Our Bodies, Ourselves is a book about women's health and sexuality produced by the nonprofit organization Our Bodies Ourselves (originally called the Boston Women's Health Book Collective). First published in 1973, it contains information related to many aspects of women's health and sexuality, including menopause, birth control, childbirth, sexual health, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental health and general well-being.
Now in its 12th edition, and published in over 20 languages and braille, the current edition, calling itself "a new edition for a new era," contains 832 pages, including new pictures, diagrams, and interviews. The New York Times has called the book "America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health" and a "feminist classic." Template:Ref
In addition the book has inspired single-topic spin-off books. In October 2006, the first of these books, Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause was published, and Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth was released in March 2008.
Style[edit | edit source]
The first book was a product of the feminist movement and could still be said to reflect its values. The personal experiences of women are taken into account and are quoted throughout, while the social and political context of women's health informs the content of the book.
Topics such as male-to-female and female-to-male transsexualism/transgenderism are discussed in the most recent edition and considered in a nonjudgmental manner, despite the controversy to which they have been subject within the feminist movement. The writing style of the book tends toward a familiar, inclusive tone, with the authors referring to women and themselves as a collective group.
The current edition uses material published in the 1984, 1992, and 1998 editions, and was made possible from a grant by Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Boston University School of Public Health. The book's advisory committee included Teresa Heinz Kerry, Susan Love, and Gloria Steinem.
Chapter Topics in Book[edit | edit source]
All of the contents of the book is available on the website plus additional web only material.
Taking Care of Ourselves
1: Body Image
2: Eating Well
3: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Mood-Altering Drugs
4: Our Bodies in Motion
5: Complementary Health Practices
6: Emotional Well-Being
7: Environmental and Occupational Health
8: Violence and Abuse
Relationships and Sexuality
9: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
10: Relationships with Men
11: Relationships with Women
13: Sexual Anatomy, Reproduction, and the menstrual cycle
14: Safer Sex
15: Sexually Transmitted Infections
16: HIV and AIDS
17: Considering Parenting
18: Birth Control
19: Unexpected Pregnancy
23: The First Year of Parenting
24: Child-Bearing Loss
25: Infertility and Assisted Reproduction
26: Midlife and Menopause
27: Our Later Years
Medical Problems and Procedures
28: Unique to Women
29: Special Concerns for Women
Knowledge is Power
30: Navigating the Health Care System
31: The Politics of Women’s Health
32: Organizing for Change
Translations[edit | edit source]
The book has been translated into other languages, including adapting the content to suit the needs of women in other cultures. The Our Bodies, Ourselves website has an up to date list of translation projects.
Further reading[edit | edit source]
This article is based on information by the editors of Wikipedia