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2 Beaverton Health and Medicine- Womens Health

Our Bodies Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era


Our Bodies Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era Cover

ISBN13: 9780743256117
ISBN10: 0743256115
Condition: Standard
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Welcome to Our Bodies, Ourselves, the classic book about women's health and sexuality that is written by women, for women. Since its first newsprint version in 1970, Our Bodies, Ourselves has been created and revised by women speaking from our own research and experiences about our bodies, health, and medical care.

This edition reflects the work of more than four hundred women — and quite a few men — who share both personal stories and health information based on the latest scientific evidence. The result is a new Our Bodies, Ourselves, rewritten for today's realities.

Changing Times, Continuing Need

Much has changed since the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the group that became the Boston Women's Health Book Collective first started to meet. Abortion is now legal (though threatened), and birth control options have increased; the AIDS epidemic has made safer sex a subject of public discussion; and lesbian and gay couples have the right to marry, at least in Massachusetts. Many groups, including an active movement of women with breast cancer, have drawn new attention to environmental factors in disease and to the politics of research funding. More health care providers are women now, and doctors and medical researchers of both sexes tend to be more sensitive to and knowledgeable about women's concerns than doctors of an earlier generation. Information on women's health is widely available.

But the need for a book like Our Bodies, Ourselves remains. Too much medical care still focuses on the expensive "solutions" of drugs and surgery, rather than on prevention or management strategies such as good food and exercise, a clean environment, and safe working conditions. Too often, women's life experiences, from childbirth to menopause, are seen as diseases to be treated rather than natural, healthy processes that sometimes have problems. And too many of us still don't have the knowledge and resources to participate effectively in maintaining our health.

Self-help and Beyond

This book offers individual women the tools to take care of ourselves, from eating well and becoming more physically active to learning how to cope better with stress. It provides helpful, clear information about substance abuse, heart disease, eating disorders, and many other conditions that women confront. A new chapter, "Navigating the Health Care System," provides practical advice for getting the best care possible.

Yet Our Bodies, Ourselves is about more than self-help. Many aspects of our health, from workplace safety to sexual violence, are often beyond an individual's control. Therefore, this book addresses the political, economic, and social factors that affect our health and medical care: the industrial plants spewing pollution, the fast-food giants pushing junk food, the pharmaceutical companies unethically promoting drugs, the government dismantling our social safety net. We can change these conditions only by working together, sharing our stories with other women, and advocating for policies and programs that protect the health of our families, our communities, and the world.

Many Women's Voices

Despite some changes, this edition retains one of the distinctive traits of Our Bodies, Ourselves: the use of real women's voices. These first-person stories, set off in italicized passages throughout the text, have been collected from conversations, letters, and e-mail messages that spanned the globe.

Diverse voices are also embodied in the all-embracing "we" of this book. When the Boston Women's Health Book Collective first wrote about "our bodies," the "we" reflected the white, mostly middle-class, well-educated background of many of its founding members. But as more diverse women have helped revise the book, the "we" has grown to include a greater variety of experiences.

Making Changes Together

No matter who we are, we often need both information and support to make healthy changes. If we are trying to get more exercise, for example, inviting a friend to share a morning walk may make it more fun. Similarly, if we are feeling overwhelmed as new mothers, we may want to join a play group with other families in the neighborhood. The same principle extends to issues beyond our individual well-being: By working together, we can bring about change and improve the health of our communities.

This new edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves serves as a first step on such paths, offering information, stories, and resources so that we can take care of ourselves — and one another.

Heather Stephenson, managing editor

For the Boston Women's Health Book Collective

July 2004, Boston

Copyright © 1984, 1992, 1998, 2005 by the Boston Women¹s Health Book Collective

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Xredragon3, August 25, 2009 (view all comments by Xredragon3)
My mom has an older version of this book and she loves it! She bought my sister one and she always tells me she wants to buy me one. I started reading hers and I can't wait to read the new one, so pretty soon I'm going to give in and just buy it myself! Thank you for sharing such wonderful information!
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Product Details

A New Edition for a New Era
Boston Womens Health Book Collective
Boston Women's Health Book Collective
Boston Women's Health Book Collective
Norsigian, Judy
Women's Health - General
General Health & Fitness
Women -- Psychology.
Women -- Health and hygiene.
Health and Medicine-Womens Health
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
January 2005
Grade Level:
9.14x7.46x1.73 in. 3.07 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Womens Health
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General

Our Bodies Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era Used Trade Paper
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Product details 848 pages Touchstone Books - English 9780743256117 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The original edition of 1970's now-classic Our Bodies, Ourselves has sold more than three million copies, and the revised and expanded edition will likely prove equally popular among women of all ages. According to the authors, some of them among the original contributors, knowledge is power, but women will make little change in the medical and health-care industries unless they join forces with other women at home and around the world. Like its predecessor, this volume is wide in scope (but lacking in depth), and has a profoundly feminist perspective as it emphasizes sexual health, reproductive rights, community-based organization and the political, economic and social conditions that limit women's access to quality health care. Much of the new information details recent health research on women's needs and inequities in medical care for men and women, and reflects the experiences of different ethnicities, sexual preferences and economic backgrounds. Women are the primary consumers of health care in the U.S., but, the authors say, they are grossly underserved. In addition, the medical community has viewed many life-stage conditions — pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome, menopause — as illnesses rather than natural processes that require teams of supportive practitioners. The book's rousing political orientation may motivate readers to access the numerous resources listed or the companion OBOS Web site. More than a book, OBOS is a health movement and deserves a place on every woman's bookshelf." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The best women's health reference book I've ever seen."
"Synopsis" by , With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is the classic resource that women of all ages turn to for information about every aspect of their well-being. Completely revised for the first time in a decade, this edition provides all the information women need to make key decisions about their health.
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