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.
© 1985 Aspen Publishers, Inc.