Reading Our Bodies, Ourselves


Submitted October 16, 2013, 12:55 AM

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
All of my lady friends.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes! and Yes!
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I'm writing a paper on the importance of this book and the history of it.
Name
Suzann
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
late 1980s, early 1990s
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
9
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was my mothers copy and the cover grabbed my attention and she told me to read it if I wanted to, so I did...
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The whole thing kind of blew my little nine year old mind
What had the biggest impact?
the masturbation and menstration
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I do know that a doctor does not have all the answers and that I can stand up for what I believe should and shouldn't be done to my body.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, I've used it throughout my entire life since picking it up in grade 4.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
It totally did! Nothing was a mystery anymore. For example, when I got my period I didn't really freak out because I already knew about it and could obsess over "being a woman" through reading and rereading the book.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It contrasted the information I got at school in that it actually talked about masturbation (which the boys had as a part of their talk, but us girls got pencil drawings of how our boobs would change)


Submitted September 28, 2012, 2:02 PM

What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
All of it - the information, the images, the topics - was new to me, and my mother had quite a job explaining things I read in the book! Because I was so young, I had no context in which to be surprised - I only knew that people didn't talk about many of these things in everyday conversation, so this book was my first foray into those areas.
What had the biggest impact?
While some of the information is now out of date, the ideas, attitudes and approaches have stayed with me throughout my life - the need for openness and honesty with myself in my life as a girl, then as a woman, and the vital importance of women in the world.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Probably - in that I am assertive and questioning with my doctors, and am not satisfied with partial or dishonest answers. I also understand the need to research my health and my body (which is so much easier now than it was then!), and to discuss what I find with my doctors (who are not always very forthcoming).
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
This book was my first introduction to many of the topics inside, and a great supplemental resource for the others. I especially appreciated the experience-based information - the "this is what X feels like" and "you may experience Y" information, which wasn't taught in school!

I have no direct experience of lesbianism, or of childbirth and child raising. The information and personal accounts in the book have given me a window into those worlds and experiences, as well as many others which I haven't known, and I'm very grateful for that.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Very satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Can't say, since I was two when the 1973 edition was published and so can't address its completeness based upon the world in 1973! (It seemed quite comprehensive.)
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely! I doubt that I would have as healthy a relationship with my body and comfort with taking care of myself as I do without having read it at a young age. When I was young, I tended to be a passive, meek girl who did what authority figures told me to do; this book opened up the possibility that not only *could* I ask questions, I *needed* to ask for myself. (And, I still think that it's neat to have known all this stuff long before I hit puberty!)
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Sex-ed in school was 100% plumbing, the mechanics of birth control, or "don't do that". My school didn't seem to feel comfortable teaching sixth-grade girls about all of the various issues, options, etc. (It's a tough call - twelve-year-olds aren't always ready for all of that, but may be dealing with it all too soon.) The book filled in the gaps, and taught me things that I could only understand years (sometimes decades) later.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have no daughters or other young women in my life to give it to (or I would!), but I would recommend the book wholeheartedly to anyone who I thought could use it.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Not yet!
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Haven't had the opportunity.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No, but perhaps someday...
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I've just ordered the new edition of the book, and found the website, from which I visited this survey page.
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Late 1970s - not sure of exact year
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973 edition
How old were you at the time?
Under ten - not sure of exact year
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother had a copy of the 1973 edition, and when I found it on her bookshelf she let me read it. (I still have the book!)


Submitted September 11, 2012, 5:57 PM

Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
completely satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Very much so!
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was factual and informative whereas I only learned about the rhythm method from the churches teachings.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
no
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
My sister sent it to me.
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
mid 70's
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976)
How old were you at the time?
13
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was my older sister's book. I would grab it and read it when she wasn't around.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
no surprises
What had the biggest impact?
The biggest impact for mewas the reproductive information. Growing up Catholic, I didn't get much useful information from the churches teachings.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
no
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Reproduction


Submitted February 22, 2012, 3:45 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
our bodies, ourselves 1973, 1976
How old were you at the time?
24
Who brought the book to your attention?
I probably saw it in a 24-hour crisis hotline center where I volunteered to answer phones.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I think that I was surprised that it covered so much of a woman's experince on so many levels.
What had the biggest impact?
The wholistic look at women's health and sexuality
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
not really, I think that happended much later for me.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
many areas, nutrition, sexuality, having good health
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
can't recall
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
can't recall
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
it was so much more honest and reality- based.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I am sure I did, I can't recall
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
have not read
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no and no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Helped train women volunteers to staff a crisis hotline for domestic violence
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
saw the 40th anniversay is coming up


Submitted November 3, 2011, 12:44 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
no one - I was a nursing student in NY
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
nothing
What had the biggest impact?
women writing about woen and that male MDs weren't the absolute quoted authority
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
not really, but it reinforced my desire, at the time, to become a nurse-midwife
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
no
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
at the time, it was more for "pleasure" rather than for health information, if that makes sense
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
older women
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
not really
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
reinforcement
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
my daughter ;)
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves, Growing Older
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
My healthcare provider is a nurse practitioner
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
yes, by virtue of being alive at the time and advocating for reproductive and access rights
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
heard about the 2011 edition on NPR
Name
Mary Marks


Submitted October 24, 2011, 9:59 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2009
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
the 2005 edition
How old were you at the time?
24
Who brought the book to your attention?
I heard about it on the NPR talk show.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The width of the topics covered and the openess with which women spoke about many issues such as opression, abuse, weight problems, eating patterns, plastic surgeries....the list is very long indeed.
What had the biggest impact?
The nutrition section
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes it did but it also influenced my career choise. After reading this book I decided to pursue a graduate degree in public health.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I read the whole book several times.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was completely satisfied with the book.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
This book gave me a more open and clear picture of women's sexuality and advised me to talk about it myself.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have not yet my I plan to recommend it to my two close friends.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
I did not
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I have not read any other books.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I have never seeked medical treatment or advice form a feminist health clinic.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I found out about it by going to OBOS website.


Submitted October 13, 2011, 2:52 PM

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I learned almost nothing in school. I was of the age where there was a huge gap between learning about your period and learning about the specifics of sexual activity.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes! I bought it for my little sister (I think she was 12) and my parents were stunned.

I later recommended it to the daughter of slightly older friends.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
See above.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
1978 (which a neighbor actually stole from me!), 1998 (which I borrowed from a slightly older friend) and later OBOS versions. I think I eventually owned three editions.
I didn't know about Sacrificing Ourselves until I saw this survey/article.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes. I would never stay in a relationship with a paternalistic physician, but I have had some great male physicians who "get it." My longtime primary care doc is a 1970s-era feminist who practices within very traditional structures and that works well for me.

