"White women are becoming more optimistic about menopause," states . Whereas in the past, these women were worried about aging and losing their youthfulness, according to Dr. Eun-Ok Im, the lead researcher in the study, now they are facing their menopause transition with humor, viewing it as a time to "rethink their lives." According to the release, "African American, Hispanic, and Asian women already reported being more optimistic and positive about their menopause and their menopause symptoms than white women."
I find this study interesting for so many reasons. First of all, it takes a feminist approach, which may seem pass© to some, but at its simplest means looking at the subject from a variety of women's viewpoints and challenging some of the constructions of menopause, particularly the (male) medicalized versions. And, by surveying 512 women from a variety of ethnic groups over four years, asking about their experiences, and teasing out the differences, researchers were breaking down another monolithic version of menopause, one based primarily on the experiences of caucasian women who have been the most studied on the subject.
What else did the researchers find? That women were going through this transition with support from family and friends, and that minority women preferred this support come from their same ethnic group. That African American women, who experienced the most number of hot flashes of those surveyed, were more accepting of menopause, seeing it as part of the natural aging process and perhaps not as big a deal as some of the other difficulties in their lives. And perhaps one of the most telling findings was that few women had positive experiences with their doctors when they discussed their menopausal symptoms.
It's hoped that a study like this will lead to better, more culturally-inflected menopause care and help eliminate biases, according to Dr. Im. All of this is cheering news.
What about you reader? Do you see menopause in a positive light?