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Encounters with AgingMythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America$
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Margaret Lock

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780520082212

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520082212.001.0001

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Against Nature—Menopause as Herald of Decay

Against Nature—Menopause as Herald of Decay

(p.330) 12 Against Nature—Menopause as Herald of Decay
Encounters with Aging

Margaret Lock

University of California Press

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

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