I do think that OBOS also opened the door to some alternative therapies. but I didn't get that message from the book.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Alternet.
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973
How old were you at the time?
16
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was a very young college student and other women in the dorm and in the groups I began to associate with had copies, at least one had the mimeographed version.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The pictures! And the anecdote about the woman whose partner told her that she was "juicy." I remember being just shocked. I also remember being shocked by the idea that you "should" taste your own menstrual fluid. I didn't but felt like to be a good feminist I should! That seems funny to me now.

The lesbianism didn't concern me, it just didn't pertain to me then, but I think it shaped some of my later interactions with lesbians I met.
What had the biggest impact?
I lived close to the Cambridge women's health care collective and went there at least once for a pap smear. It felt like women were taking our lives into our own hands, and that was exhilarating. It was part and parcel of other emerging activism, including Take Back the Night marches.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes. I early on went to an explicitly feminist gyn practice. She eventually went to an HMO I couldn't join (she said "you won't like it") and I found a feminist internist who would do my gyn exams. (I didn't have a pregnancy.) By that point, being a feminist was just one of my criteria, like the location of the office.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Two key ones. I remember wanting "answers" when I decided to sleep with my serious boyfriend and "lose" my virginity, and OBOS didn't really deal with that decision-making, or tell me what sex with a partner felt like! The later book on teenagers did, but that was too late for me. OBOS was almost too clinical, and was in a weird relationship to the illicit/pornographic images in the culture.

I also sat down at the OBOS office for many hours about 15 years later and read everything they had on endometriosis when I needed to have surgery. I was what Groopman would now call a maximalist, and I think that the existence of OBOS gave me a sense that that was a completely realistic attitude. Now of course, people would use the internet.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
It was always especially important to me that I knew or had met some of the real women who worked on it (Esther Rome, Judy Norsigian, Robbie Pfeuffer). This is of course an opportunity very few readers had, but it gave me an incredible sense of being able to do it for ourselves, literally. And in my mind they were very big celebrities.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
At that point I wouldn't have known what to ask! It gave the framework.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Sure. But as I got older, it felt like OBOS was too gyn-centric. But I also needed it less, and had other sources of accurate and women-centric information. I do think the Endometriosis Association (Mary Lou Ballweg) came out of the same movement and I stayed involved with that.


Submitted October 11, 2011, 7:02 PM

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I direct a women's health initiative in the health center where I work as a nurse now.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I belong to a women's list serve and one of the women in our group sent it to us. I forwarded the message to all of the staff at our health center today on behalf of the women's health initiative that I mentioned above. All day long today, I have received many small notes of gratitude from women in our organization who have told stories of their recollection of this book and how they used it or were introduced to it.
Name
sharon morrison
Who brought the book to your attention?
Women in my college dorm
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The vast array of subjects it covered and all with an underlying message to have me take control of my body.
What had the biggest impact?
I began thinking for the first time about my body as something that I actually had control over or at least a say in how it was treated. Until that time, I had always gone to male doctors. I never really gave thought to the way I was treated in the health care system.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, shortly thereafter, I went into the peace corp and had my first experience with a female doctor. She was astounded and actually outraged that I had been placed on oral contraceptives at the age of 14 to correct irregular periods and that no one had ever spoken to me about the implications of taking those kinds of hormones for that length of time. I remember she said " Your body thinks it has been pregnant for the last 7 years...non-stop"!

Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I do not remember reading the book for any particular issue. But I was so happy to take in all of the information it offered.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was too young and naive to have had an opinion about the content in terms of disagreement.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes. see above
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It opened my mind to a way of thinking that I had never considered.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
No.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No. But now that I am in my 50's I would like to take a look at Ourselves, Growing Older.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
See above. Interestingly, I have never had a male doctor since that time for any health issue other than my eyes. A few years ago, I was sent for a consultation to a urogynocolgist who turned out to be a man in his 60's. I was immediately taken by how he had no direct eye contact with me during my pelvic exam and later as we were talking in his office, the entire conversation was from a medical model of his being the expert with the expectation that I was suppose to not question his diagnosis or treatment plan. ...I never went back to him again.
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
20


Submitted October 11, 2011, 11:37 AM

Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I purchased the book for myself when I went to college and it was a regular reference for me as I matured.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I wished that there was more information on STDs -- that was the area I cared the most about. But I can't think of any area to shorten -- I loved how the book embraced all women at all stages of life.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Tremendously. I felt more empowered. I appreciated the context of my sexual health -- my health overall -- as a feminist issue, a human rights issue.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I filled a major vacuum in my information growing up. It was a key element in my becoming a feminist through college.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, gave a copy to my younger sister. Wish I had had a copy when I was her age (17)
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No. Although I do know that collective remained active in Boston.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I was active in the movement to halt domestic violence and worked full-time at a shelter/service provider for 4 years.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Acquaintance sent a link to this page.
http://www.alternet.org/story/152671/40_years_in,_%22our_bodies,_ourselves%22_is_still_revolutionary_in_its_treatment_of_women's_health?page=entire
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973?
How old were you at the time?
12
Who brought the book to your attention?
Found it at the home of the family I was babysitting for. First sex ed I really got, beyond the where-do-babies-come-from book my mom had me read when I was 8.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
graphic illustrations.
What had the biggest impact?
graphic illustrations. Frankness of the presentation. That it was women centered -- even as a kid I sensed the book was political.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It influenced my relationship with my body and sexuality. Let me know that women could be frank and open with their sexuality, broke down the silence that was even in my own head.


Submitted October 11, 2011, 10:40 AM

How old were you at the time?
21
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was a student at Brandeis University, and a group of us decided to start a peer-counseling sexuality services, Student Sexuality Information Service, which still operates at Brandeis. We found Jan Bumstead, who worked with the OBOS crew, and who came to train us. Our text book was OBOS.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I read it cover to cover at least twice.
What had the biggest impact?
Everything
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It set the tone for all of Brandeis' SSIS operations.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Everything/
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
It was the only book of its kind and we thought it was wonderful. It was, but not everything was included.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes. Definitely.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Everyone all the time. I am sure I have bought and given away at least 50 copies of different iterations of OBOS.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
All except Sacrificing Ourselves for Love.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From my friend Debra.
Name
Ronnie Levin
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
late 1971 or early 1972
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
newsprint


Submitted October 10, 2011, 8:57 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
probably 1991
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
23
Who brought the book to your attention?
My post-college roommates in Worcester.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I remember being a little surprised by the graphic photos, esp. the woman who died from an illegal abortion and the women giving birth.
What had the biggest impact?
The section on sexuality and relationships.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I sought out women doctors after that.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, esp. about STDs.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I wasn't satisfied with the section on medical issues, esp. those that are gynecological in nature.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Yes, vulvodynia.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I had learned very little about women's health and sexuality in school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, I gave it to my younger sister because I suspected that she also didn't get much information about her body and health from school or our parents.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, but not directly.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
A woman posted the link to the AlterNet article to a women's listserv that I am subscribed.


