Margaret Lock and Patricia Kaufert Have Written Essay

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Margaret Lock and Patricia Kaufert have written an article examining menopause, biologies, and cultures of aging. The authors begin their discussion with acknowledging that menopause is a symbol of the end of menstruation, which was once regarded as the culmination of a woman's reproductive life. In concurrence with majority of medical researchers and doctors, these researchers state that the closure of menstruation is a multifaceted biosocial and biocultural procedure that has seemingly common and universal biological changes. However, there are cases where there are several differences in experiences among women during this stage because of variations in social, cultural, and psychological factors. This has in turn contributed to recognition of this stage as a pathological incident with unique set of symptoms and diseases in woman's life. Despite the differences in the individual experiences of women, the end of menstruation is also characterized with considerable increase in risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, Alzheimer's, and stroke (Lock & Kaufert, 2001, p.494). These health conditions are attributed to the effect of changing hormone levels, especially estrogen reduction.

The mistaken claim that at once time nearly no women lived beyond the menopause stage influenced the clinical view of aging. The erroneous claim has been accompanied with another belief that a post-reproductive stage in human beings is against nature since nearly no mammals can survive beyond reproductive senescence. The basis for these claims is the assumption that post-menopause stage in humans is a by-product of technological and cultural interventions that have considerable effects on longevity. Therefore, the erroneous medical view implies that women who survive the post-menopause stage are relatively biological anomalies. Regardless of the patent error or mistakes associated with these claims, they contribute to the prevalent consideration of menopause as a pathological condition.

The researchers challenge the perception of a universal menopause by demonstrating that symptoms associated with menopause and post-menopause illnesses differ from one population sample to another. These researchers achieve this goal through the use of studies in Japan, the United States, and Canada, which are comparable to rates reported from researches in China and Thailand. Lock and Kaufert challenge the common notion on the premise that clinical literature has interpreted findings based on the complete necessity of substituting the lost hormones for women in the menopause stage despite differences in social, cultural, and physiological factors. The authors show that the symptoms that are usually linked to menopause in…

Sources Used in Document:


Lock, M. & Kaufert, P. (2001). Menopause, Local Biologies, and Cultures of Aging. American Journal of Human Biology, 13, 494-504.

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