Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Gerald Markle

Second Advisor

Dr. Ellen Page-Robin

Third Advisor

Dr. Ronald Kramer

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis investigated social and medical aspects of the Estrogen Replacement Controversy (ERT) in the United States and Great Britain. American researchers claim that ERT, a treatment for menopausal and postmenopausal problems, substantially increases the risk of endometrial cancer; British researchers minimize the risk and instead emphasize benefits of the treatment. Whereas British medical practitioners are reluctant to prescribe ERT, their American counterparts widely prescribe the treatment. American feminists and consumer groups strongly oppose ERT; similar groups in Britain demand the treatment. Whereas the British government has not regulated the drug, in America, increasing restrictions have been placed on ERT. To shed light on the interaction between epistemological and ideological factors, the social forces which shape the controversy, varying independently cross-culturally, were explored and elucidated. This controversy is of interest since it demonstrates how two countries, reach contradictory conclusions to the same problem based on the same scientific data.

Included in

Sociology Commons