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Advances in Nursing Science:
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Osteoporosis and menopause: a feminist analysis of the social construction of a syndrome.

Mac Pherson, Kathleen I. RN, MA, MS

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Abstract

Using a feminist framework, the roles of science, medicine, pharmaceutical companies, the federal government, and the media are analyzed in the social construction of menopause as a syndrome that includes osteoporosis. The various debates over who defines osteoporosis and thus controls its prevention and treatment are discussed. In conclusion, the feminist perspective of osteoporosis as a common problem of aging is presented, and alternatives to hormone replacement therapy such as weight-bearing exercise and adequate calcium intake are suggested for prevention. Nurses can play a vital role in protecting other women and themselves from both osteoporosis and iatrogenic hormone treatments.

(C) 1985 Aspen Publishers, Inc.

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