Submitted October 10, 2011, 11:13 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973
How old were you at the time?
20
Who brought the book to your attention?
Press in "The Real Paper," and seeing it at Paperback Booksmith in Coolidge Corner, Brookline.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The idea that I could take responsibility for my own body.
What had the biggest impact?
The section on STDs and symptoms of pelvic/vaginal conditions like yeast infections.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
See above.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was satisfied.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was the first time I learned about the details of the anatomy of my own reproductive system, self-exams, etc.


Submitted October 10, 2011, 8:50 AM

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Learned what in school? I learned about menstruation in Girl Scouts, and any other info came from articles on disorders in housewife mags.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Purchased my own copy, lent it to so-called friends who said it was "too radical", a phrase they usually reserved for my politics.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, but I will.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No, My reproductive health has been superb, probably because of OBOS.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Alternet.
Name
Angie Thomas
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1970
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
Tallahassee Women's Center (Fla State Univ)
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Its total honesty. No euphemisms, hands-on approach-an owner's manual created by owners of the body style.
What had the biggest impact?
Gynecological info. As a Southern lower-income woman, I love(d) any alternatives to spending my low wages on high-dollar services.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Info is power, and power alters relationships.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Contraception, self-satisfaction.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Awed. Delighted.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Home birth and midwifery, in that edition.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. As a disfigured woman, I'd had the idea that my body was public property for defamation, forced on me. By the last page, I had reclaimed ownership, for better or worse.


Submitted October 10, 2011, 8:19 AM

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Well, school had a movie or two about menstruation and that's about it, so OBOS was a wonderful resource.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I gave it to my nieces as they grew into adolescents; I've given it to my friends, and left it out for my sons to read as they grew into young men.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Our Bodies, Ourselves-Menopause. I've loved this book for its clear, reassuring, feminist view of menopause, as have the friends with whom I've shared it.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes; yes
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Not per se. As a counselor and higher ed. professional (and instructor), I believe that I bring this perspective to my work.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Link in an article on the Alter.net site.
Name
Liz
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves 1976
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
Found it in a bookstore
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The candor with which the book was written (across all topics) was refreshing and reassuring. I was absolutely relieved to realize that being a sexual being was nothing of which to be embarrassed.
What had the biggest impact?
I think that the ideas women's sexual needs and desires influenced me most. I also know that I was impacted by the childbirth and delivery materials. When I had children in 1990 and 1992, I had natural childbirth, albeit in a hospital setting. I knew I was 'in charge' of the process.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Absolutely so. I chose (and continue to choose) physicians who appreciate that I know my body.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
It would not be a stretch to say that I learned everything I know about sexuality from OBOS. I also found it was a wonderful health care resource.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was and continue to be completely satisfied with the book.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I think a bit more could have been presented about mental health on a more healthcare centered level.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. I learned that it was my body first and foremost. I was responsible for keeping it well and I had the right to explore it and come to know it.


Submitted October 10, 2011, 6:53 AM

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Only in promoting mammograms and pap smears among my friends. Offering to go with a friend. Accompanied at least two women who got abortions.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Article in AlterNet.
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1971
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
'73
How old were you at the time?
25
Who brought the book to your attention?
Recommended by housemates in Berkeley.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Clear explanations. Frank, non-judgemental information.
What had the biggest impact?
Discussion of sexuality.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes.
Once I contracted an infection and the usual protocol was a strong sulfa drug taken orally. I told the nurse practitioner I had read in OBOS a suppository was safer and just as effective. They consulted with the doctor and agreed.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
General healthcare. Sexuality.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Completely satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Very much so. I became more educated and comfortable.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Much more straightforward and informative. I grew up in the age of a sixth grade presentation of "You're A Young
Woman Now" about menustration and puberty which meant nothing to us at the time.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Gave away more copies than I can count. Recommended to many.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, but should find Ourselves, Growing Older.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Not a strictly feminist health clinic. But preferred women-run and female NPs.


Submitted February 8, 2011, 12:00 PM

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have given it to many people over the years - including my daughter and my granddaughter. My daughter grew up with my copy of the book in the house, it was a right of passage when she got her own copy. Giving a copy of it to my grandaughter was a natural progression.

Why? Because it is a definitive owners manual for women.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, but I think I probably should.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes - and again - YES!
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Volunteer worker in a clinic
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I am currently writing a novel which is based during the early seventies. Our Bodies, Ourselves is actually a topic of conversation at several points in the story.

I was just nosing around to see what was out on the web regarding this book and the work. The study was offered on the website.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Very little, at the time, but over the years it has edged into the process of selection.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
YES. What areas? All of them! Women are complicated and having a reference that not only offers good information, but offers it in a way that is sisterly, means it hangs around and touches everything.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was very satisfied with the book.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The book was the content needed behind the teasing little bit of school efforts, total contrast.
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
A friend
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I think everything surprised me - yet not much really surprised me - it was a major wealth of information for women. Until then information was at best sketchy and mostly it was simply kept hidden away. It opened doors and opened eyes - for me it was like having my own little encyclopedia that applied to my body. Wonderful.
What had the biggest impact?
In many ways the simple frankness and easy flow of the information was something that made everything easier to keep open. It was letting in female energies along with information and that seemes to keep momentum going, at the time I was married - pregnant and believe me when I say there was more information here than my OB/GYN ever thought to discuss with me. There were answers to questions and questions that I had never thought of.

In short I think the fact that it made me think about my body was the biggest impact of all. It also opened up discussions among friends who were reading the book and those were all topics that would most likely been passed over otherwise.


