In this scholarly compilation of a major event in the life of every woman, editor Ruth Formanek has adopted an avowedly multidisciplinary mandate: to illuminate menopause as both an event and a stage of life by gathering together a variety of discipline-specific meanings and research perspectives. The result is an admirably comprehensive study that not only charts the premodern meanings of menopause, but proceeds to examine menopause from current biomedical, endocrinological, culutral, and psychological perspectives. Ample attention is give to the psychosocial influences on menopause and to cross-cultural variations in the experience of, and life adjustments that follow, menopause. Societal and familial attitudes toward menopausal women are also explored through an examination of women in classical and modern literature. Clinical contributions review psychoanalytic perspectives on menopause, elucidate the individual meanings of the menopausal experience uncovered in therapy, and consider male views of menopausal women.
Collectively, the contributors to this volume remedy the scant attention menopause has heretofore received in the psychological and psychotherapeutic literature. They not only explore the range of issues associated with menopause, but address these issues in the context of the various myths and superstitions about menopause that have endured over the centuries. Essential reading for students of human development, gender issues, and women's studies,The Meanings of Menopauseis, for helping professionals, an invaluable source book on a life event fraught with psychological significance.
About the author:
Ruth Formanek, Ph.D., is Professor of Elementary Education, Hofstra University. She is a psychologist in private practice in Hempstead, New York.