Pharmaceutical Discourses on Menopause

Social science has viewed the topic of menopause as a complex subject, and is defined as the end of a woman’s fertility.

However, oftentimes, pharmaceutical companies view the topic from a commercial standpoint, aimed at making a profit. Many brochures are available on the subject and “…claim to be concerned with patient eduction, but are produced by pharmaceutical companies whose aim… is to make vast profits for the pharmaceutical industry.”

These brochures are also often handed out in health care facilities which give them an expertise status, offering a “consultation” and “objective” approach to the topic of menopause.

Most often in these brochures, menopause is shown as a problem and there are solutions to these problems through the pharmaceutical industry. Metaphors and negative terms are used to describe the changes in women’s bodies.

This has a huge impact on its readers, because in western culture, part of a woman’s role in her life is based on her fertility, so the topic has cultural resonance to it. These pharmaceutical companies treat the body as a machine that can be “fixed” with a particular drug or hormone treatment.

The truth is, these studies are extremely broad, only focusing on the negative. They rarely discuss details like the ages of those in the study, the culture of women, or who did the research. They also fail to realize the emotional upset due to the stigma with menopause. In fact, usually these brochures play on that. The degeneration approach defeminizes these readers, playing on fears of old age.

The “solution” to these problems is often given in a matter-of-fact way or common-sense way, “proven” by science and technology.

Everyone changes with age. It’s important to first address stigmas and superficial fears that are tied to social or cultural norms because they affect our thinking process. Age is not a disease.

Information obtained from Justine Coupland and Angie Williams. Post by Kate Valdovinos.

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