Submitted August 22, 2010, 5:27 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies,Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
a teacher
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
1. Real women's stories I could relate to
2 lesbianism
What had the biggest impact?
Birth control info, self-care
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Gave me more confidence in my own judgment
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
great resource for sexuality, birth control and feminism
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
can't remember
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
would have liked more on teenage emotional development and relationships
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, Hands-down- gave me much greater understanding
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
school stuff was primarily nonsense- "50's era gender-biased which did not address women's sexuality at all
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
All my friends, and I still do. An antidote to gender-biased nonsense even today
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Read newer editions of OBOS
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
web search- OBOS linked to the survey


Submitted May 23, 2010, 2:33 PM

What had the biggest impact?
I can't remember now.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Of course - although I think it would have influenced me indirectly even if I had never read it. But I am clear on the fact that my doctor can't claim superior knowledge of my body, and doesn't have power over me, just an opinion.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Birth control and sexual orientation.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Nothing that broad will ever be perfect.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes - that there are a lot of different kinds of treatments, not all of them part of conventional western medicine, and that I get to choose which is most appropriate.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I went to a very liberal grade school, which had an ok beginning sex ed program that fit together with the book well. My HS sex ed was mostly useless, although at that point I could gather information for myself more effectively (fortunately!).
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I believe so, in the past,although currently I mostly know people who are already quite well informed.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I go to a LGBT clinic, and part of its mission is definitely feminist.
Yes - see "choice of doctor" question."
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Keeping women's clinics open and escorting patients past antichoice demonstrators/blockaders.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Regular reader of Kate Harding http://kateharding.net/. She is doing body image chapter in the new edition; I followed her link to ourbodiesourselves.org and theirs to this survey.
Hey, just noticed you only have two gender choices - I know a lot of trans people and I would suggest you might want to add a write in category if someone wants to add their own description of their gender status.
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1977
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976)
How old were you at the time?
11
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was in my 5th (?) grade classroom library (very liberal school!).
As an adult, the 1992 edition.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I think I absorbed a lot of information that I badly needed; most of my previous feelings about sexuality and body-image, for example, had been formed in very negative ways.
I remember being terrified by a photo of a woman who had died after an illegal abortion; as an adult, abortion/reproductive rights has become massively important to me.


Submitted January 21, 2010, 5:41 PM

What had the biggest impact?
The photo of the woman who had died as a result of an illegal abortion...slumped on her knees in a motel room.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No, I was a child and had no choice in the matter, but I certainly have made very concious choices with my Drs since.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Absolutely. All areas, learning about masturbation, sex, STDs, etc.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Yes, I was.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, it taught me all about what to expect as I grew up and gave me the ability to stand up for myself both in relationships and in healthcare situations.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It made me question the "truth" of what they taught in high school, enabled me to question why we spent so much time on men's health and genitalia in class and why the clitoris was not even discussed...my teacher was not impressed, but the other students were. The guys thought I was a weirdo, but the girls just wanted more information.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Recommend all the time and still do loan it out and have given it as a gift numerous times. My friends started calling me "The Vagina Lady" about 13yrs ago...:)
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves and Our Children and Changing Bodies, Changing Lives.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Frequently, yes.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes, as a pro-choice demonstrator/organiser, a doula and now a midwife.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Through the OBOS site.
Name
Jennifer Duggan
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
5
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother, it was her copy...:)
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Nothing...it just fascinated me.


Submitted November 16, 2009, 8:14 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2007
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother gave me a copy before I left for my first year of university.
What had the biggest impact?
This book has been my go to for accurate and relevant information about sexual health. Even with an endless supply of information available on the internet, I still find myself turning to OBO.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I have always had a good relationship with my doctor, however, this book has always been my first resource. I consulted it before talking to my doctor about birth control.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I would like to know more about health practices that relate specifically to women, especially the recent HPV vaccines.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes. It is quite empowering.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I often often used the book as a resource for friends who have come to me seeking advice. One day I will give this book to my own daughter.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No, but I would like to become more involved.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I came to the web page seeking information about BWHC's opinion on the Gardasil vaccine.


Submitted November 15, 2009, 4:23 PM

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
See answer above - worked for Planned Parenthood, volunteer with NARAL and NOW.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Friend of a blogger on the Our Bodies, Ourselves blog.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Not directly, but it added to my knowledge and therefore made me less likely to just blindly accept whatever my doctor told me.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Not really - I read the entire thing and loved every part of it. Of course, at 18, I was more interested in the sections on sex and sexuality. As a 31-year-old, I'm re-reading the sections on pregnancy, birth, and relationships.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I'm not sure - I would have to go back and re-read it. I know that reading it now, as an adult, there are things on which I have different opinions, but I don't disagree with any of the book's content.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
YES! I finally had a good basic reference to go to when weird things started happening to my body - for example, my first yeast infection. I was really freaked out, and I did go to the doctor, but OBOS was my first stop (and allowed me to figure out what was probably happening and not be so nervous).
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
As mentioned above, my school "sex ed" was worse than useless. So the book was pretty much the bomb.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, everyone - even those like my mom who were not super interested in actually *discussing* topics like sex and health.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves, Growing Older - such a good book.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes - I worked for Planned Parenthood for six years. OBOS contributed to that indirectly by fueling my interest in women's health and women's rights.
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1997
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1976)
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
No one - I found it at the used bookstore (and immediately bought it, of course).
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
It was so straightforward - my "sex ed" in high school was total crap (taught by a women's softball coach who was anti-abortion and anti-birth control) and I had never seen information presented in a basic way that didn't try to sway the reader one way or another.
What had the biggest impact?
The section on sex throughout life - I never thought about 40-year-olds having sex. But it was eye-opening that yes, "older" adults still had sex, and it was still good -- and that the sexual experience could and would change throughout one's lifetime.


Submitted April 21, 2009, 12:54 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1977
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1976)
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was issued to all incoming women students at Vassar College.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I suppose the graphic photos and masturbation instructions surprised me.
What had the biggest impact?
I'm sorry to say it had very little impact. Having received it in an official capacity, I promptly put it on my bookshelf and all but ignored it for most of my years in college--as I would have ignored a University Bulletin or other student manual.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Not until many years later, and not as much as I might have had I discovered the book on my own.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I remember finding all the "explore your own body" messages a bit off- putting.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not that I remember noticing.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, later, but not when I first received it.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Well, I had had pretty thorough and explicit sex education classes in high school in California, but the book certainly added a more overtly feminist perspective to these issues. But since it was issued to me as, in effect, a textbook from an educational institution, I have always considered that it constituted part of "what I learned in school about women's health and sexuality" .
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
No.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No. However, a few years later I ended up doing research and publishing on the history of literature, medicine and psychology, focusing in particular on women's health and mental health issues.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I attended a talk and workshop by Susan Wells from her forthcoming book on the history and rhetoric of Our Bodies, Ourselves.


Submitted January 14, 2009, 12:46 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1990-ish
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
18 or 19
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was on the shelf at my campus Women's Resource Center. I still have my own first copy of The New Our Bodies, Ourselves: Updated and Expanded for the '90s on my bookshelf.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The famous photo of the dead woman in the motel room, after an illegal abortion. I used to photocopy it and paste it over the fetus picture on "abortion stops a beating heart" flyers that campus pro-life organizations left in the Women's Resource Center lit rack.

I plan to show the documentary "Leona's Sister Gerri" in my Women's Health course this semester.
What had the biggest impact?
The physical reality of having all that information compiled in one place. Instead of needing to dig around for answers to lots of separate questions and make the initial connections myself, I was able to take in and work from the collection of other women's experiences with this process.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It certainly reinforced my inclination to do my own research about evidence-based standards, and to get second opinions. Now that I have more material resources, I am able to choose a physician who is willing to be collaborative rather than patronizing (mostly).
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes! Excellent resource for information about contraceptive options.

