The Misguided Quest to Remake Women

What’s the push behind delaying menopause? 


John Stonestreet

Shane Morris

On average, women go through menopause by age 50. This means that women are only able to bear children during about a third of their lives. However, what if scientists could somehow stop the clock or, at least, slow it down?  

That’s the question Katherine Wu asked recently in an article in The Atlantic entitled, “A Fundamental Stage of Human Reproduction Is Shifting.” The subtitle, “Can humans ever break free of menopause?” betrayed that this fundamental stage of human reproduction has, in fact, not shifted yet. However, there’s a significant amount of interest in breaking what some consider to be an “evolutionary accident.” 

According to one Canadian biologist, there is “no ironclad biological law…stopping women’s reproductive years from stretching far past [age 50] . . . hundreds of thousands of years from now, menopause could—theoretically—entirely disappear.” 

That’s a long time to wait. So, Wu looked for nearer-term solutions, such as now-theoretical hormone treatments that could extend ovary function and keep eggs viable longer. Though, she admits, bearing children so late could come with “additional risks” like increased chances of breast and uterine cancer, blood clots, stroke, and all the other dangers associated with advanced maternal age, she remains optimistic that a breakthrough is just around the corner:   

In the past few decades, especially, researchers have made technological leaps that enable them to tinker like never before with how people’s bodies function and age. All of these factors might well combine to alter menopause’s timeline. It’s a grand experiment in human reproduction, and scientists don’t yet know what the result might be (emphasis added). 

Why, if “scientists don’t yet know,” should this “tinkering” with procreation be done? What is behind the drive to “break free” of this most basic human limit? Why push past the window when having children is both naturally possible and safer?  

The answer is worldview, specifically, a set of values that has increasingly led modern women to view motherhood as a secondary priority and a poor investment of their fertile years. It’s the same reason so many women have opted, for instance, to freeze their eggs, only to discover the procedure does not guarantee future fertility.   

Last month, an author at Vox admitted that egg freezing has turned out to be a “failed promise.” Women have not been granted the “new kind of freedom” that was advertised. In fact, as few as a third of those who freeze their eggs end up having a live birth. Still, this has not stopped fertility clinics from advertising the technique as a workaround for the biological clock. 

Failed promises of increased “freedom” are a common feature of life in the sexual revolution. And it’s worth asking what we are supposedly being set free from. More often than not, the promise is that some new scientific technique will help us to conquer the created, God-given design of our bodies. Rather than conforming our lifestyles to that design, we are promised a new design that has been conformed to whatever lifestyle we choose.  

At the very least, all this talk about delaying childbearing comes at an incredibly bad time, given that birth rates are already at historic lows. 

Even more, this conversation tends to focus exclusively on the desires and goals of adults and never on what’s good for children. For example, God sometimes blesses parents with children later in life. At the same time, as I can attest at 48 years old suffering persistent elbow pain from throwing baseballs with my six-year-old son, parenting later in life imposes limits on freedom. Extending menopause past 50, 60, or 70 will mean children will not know their grandparents or, for that matter, their parents, for very long. 

Despite what the serpent promised in the Garden, humans are not limitless gods capable of endless reengineering. Modern attempts to deny and transcend the “givens” of our bodies are doomed to fail, and not only because the techniques used often cannot deliver on what is promised. The real problem is that this “tinkering” is based on a dehumanizing definition of “freedom” that puts us, and women in particular, at war with the design of our bodies.  

Which is why, if we do ever figure out how to stop the biological clock, we’ll find we’re still following a strict schedule. Only this one will be invented by people convinced they can make a better woman than God can.    

This Breakpoint was co-authored by Shane Morris. If you’re a fan of Breakpoint, leave a review on your favorite podcast app. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to 


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