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Authors: Boston Women's Health Book Collective

Our Bodies, Ourselves

BOOK: Our Bodies, Ourselves
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“The best women's health reference book I've ever seen.”

—Julianne Moore

“This flawlessly updated edition does justice to the legacy of
Our Bodies, Ourselves
, which has been synonymous with women's empowerment for the past forty years. Incredibly detailed, empowering, and enriched by the extremely diverse opinions and positions of its collaborators, this should be on the bookshelves of women young and old worldwide!”

—Nancy Redd,
author of Body Drama and Diet Drama

“The new edition of
Our Bodies, Ourselves
offers a relatable voice to help make the very confusing reality of health and sexuality as a girl easier to navigate. In a world that doesn't always offer girls such honesty, the new edition of
makes me optimistic about the awareness and attitude of this generation of women and girls. My brain was fist pumping the whole way through.”

—Tavi Gevinson, and editor in chief of
Rookie magazine

“This revamped edition of
Our Bodies, Ourselves
shows just how far we've come in the women's health movement. The level of inclusiveness of my community—those of us who are queer, trans, or gender nonconforming—is remarkable. If this had been the edition that my mom gave me as a preteen, my life and coming-of-age would have been so different and much less confusing. It also artfully lays out the reality of women's health as a political issue—one that goes way beyond simply understanding how our bodies work. The fortieth-anniversary edition proves that education is a radical act and that sharing our struggles, triumphs, and stories can ultimately change the world.”

—Miriam Zoila Pérez, editor,; founder,; and recipient of the Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women's Health

is the most important resource on women's health ever written by and for women. It teaches every woman how to take charge of her own body and helps us all become well-informed health care consumers.”

—Loretta Ross, founder and the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective

“This is truly the bible on women's health! It has been completely revised and updated for a new generation of women who will need its guidance more than ever as they attempt to take control of their health.”

—Susan Love, M.D., author of
Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book
Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book
coauthor of Live a Little!

“If only every little girl were born with a copy of
Our Bodies, Ourselves
in her hands, we would raise a society filled with healthy, confident women. And if women could have only one book on their shelves, let it be this classic tome filled to the brim with practical and empowering information.”

—Toni Weschler, M.P.H., author of
Taking Charge of Your Fertility


Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

Changing Bodies, Changing Lives

Ourselves and Our Children

The New Ourselves, Growing Older

, O
is available to clinics and other groups providing health-counseling services at 70 percent off the cover price plus shipping. Orders must be for twelve or more copies with payment (check or major credit card) and a document verifying health service status and your IRS license number for tax exemption. The document must be a copy of a statement filed with a state or federal agency indicating health services or health education as a primary purpose of your group. To place your order and/or for details, contact Simon & Schuster Special Sales at 1-866-506-1949 or [email protected].

Copies so purchased may not be offered for resale.

This publication contains the opinions and ideas of its author. It is intended to provide helpful and informative material on the subjects addressed in the publication. It is sold with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering medical, health, or any other kind of personal professional services in the book. Readers should consult their medical, health, or other competent professional before making medical decisions.

The author and publisher specifically disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this book.

Rockefeller Center
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Copyright © 1984, 1992, 1998, 2005, 2011 by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective
All rights reserved,
including the right of reproduction
in whole or in part in any form.

This Touchstone Edition October 2011

and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Designed by Katy Riegel

Manufactured in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Our bodies, ourselves/The Boston Women's Health Book Collective.—40th anniversary ed.
    p. cm.

“A Touchstone book.”

Includes bibliographical references and index.

1. Women—Health and hygiene. 2. Women—Diseases. 3. Women—Psychology.

I. Boston Women's Health Book Collective.

RA778.N49 2011
613'04244—dc23                                                2011022749

ISBN 978-1-4391-9066-1
ISBN 978-1-4391-8734-0 (ebook)
eISBN 978-1-4391-9665-6

In loving memory of our close colleagues and women's health advocates Esther Rome, Pamela Morgan, Helen Rodriguez-Trias, Mary Howell, Jose Barzelatto, Allan Rosenfield, Rachel Fruchter, Barbara Seaman, Rita Arditti, Pat Cody, and Rosetta Reitz


Producing a book of this size and scope is an enormous undertaking, one that would not be possible without the help and support of many people. We have been fortunate not only to have received input from more than three hundred contributors but also to have worked with some of the most insightful and dedicated women and men involved in the fields of women's health, reproductive justice, and social activism. This ninth edition of
Our Bodies, Ourselves
reflects the great magnitude of their efforts.

Contributors include nationally recognized experts and women of all ages and backgrounds who shared their stories and reviewed, revised, and rewrote each chapter. We are enormously grateful to all of them for donating their expertise and wisdom, and for collaborating to provide the most accurate, up-to-date, and reliable information about women's reproductive health and sexuality. The contributors are listed individually by chapter in the authorship and acknowledgments section, starting on page 869; short biographical statements begin on page 877.

Special mention is due to Susan Blank, Joan Ditzion, Marjorie Greenfield, Mara Kardas-Nelson, Heidi Moore, Lin Nelson, Marcie Richardson, Gary Richwald, Ellen Shaffer, Jocelyn Sims, Evelina Sterling, Kirsten Thompson, and Susan Yanow—each of whom took on the lion's share of writing and revising at least one chapter and participated in many rounds of discussion and editing.

The women who served alongside us on the
Our Bodies, Ourselves
editorial team are an invincible group. BWHBC founder Wendy Sanford dedicated the better part of the past eighteen months to this project, shepherding multiple chapters from the earliest stages of reaching out to contributors to writing and shaping final drafts. We are most grateful for her patience and nuance with words. OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian and nurse-midwife Amy Romano also oversaw numerous chapters, improving each one with great insight and hands-on knowledge. Ayesha Chatterjee, assistant program manager for the OBOS Global Initiative, worked passionately to include the stories and perspectives of women's groups around the world who have adapted
Our Bodies, Ourselves
into their own languages and for their own cultures. As anyone who has worked on a large project knows, success rests on the details, and so we are indebted to June Tsang, OBOS program assistant, for her careful attention to every task, including integrating edits and organizing graphics, permissions, and contributors' bios.

BOOK: Our Bodies, Ourselves
6.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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