I toted my copy around with me as a reference for answering other people's questions, too. It was a safety net during life skills presentations on safer sex with an inpatient psychiatric population-- patients had questions way outside the range of what I'd prepared for.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
It's been a long time. I can't say with any certainty, but I do remember a general dissatisfaction with academia (and the version of feminism associated with it) in terms of not including women living in rural poverty.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not that I can think of, other than perhaps women in poverty (especially rural women).
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Very much so. It validated my growing sense that, when my experience contradicted textual information, the text could be wrong.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I didn't learn much in school about women's health or sexuality until I was working on a master's degree. These were largely absent from my public education, with the exception of the classic filmstrips about menstruation and feminine hygeine products supplied by pad manufacturers.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I recommended the book to everyone. I don't think I had the resources at the time to buy books for people.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I require the current edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era for a college-level course I teach on women's health. It's a fantastic resource. I'm thrilled that more copies are circulating around campus every semester. I've heard that the campus bookstore tends to sell out, well before everyone enrolled in the class has purchased a book; and hardly anyone sells it back.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Sort of. I went to a direct-entry midwife for prenatal care during my second pregnancy, and I used symptothermal family planning for several years, as taught by a direct-entry midwife.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I am a registered nurse with clinical experience in inpatient maternal-neonatal and gynecologic care. I teach an OB clinical course for a baccalaureate nursing program, and I teach an interdisciplinary Women's Health course from an explicitly feminist perspective.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I use the OBO webpage as support material for the course that requires the book. I decided to explore the site today, in order to find resources that could help my traditional-aged college students get their heads around the sociohistorical context of Second Wave feminism.


Submitted November 14, 2008, 12:17 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1990
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1984
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
College dorm RC who was enthusiastic about women's health issues.
What had the biggest impact?
No major impact at the time, since the biology was familiar, and some of the controversial issues still felt far away.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Reread later edition of OBOS and read OBOS upon becoming pregnant this year. Found both books to be a rare source of sane advice in what I discovered to be a plethora of bad and/or unrealistic advice.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Selected a midwifery clinic for current pregnancy based upon dissatisfaction with OB treatment for previous pregnancy loss and advice in OBOS Pregnancy Guide. Used OBOS-recommended criteria to make my own decisions about prenatal care provider and prenatal lifestyle choices.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Occasionally attended pro-choice rallies in college.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Google. (Looking for research about maternity leave).


Submitted November 9, 2008, 11:42 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2006
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1998
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
My best friend at Smith College
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
that abortion photo: the woman bleeding to death on the floor

and graphic descriptions of sex and masturbation
What had the biggest impact?
the openness and honesty - real terms, real women's voices (the way we actually talk to each other about these issues - or wish we did!)
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
absolutely! I still go to the same doctor who birthed me - but I go prepared, I ask questions and I know that I can always go home and read up on what might be wrong with me too.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yeah - I used it myself when I skipped six months of periods (with no chance I could be pregnant) to see what might be going on inside my body. I also passed it along to my little sister to ease her fears about starting to have sex with her boyfriend, about getting pregnant, not being able to have an orgasm. In a way, her reading OBOS helped us even to start talking about her sex life.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Aside from the way my Mom talked about our bodies, the culture of women's health I had always known was one of disgust - about periods, about birth, about yeast infections and hormonal changes. I appreciate my body so much more now that I understand it.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
I'm doing an oral history with Jane Pincus right now! I can't believe how accessible all of the original 12 are.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I'm hoping to be - as a nurse-midwife - after I graduate this spring.


Submitted March 16, 2008, 8:25 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1989
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
My college roommate. She wanted me to understand her experience as a survivor of sexual abuse.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
In regards to my roommate, how accurate the descriptions of her behavior as a survivor of incest.
What had the biggest impact?
The graphic photos of the woman who died from a botched, back-alley abortion.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Not really, but I did feel more informed. Perhaps it meant I didn't need to ask as many questions, because I understood more.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I'm sure I probably did at the time but I do not recall, almost 20 years later!
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I remember that it was highly politically charged but since it matched my beliefs it was not offensive to me.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Not just mine but others as well.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Huh??? They didn't teach us anything in School!!!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Just today. I mentioned it to an Author friend who is writing a book that involves sexual abuse. I said there was no better resource for understanding the long term affects.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I googled the book to give a friend more information and found out their was a webpage. I navigated to the study from the History page.


Submitted February 13, 2008, 7:49 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1970
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1970
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
don't remember
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
all of the above
What had the biggest impact?
instructions on examining myself
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
absolutely
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
sexual response and reproduction
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I refer to myself now as part of the OBOS movement
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
when I experienced urinary incontinenece I was not impressed Ourselves growing older
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
absolutely
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Long a student of my body I had to glean my knowledge from Dr. Spock, Cosmo, marriage manuals that someone's sister had
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
everyone! from my mother-in-law to my daughter
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Changing Bodies, Ourselves Growing older
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes, yes, and yes. Ended up working in women's health
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Health on line magazine. Gladly followed the link from Judy Norsigian's Q&A. Looking for a job.
Name
Maryann


Submitted November 26, 2007, 7:11 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1996
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
the new our bodies, ourselves
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
an acquaintance at my college.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
the frank tone-- i was looking for information on contraception but ended up reading the entire book. it was illuminating and useful without being condescending or judgmental in any way.
What had the biggest impact?
the section on childbirth-- it was demystifying in a good way.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
my feminist mother always took me to female doctors where feasible, and encouraged me to be outspoken with them so this wasn't really an issue. however, 'our bodies, ourselves', made me realise that this sort of upbringing was, sadly, not the norm!

Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
i did and continue to do so now. i find, these days, the discussions of childbirth and identity are even more relevant as i contemplate motherhood.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
i would have been interested in a more detailed discussion of sexual health, just as a useful guide, but on the whole i found the book to be useful and illuminating.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
perhaps the most recent update has addressed this issue, but i find the discussion of life immediately following the birth of a child, incomplete. probably this is due to my current fears on the topic!

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
it reinforced the fact that taking responsibility for your own body is of paramount importance and also highlighted masculine biases in the healthcare system-- something which, especially as a 17 year old, i hadn't thought much about.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
my school was thorough when it came to discussing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy but had a strong abstinence message. i had already had discussions about sex with my mother but there were always a few questions i was too embarrassed to ask-- 'our bodies ourselves' provided the answers! it was great to see a positive sexual message with no media association.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
the girl in my dorm who owned the only copy of 'our bodies ourselves' was lovely about lending it out-- even to strangers. my circle of friends referred to it simply as 'the book' and recommended it to everyone we knew who wanted an easy reference point without going straight to the college health center.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
i was curious about the existence of a new edition of 'our bodies, ourselves' as i am still reading the 1998 edition.
Name
Kate


Submitted October 24, 2007, 9:55 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Approx. 1977 or 1978
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973, I believe
How old were you at the time?
between 7-8 years old
Who brought the book to your attention?
No one really brought it to my attention. My mother had the book in the house and it was not a "secret" next to (or in) the nightstand. It was almost like a coffee table book.

