The Slow Moon Climbs: The Science, History, and Meaning of Menopause, 1st Edition

  • Sidney Verba
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0691185646
  • ISBN-13: 9780691185644
  • DDC: 618.175
  • 480 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2019 | Published/Released October 2019
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2019

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This title offers the first comprehensive look at menopause from prehistory to today. The author suggests that the ways we look at menopause are all wrong—and reveals just how wrong we have been. From the rainforests of Paraguay to the streets of Tokyo, she draws on historical, scientific, and cultural research to reveal how our perceptions of menopause developed from prehistory to today. For most of human history, people had no word for menopause and did not view it as a medical condition. Rather, in traditional foraging and agrarian societies, it was a transition to another important life stage. She examines the importance of elders in rearing future generations and other evolutionary theories, and the emergence of menopause as a medical condition in the Western world. This book introduces new ways of understanding it, and casts menopause, at last, in the positive light it deserves—not only as an essential life stage, but also as a key factor in the history of human flourishing.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
The Slow Moon Climbs.
Other Frontmatter.
Prologue: The Grandmother of Us All.
1: Why Menopause?.
2: “Thank You, Grandma, for Human Nature”: The Grandmother Hypothesis.
3: Putting the “Men” in Menopause: Male-Centered Theories of Human Evolution.
4: Foragers Today: Hunting, Sharing, and Super-Uncles.
5: Our Long Stone Age Past: How Grandmothers (Maybe) Conquered the World.
6: The Age of Farmers: Patriarchy, Property, and Fertility Control.
7: Reproduction and Non-Reproduction in Some Agrarian Societies.
8: The Modern World.
9: Women's Hell: Menopause and Modern Medicine.
10: What Are You Talking About? Menopause in Traditional Societies.
11: Symptoms.
12: A Cultural Syndrome?.
Epilogue: Good-Bye to All That.