Voicu [Abstract]

The social construction of menopause as disease: A literature review
[Full text]

Ilona Voicu [1]

Abstract: Menopause is not only a natural biological aspect of women’s life, but, also, a social construct, mainly due to the contribution of the medical science. The article analyzes, in its first four parts, how this social construction has evolved, starting with the vision of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century medicine, that approached menopause as cause of multiple women’s diseases, continuing with the transformation of menopause, in the middle of the 20th century, in a specific disease (the estrogen deficiency disease), due to the discovery of the synthetic estrogen and, latter, in a syndrome, and finishing with the potential role of the in-vitro fertilization in reconstructing the image of menopausal woman as “useless body”. The last part of the article aims to capture the main feminist critiques of these types of social construction and to stress out some gaps in the Romanian feminist approaches regarding this topic.

Keywords: Menopause, social construction, disease, feminist critique

[1] Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest, Romania, ilona.voicu@yahoo.com