Female menopause: a male perspective

Prof Doc Thesis

Lunn, Sarah 2000. Female menopause: a male perspective. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Psychology Department
AuthorsLunn, Sarah
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Despite recent research into female menopause from the woman's perspective, men's
views on this subject have received minimal attention. The few exceptions have been
marred by the use of a female research paradigm where the variables under study have
been derived from assumptions rather than empirical means. This qualitative study aims
to explore the male perspective on this 'woman's issue' using grounded theory
analysis. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight men, all of whom were in a
relationship with a woman aged between 45 and 55 years. Men's accounts reflected
two conflicting yet simultaneously held perspectives. The dominant theme, 'Journey
through a taboo', conceptualized a hazardous journey for both women and men, where
both were pulled into unknown territory and suffered losses along the way. The
indignities of these losses and the association of menopause with sex created the status
of taboo. An etiquette was described that restricted discussion, thus protecting the
reputation of both sexes, and contributed towards a male 'ignorance'. By contrast,
'The alternative journey' presented a more positive vision where the experience was
less arduous, challenges were laudably met and benefits were available to both parties.
Despite an enduring taboo, men sought to overcome barriers inhibiting knowledge and
dialogue. A future society, less constrained by the taboo, was envisaged. The ways in
which these accounts reflect ongoing (often derogatory) social discourses are
discussed. The implications of these findings are explored in relation to the
psychological well-being of both women and men.

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Deposited09 Jun 2014
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