I was told I could read it or look at it any time I wanted to.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Being so young, I loved the pictures! The topics like masturbation and lesbianism were really beyond my congitive development at the time, as was most of the text, actually.

I guess I got a feeling out of the book about my body and about being female more than anything else at the time.

It was sort of normalized as a part of my life...just like having Harold and the Purple Crayon home from the library.
What had the biggest impact?
I think being exposed to this so young had the greatest impact. I picked things up somewhat by osmosis, from continued exposure. For that reason, nothing ever was shocking or surprising. Being an adult and a parent now, I am shocked about what I read that didn't affect me at the time! I, of course, am very open (as is my husband) with our children, and I wonder how much they really understand about what we talk about and have around for them to read and view.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Well, considering that I decided to have homebirths with midwives for my two children...I'd say I certainly had a different relationship with my doctor, as well as my choice of doctors throughout my adult life.

I will only work with physicians (primary care or ob/gyn, etc.) who are partners in health care with me. I will not be "treated" for anything. I have even had to have some invasive test procedures and minor surgery that I chose local anesthetic for rather than anesthesia or sedation of any kind. I want to be THERE and an active participant in even surgical care!
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Since this book was "around" for my entire literate life, I sought it out for different things at different times. It is a good healthcare resource and also a resource that is accurate and honest and "plain" about sexuality. There are no value judgments, just lots of information, which is WONDERFUL!
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I have not revisited the book for some time now, even though I have a current copy in my home. Overall, I think I am quite satisfied with the book.

The way things are presented, I do not think there are things that are disagreeable. I think information is presented through some story in applicable areas, that show different viewpoints and I think the health and birth control information is factual, and so, undeniable.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Since I have not revisited the text recently, I cannot say for certain. I don't remember a big section on choice in maternity care, per se. And, a section on "general self-advocacy" would be helpful. I realize the entire book is about self-advocacy...but I know plenty of women who would benefit from the plain statement of this kind of thing.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. While I credit my mother with raising me to feel happy and healthy in my skin, Our Bodies, Ourselves went a long way toward giving me a concrete way of understanding my body and my health. OBOS gave me "words" for the attitude with which I was raised.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
In school, there was no learning about women's health or sexuality. The "movie" was nothing in comparison to the education I got from my mother, other books and OBOS.

And, the information drastically contrasted with what I knew other girls were hearing/learning...or not learning, as the case often was!

OBOS contributed significantly to my understanding of women's health and sexuality by offering information and stories from the voices of other women. This made me feel like I could trust my own voice on these issues.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have given this book many times over the years and I recommend it for inclusion in every home library! I think it is a historically significant text, as well as valuable for its own information and original in the presentation of that information.

Friends have gotten this book from me. Also, I have the new version in the house for my son and daughter to explore as they'd like.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Not to date, I have not. However, I have dreamed our a maternity companion book something along the lines of "Our Bodies, Our Babies."
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, I have not read these texts.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I do not believe I have sought care from a feminist health clinic.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I have been actively involved in promoting self-advocacy in medical care. Specifically, I have been a breastfeeding counselor for mom's returning to work through La Leche League in the past. I also served on the Massachusetts Friends of Midwives Board of Directors for many years and produced three editions of their Directory of Birthing Resources, the 7th, 8th and 9th.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I visited the Our Bodies Ourselves webpage. My reason for visiting is because I am exploring my literacy history as part of my graduate coursework in adult learning. Since Harold and the Purple Crayon and Our Bodies, Ourselves are my two first books that I read independently...I am doing research into these publications.
Name
Kate W. Robinson


Submitted October 23, 2007, 3:16 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976 (?)
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973
How old were you at the time?
high school
Who brought the book to your attention?
the librarian in our town hid it, so I knew it had to be worth reading
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
lesbianism; hadn't heard of such a thing!
What had the biggest impact?
information not tinged with moral judgment

Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
for three decades!
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
just read the menopause book
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
wanted more on emotional issues surrounding menopause
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
you're kidding, right?

all I learned in school was that I would Soon Become A Woman. I think it had something to do with a blooming rose and Kotex pads.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, for years: my students, my daughters especially
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No, but have spent a lifetime seeking feminist medical care in mainstream operations.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes, in college/early 20s very active in NARAL as fundraiser
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
google; read the small print


Submitted October 12, 2007, 11:11 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
During or shortly after college, mid-late 80s - early 90s
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992)
How old were you at the time?
late teens, early 20s
Who brought the book to your attention?
Friends or college professors. I may have purchased it when I started in recovery for incest issues.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I loved the book. I was somewhat surprised by the photo-negative image of lesbian lovers on a wheelchair, but glad for the inclusiveness.
What had the biggest impact?
Being told it was okay to be who I was and where I was with my own sexuality.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
YES! I had always preferred women ob/gyns and the book was very affirming about women's medical experience and wisdom, past & present.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, esp. lesbianism (coming out), sexual abuse & healing, and general bodily care.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I found it somewhat limiting in that it did not seem to addess certain non-P.C. areas of women's lives, like having *happy* relationships with men, or safe & consensual bdsm, or the many issues surrounding not having children. I was also very surprised all these years later to only recently learn about the true structure of the clitoris, from a different women's text, which I would have liked to have known many years ago.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
As above, I would have liked to have known about the research and findings on the more substantial structure of the clitoris than is usually illustrated and explained in health books. Also, I am especially unhappy with the newest version of OBOS, because I am "childfree" and it devotes a few mere references to all of us non-childbearing women, even though we are a rapidly-growing minority and need safe spaces to explore all of our feelings and concerns about choosing not to have children. Also I don't recall if it covered transgender and other non-normative gender identifications at all.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
OBOS was helpful to me beginning to understand that women really are different (from men) and special, unique beings with our own needs and wants. At the time I first read it, I was seeking validation that I was still "normal" and somewhat conforming with other people's experiences. Now I read it more to confirm my own experience and less to worry about whether or not if fits with other women's experiences. I recommend it to all women.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Mostly it was more affirming than the "neutral" stuff I learned in school. Also I liked the excerpts from "real people" in the text. It expanded my knowledge base about my body and women's bodies in general, and I liked especially that it was affirming of taking yoga, tai chi, dance, and other movement classes and opportunities to help stay present in one's own body. I liked that it did not pretend sexual abuse, assault, harassment, etc., do not exist. I want it to be more inclusive of all women, including trans & genderqueer.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I always recommend the book to young women, because I believe we are taught many falsities by our culture and media. I was thrilled to discover a book put out by a women's collective and I want to support their efforts. I think women's ancient and historic wisdom has been pushed out of the "medical" and scientific arenas for a long time and I want to see them growing in strength and reputation again.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No, but I would like to (see above).
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, but I'm sure I will need to reference some of them as I enter my mid-life and older years.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes. I always sought out feminist and/or lesbian ob/gyn's and doctors because of the reasons noted above.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I was involved briefly in encouraging the publisher of Lesbian Health News in Columbus, Ohio.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I am aware of Dr. Klein through her work at the University of Cincinnati.


