The goal of this project is to produce the first socio-cultural historical study of the changing rationales for prescribing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal and post-menopausal women from the 1960s to the present. The resulting book will provide a historical perspective for contemporary debates about the health care and health policy implications of menopause, aging, and HRT. The study is driven by three main questions. 1) How and where do physicians and patients get their information about menopause, aging, and medical treatments? This project investigates the interactions among scientists, physicians, drug companies, government agencies, feminist health activists, the media, and the public in the construction, dissemination, and translation of medical information for midlife and older women. 2) In what ways have the phenomena of menopause and aging been both medicalized and de-medicalized? While menopause and its sequence, like other aspects of women's health (e.g., childbirth, birth control), have increasingly come under medical control in the 20th century, there has also been a parallel trend in recent decades to re-define menopause as a """"""""natural"""""""" event. This project will analyze the differences and similarities between these two views and set them in the larger context of health policy making and the American pursuit of health. 3) What is the relationship between the medical treatment of menopause and cultural conceptions of aging? This project locates the use of HRT in the context of changing expectations and changing roles for older women in American society. Using historical methodologies to investigate the variety of actors engaged in disseminating information about menopause, aging, and medical treatment, this study will enrich our understanding of the practices, contexts, and meanings of aging and related health-care issues among American women. The primary product will be a book written for a broad audience, including historians, health policy makers, physicians, nurses, other health care providers, and the general public.