Drawing on Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, and Tarule's (1986) ideas about women's "ways of knowing," this paper presents findings of a study examining women's choices to cease taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Analysis of conversations with 16 white European mid-life women, who told their stories of starting, taking, and stopping HRT, suggested that the challenge of managing biological changes in demanding social contexts had prompted women to seek knowledge about symptoms and treatments from a range of sources. They also attempted to enter into dialogues with their doctors about the relative merits and disadvantages for them of different courses of action and to reflect with enhanced confidence on the significance of their bodily experiences. Given contested understandings about the nature of menopause and about scientific findings concerned with HRT, for many women the decision to give up treatment seemed to represent the development and application of critical thinking skills and a growing knowledge about self-health care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science