Submitted October 5, 2007, 5:48 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
24
Who brought the book to your attention?
I found it in a bookstore.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
What surprised me about the book, was the fact of it.
What had the biggest impact?
Again, the fact of it. The validation of everything I believed in.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Absolutely. I became an even more vigorous advocate for women's health, and worked at a women's health clinic, where women were not treated like hysterical babies.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
The book did introduce me to issues of sexuality of which I had not been previously aware.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I recall being annoyed by the home birth section, which seemed to glorify that choice, instead of presenting it as one.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Single parenting. It wasn't 'popular'. Relationships, validation...all of it.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. And the book was worn thin as a reference. We, the clinic, obtained many copies which we gave to women, and men.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The book didn't really explore sexuality as deeply as it might, but there surely was more information than I'd learned.

I was raised in a women's health-conscious household, so wasn't surprised by that information.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
We distributed many copies of the book as an educational tool. But we didn't leave it at that. We established an on-going diaglogue with clients, based, in large part, on the book.

The first non-client person I gave it to was my daughter.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Yes.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I was overly-loyal, perhaps, to the original OBO -- the style and presentation -- everything. It as the BIBLE, after all. And when I looked at Ourselves and Our Children, for example, it didn't seem to relate to me. Same was true with CBCL, and OGO.


Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Worked at one.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Women's Health Services Coordinator. But every day, and in every way, an advocate on all need levels.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
A happy accident. I had forgotten about the Boston Women's Collective, and was doing a Yahoo! search under for guerilla breast cancer. Found ya!
Name
healthcareguerilla


Submitted October 5, 2007, 3:02 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1988
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1976
How old were you at the time?
21
Who brought the book to your attention?
a feminist friend
What had the biggest impact?
I don't remember specifically. It came to me right when I was discovering feminism and I can't separate this book from so many others. I remember being awed that this book even existed.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I used this book to read about lesbianism. I had been in a relationship with a woman and when she told me she wanted me to be with her and her boyfriend, I ran screaming back into the closet for a year (and did a lot of drinking that year). I started looking at my sexuality again when I read that book.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes and yes. After I came out and then moved to a more open city than where I was from, I sought out feminist doctors.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I found out about this study from the OBOS website. I went to the website because my friend Wendy Sandford had a story published in Narrative Magazine about early organizing of OBOS. I knew that she was involved in the beginning of OBOS but I had no idea to what extent.


Submitted July 13, 2007, 8:43 PM

Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Awed by the whole phenomenon.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Don't remember, to be honest.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes -- the feminist approach was empowering and clarifying.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was more informative and matter of fact and, of course, written from a progressive woman's point of view.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Gave a copy of the current version to my 22 year old when she was a teenager.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes and yes.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From the OBOS website.
What had the biggest impact?
Its frankness and completeness.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes. Active consumer vs passive recipient.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Reproductive issues in a real-life context.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Its frankness and completeness.
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was in college in Boston and it was the height of the women's movement. Of course I knew about it!
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Early 1970s
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves


Submitted June 13, 2007, 4:06 AM

Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It made me more confident to ask questions and get second opinions. If a doctor didn't answer my questions or respect me as a paitent, I went elsewhere.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
In those days I worried a lot about getting diseases or pregnant.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
The earlier versions seemed like they were written by well educated liberal white woman for the same audience. It made me a little cynical. A few photos of brown skinned women didn't change my impression. I guess it's different now, I see the book in different languages and editions.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, now I'd like to read the menopause edition.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
My first sex ed was in grade school, very basic, so that doesn't count! I had a good human sexuality class in college by a male professor who was quite open and funny.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I wish I could give it to French women, where I live now. There is a lot of emphasis on romance here, but the French are actually fairly ignorant about the mechanics of sex. Maybe it's an old Catholic mindset. My husband is French and he is amazed that I know so much about my body, he is sure that his sisters would never question a doctor the way I do. His first wife refused to have oral sex with him so he is delighted that I enjoy this. The Latin mindset still seems to be rooted in the Madonna - Whore syndrome.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
When I lived in Seattle I was fortunate to find many doctors who had a feminist perspective already. In Berkeley I was less enchanted with a clinic who made a big deal out of marketing themselves as feminists and were pretty self-righteous about it, which bored me. I am 48 so I am not an ex-hippie nor am I in the X-Generation. I gravitated towards the younger 'lipstick-feminists' in Berkeley, they seemed confident of what they wanted and most importantly, they were HAPPY! When I worked at Radcliffe I was surrounded by some grey-frizzy haired women with hairy legs and sandals, everyone was always indignant about something. They were no better or worse than the Taliban.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I created a multi-lingual database of health info for the YMCA when I lived in San Franciisco. It was basic health flyers translated to various Asian languages.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I would like to buy the menopause edition of OBOS
What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1976
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
I sw it at a Planned Parenthood in Seattle
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
It was very practical, like a friend talking to me. I was not inhibited about my body at that time but I lacked more in-depth info.
What had the biggest impact?
I was shocked to see a photo of a woman who died from having an ilegal abortion. She was crouched face forward on the floor, her blood pooling under. It enraged me that she had to suffer and die like this. Years later when I was in the Graduate Studies program at Radcliffe (writing business plans for non-profits) , I interviewed some people at the organization and wrote a paper about Our Bodies Ourselves. I included a photocopy of this picture in my presentation to the class. The instructor was adversarial in the Q & A after my presentation. Others in the class picked likeable non-profit groups like seeing eye dogs. I was the only person to choose what the instructor clearly saw as an 'inappropriate' subject. I wonder what she was so afraid of, that she needed to attack me this way?


