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From Menarche to Menopause: Reproductive Lives of Peasant Women in Two Cultures
     

From Menarche to Menopause: Reproductive Lives of Peasant Women in Two Cultures

by Yewoubdar Beyene
 

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While menopause is a universal fact of life, the physiological and psychological effects for women are not the same in all cultures. In this comparative and cross-cultural ethnographic study, Beyene examines the concept and experience of menopause among Greek and Mayan peasant women, uncovering some startling information. Available research and experience thus far

Overview

While menopause is a universal fact of life, the physiological and psychological effects for women are not the same in all cultures. In this comparative and cross-cultural ethnographic study, Beyene examines the concept and experience of menopause among Greek and Mayan peasant women, uncovering some startling information. Available research and experience thus far suggests that non-Western, nonindustrialized women often do not have the same psychological or physiological reactions to menopause as Western, industrialized women do.

By comparing the reproductive histories of one group of peasant women to another, the author makes it possible to isolate historical, cultural and environmental factors relating to variations or similarities in response to menopause. Her findings underscore the plasticity of the human aging experience, particularly among women. The book presents a biocultural view linking the experience of menopause to diet and fertility patterns, and provides new insights and hypotheses on the reproductive cycle and aging in women.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It provides exciting crosscultural data, (specifically that hot flashes are not universal and that menopause is something that is not ‘naturally’ experienced as negative) that are going to radically reformulate current theories about menopause. It provides a different view of how menopause is experienced, i.e. positively, and in that way provides a strong argument for the cultural shaping of biology.” — Brigitte Jordan, Michigan State University
Booknews
Beyene (medical anthro, U. of California SF) looks at Greek and Mayan women and suggests that non-Western, nonindustrialized women often do not have the same psychological or physiological reaction to menopause as Western women do. The study compares the histories of these women and isolates historical, cultural and environmental factors relating to variations or similarities in response to menopause. Diet and fertility patterns are considered. Paper edition ($10.95) not seen. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887068676
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
06/15/1989
Series:
SUNY series in Medical Anthropology Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
188
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.43(d)

Meet the Author

Yewoubdar Beyene is Research Fellow in the Medical Anthropology Program at the University of California, San Francisco.

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