of advances in biological science, but also the ways in which the medical establishment has viewed menopause has also changed, and in terms of changes in prevalent gender assumptions. In this paper I hope to expose the ways science, history, and society has medicalized menopause, and the ways in which menopause has been viewed by individual women, their health care providers, and society as a whole more generally. I also wish to expose the fact that how we have come to think about menopause is by no means simply the result of value-free, objective science and medicine.



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