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Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

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Are Men to Blame for Menopause?

By Denise DeWitt HERWriter
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Are Men to Blame for Menopause? 1 5 1
should we blame men for menopause?
Angel Nieto/PhotoSpin

If you are a woman, you know that you will eventually go into menopause. That’s the time later in life when your period permanently stops and you are no longer able to have children. Most women go into menopause in their 40s or 50s.

But have you ever wondered why women experience menopause? One research team headed by Rama Singh, a professor in the department of biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, claims men are the cause of menopause.

In a research paper published in the June issue of PLOS Computational Biology, Singh and his colleagues explained their hypothesis that menopause is actually a result of a “male mating preference for younger females”.

A key factor in their research is the idea that people have sex both to create children and because, as Singh says, “Sex is fun.” He believes that over time, men found having sex with younger women to be more enjoyable even when they were not concerned about the woman’s ability to successfully have a child.

Singh, an evolutionary geneticist, contends that this preference allowed changes in genes later in life to send women into menopause.

Singh explained that if his model is correct, male preference for younger women would, over time, allow genetic mutations to accumulate in older women resulting in a decline in fertility. Therefore he believes that older women’s lack of reproduction due to men’s preference for younger sex partners is the cause of menopause.

Dr. Mache Seibel, America’s health expert and editor of My Menopause Magazine, disagrees with Singh’s conclusions. Seibel said, “The conclusions place a much heavier emphasis on statistics than on sound thinking. Menopause as we know it today has more to do with the fact that women live longer now than ever before.”

Seibel also pointed out that women have a greater chance of successfully carrying a child to term earlier in their life.

Seibel said, “Women are born with approximately 7 million eggs and by puberty, the number is down to 400,000 which are ovulated in groups of 30 or so over the next 30 years.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I understand that it isn't necessarily right to "blame" men for the cause of menopause, however I also don't think that Morton et al. were intending to do that with their study. Their study just offers another explanation on this topic and it is a reasonable hypothesis; with "hypothesis" being the key term here. I feel that it was taken out of proportion by various news articles. We need to realize that while it makes sense that females don't reproduce after a certain age since their reproductive success decreases, that does NOT represent the cause behind menopause; rather it is an outcome of menopause. I personally am also skeptical about this hypothesis, however I do think that it deserves a fair chance of further research without being written off completely.
Especially with the first comment being "Sorry guys, you don't have that power. There is no way that you caused menopause which is a process that is a natural part of a woman's body, unless of course you created us." That is NOT what the evolutionary geneticists are trying to prove.
If you actually go and read the study, they mention that if the roles were reversed then males would also accumulate mutations deleterious to their fertility and thus have menopause.
I would just say that do not think of this study as just another approach by experimenters to prove that men control aspects of women, because that is FAR from what the purpose of the study is.

October 24, 2013 - 3:04am
EmpowHER Guest

Dr. Seibel's commentary was SO valuable. It's important to keep common sense in any discussion. Sadly, if men were the issue, I'd just jump ship :) Alas, it's just how life unfolds for us. If we're LUCKY and blessed enough to live to into our 50's and 60's and 70's.... well, we won't be 21 anymore, and that's just the way it is.

July 26, 2013 - 10:57am
EmpowHER Guest

You Go Girl Deirdre!!!

July 26, 2013 - 7:53am
Deirdre Morris - Creating Sacred Family


This analysis and interpretation reflect a patriarchal approach that perceives everything through the lens of the masculine and does not have any understanding of the creative process itself (not to mention deep feminine wisdom).

It is far more likely from an evolutionary perspective that women (individually and as a collective) created the experience of menopause because in the past most would have had several children at this stage and wanted to experience another amazing aspect of life that did not revolve around babies!

Women's biological and social evolution is not a by-product of men's apparent desires which is also interpreted in a very narrow way in this article.

Women and men are far more complex and amazing that this researcher realizes.

July 25, 2013 - 11:41pm

Really! I totally disagree.
#1 Men have a difficult time with the natural process of aging and death. Women understand & are more comfortable with this natural cycle of life. Young women mirror to men their youth and give them the illusion that they are not aging. Older wise women reflect to men the reality of life and death.
#2 Women at menopause and after are very sensual and sexual. The childbearing hormones may be less, so we are more selective when and with whom we have sex. It is a connection because of intimacy, trust, and respect, not just for the sex act!
#3 Menopause is a natural process that slows us down to reflect on our life to see if we our living what everyone else wants for us or are we living what resonates in our hearts. It is a physiological change at the cellular level that wakes us up to the dogma and illusions we have been living. Women who embrace their wisdom and their power create a huge energy presence that many men are uncomfortable with.
#4 Sorry guys, you don't have that power. There is no way that you caused menopause which is a process that is a natural part of a woman's body, unless of course you created us.

July 24, 2013 - 9:35am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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