Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

The ‘Change of Life’ is More than Biology

July 7th, 2010 by Elizabeth Kissling
Photo by Ed Yourdon | CC 2.0

Photo by Ed Yourdon | CC 2.0

I hope my colleague Heather Dillaway feels at least at little vindicated when she reads this: A new study in the Journal of Health Psychology reports that social and psychological factors have the biggest influence upon women´s sexual behavior during menopause, rather than biological changes such as declining hormone levels. While most published research on menopause–especially about sex and sexuality with respect to menopause–is conducted within a biomedical framework, Sharron Hinchliff, Merryn Gott, and Christine Ingleton talked to women about their experiences. (Radical!)

They found that almost all of the women in their study had experienced changes in their sex lives, but they attributed these changes to external factors, such as caring for ill or elderly relatives, low sexual desire from their partners, issues of relationship quality, as well as to perceived changes in levels of hormones. (I appreciate the researchers’ qualifier of perceived changes, as most women never have their hormone levels measured.)

The researchers concluded that women go through many lifestyle changes at mid-life, only some of which are biological. Psychological and social factors, as well as the increasing medicalization of menopause, affect their sexuality just as powerfully.

Somehow, this study isn’t getting anywhere near the publicity of the ‘new blood test for menopause’ study received last week.

  

2 Responses to “The ‘Change of Life’ is More than Biology”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ed Yourdon, re:Cycling. re:Cycling said: New post at re:Cycling – The 'Change of Life' is More than Biology http://bit.ly/biiogD [...]

  2. It seems to me that one reason the above study is not getting media attention is
    because it negates the need for HRT – another multi-billion dollar chemical
    cocktail developed by Big Pharma that potentially harmed women more than helped
    them.

    As long as women remain uneducated about their menstrual,hormonal and reproductive
    health – we will remain victims to Pharma propaganda over the medicalization of
    our natural cycling body.

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