Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Menopause is a complex time in the lives of mid-aged women, and this contributes to the diversity of attributions of menopausal experience. In this study, participants' comments on a survey of attitudes about menopause were analyzed discursively to consider how mid-aged women account for their own and other women's experience of menopause. Two discourses drawn upon to make attributions about menopausal experience were identified. Women account for menopausal experience either by reporting a range of healthy habits such as good diet and exercise or by suggesting women can overcome menopause with a “get-on-with-it” approach to life. These discourses construct women as social actors within a moral order in which the absence of menopausal symptoms is an indicator of virtuous behavior, and health is a moral imperative. The way these attributions of menopausal experience position mid-aged women has important implications for women's self-image and health-seeking behaviors.