Submitted April 28, 2007, 1:04 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1977
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1976
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
my sister had it
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
graphic photos ...
What had the biggest impact?
info on birth control/abortion
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
no
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
yes - all areas
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
completely satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
none
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
absolutely.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I did not learn anything in school or at home. The book filled a void.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
all my friends.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
yes - all great resources
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
yes - was an administrator for a family planning clinic
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
from obos web site


Submitted May 20, 2006, 1:30 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
around 1972
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
must have been N Eng Free Press, but I could be off a year - possibly 1973 version
How old were you at the time?
25
Who brought the book to your attention?
my best friend from childhood and my feminist coming-of-age roomate from grad school was living in Boston and she sent it to me. I immediately sat and read through the book and felt a shift in my world view. Some of my housemates asked what I was reading and there was clearly a sense that it was subversive in some way!
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
access to medical knowledge and open discussion of lesbianism
What had the biggest impact?
open discussion of lesbianism - very affirming for about to be coming out lesbian!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It made me start asking for women doctors, they I did not find feminist doctors, or even many women doctors, for several years.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I think that the overall impression of empowerment concerning health care, demystifying medical authority, and taking responsibility for health knowledge was more important than any particular medical/health information
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
no dissatisfaction at the time
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
can't recall feeling that way at the time
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes - helped shift to a sense of ownership that paralleled my feminist consciousness re: intelletual life
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
key points: doctor is not the only authority and lesbianism is not a taboo subject
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
yes - women friends at the time, students since then
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I bought an updated edition (1990s) but have not read the specialized books.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, and I'm sure it was related.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was collecting documents for the 1970s women's movement to use in my women's studies classes, in which I tell students about the history of OBOS.


Submitted May 3, 2006, 9:38 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I don't remember.
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Probably the 1992 version
How old were you at the time?
I was in high school.
Who brought the book to your attention?
My therapist. Sex was a shameful subject in our family, but my therapist kept telling me it was okay. I was attracted to boys but I kept my desire in check. One day she said, "Do you let yourself touch yourself?" and all of a sudden I remembered masturbating as a young child. I went to find the book in the library and looked at it secretively to make sure other people masturbated--that I wasn't alone.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I think all the graphic photos were shocking, but I was excited and relieved to see them. I thought, hey these people aren't afraid of their bodies. They've got guts to show them off like this!
What had the biggest impact?
There was a picture of a family--the kid(s?) were in the front and the mother and father were kissing behind them. i thought, wow, there's a couple that actually loves each other. You mean you can be parents and be in love at the same time??
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It definitely did. I consulted older women (I was in high school) about whom to see. I felt really scared about having a pelvic exam, so I wanted to make sure I got a feminist doctor because I thought she would understand young women's issues better.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, because sex was such a hush-hush subject, I really wanted to learn everything possible. It was such a relief that somebody was acknowledging sexuality. I was mainly interested in heterosexual sex and masturbation at the time, I believe.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I didn't disagree with it. If anything, I wished it could have even been longer! With more stories. I remember a woman in the book talking about how her husband liked to go down on her. I couldn't believe it. I thought, really? Wait, are there more guys like him out there? I thought all men thought vaginas were gross.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I didn't read it cover to cover, so I don't know.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. It taught me that it was okay to HAVE a body, for goodness sake--to have private parts, to have desire.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was much more up-front and positive. I got a sense that these women weren't shy about being women. They were delighted to have and explore their bodies and selves. At school the teachers were pretty positive and open, but I always felt very self-conscious. Alone in the library, I could smile about it.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
No, because in the 90's it was already famous.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I have read parts of Ourselves, Growing Older. I'm glad somebody is addressing the later years of life. I feel very afraid of growing older, and I'm 27. I feel like you lose your worth as a woman. My mom, who died young, was always very ashamed of her body, and was very de-sexed when I was growing up, so I equate growing older with becoming unattractive and less worthy of love.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No, but I did see a feminist doctor.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was searching for information on the history of women's bodies in America (a la Joan Jacobs Brumberg) for a timeline for a women's history class.
Name
Anonymous


Submitted April 26, 2006, 7:27 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Spring Semester 2005
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1998--the gray "dirty hippie" version
How old were you at the time?
20
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was a required text for my Intro to Women's Studies Course at St. Olaf College, so I guess my professor (D. LeBlanc) first brought the book to my attention.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
It's huge!

I loved the photographs (esp. the one of the woman masturbating) and the personal testimony.

Perhaps what suprised me the most is the fact that it truly is useful. I had to buy it for a Women's Studies course, but within the first few weeks of owning it, I was using it to help my women friends answer question about birth control and other health issues.
What had the biggest impact?
I think the Boston Women's Health Collective is amazing: that some women could come together, recognize a need, and create a solution. Especially when one thinks about the impact of BWHBC and OBOS and similar organizations, how much gynecology and health care in general have changed because of feminist pressures, it really makes one aware of the fact that she can make change in the world. The book and the story of its existence are truly inspiring!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I would say it, and my Women's Studies background, have made me more aware of doctor-patient interactions and about what I should ask.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, my college friends and I have used it to answer questions regarding birth control, menstrual problems, etc.

I also used it as a text for an Intro to Women's Studies course, so pretty much skimmed the entire book: sexuality, abortion, birth control, aging, pregnancy and birth--all these issues were taught with the aid of OBOS.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I am satisfied with the book. I own the '98 gray version and I don't like the new pink one very much. But otherwise, I' satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
None that I've encountered yet, but I'll let you know.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, I think it did. At the very least, I know that there is a handy resource I can turn to that will help me address heath issues. I call OBOS the "owner's manual for the female body." It's nice to have something like that in a world where we're told women's bodies are "out of control." To know, yes, this problem is something, and, yes, other women have had it, and here's what you do about it, is comforting.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Again, I bought it as a college text book, so it was my college education regarding sexuality and health.

In high school, health class certainly never got so explicit. I don't think we ever covered same-sex issues, abortion, or masturbation. I also think that the section on the aging process is a critical feature of OBOS.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
YES! All my girl friends. OBOS is such a great resource.

Tomorrow, my college's feminist club is hosting an OBOS Celebration and we're going to talk about what we love about the book, it's inspiring history, and the difference among the editions.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No, I haven't.

But I have looked at referenced websites or books. I think the section references are invaluable.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, I haven't.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No, I haven't.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.

But I am involved in an advocacy organization for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I got here from the OBOS website in the "Our History" section.
Name
Meghan


Submitted April 22, 2006, 8:40 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1985
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies,Ourselves (1984)
How old were you at the time?
16
Who brought the book to your attention?
I saw it listed in an offer to join a book club.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Almost everything!! Graphic photos and abortion the most. I remember feeling angry about abortion; at that time I was clueless about life and being a woman, and would have been considered 'pro-life'.
What had the biggest impact?
Honestly, the book as a whole.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes. I had a male doctor up until I was 18; when I moved away from home, it was very important for me to have a female doctor, which I did.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
My body as a whole, particularly my genitals and sexuality in general.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
At the time, yes, I disagreed with abortion.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I don't think so.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
It helped tremendously! I learned so much from this book that I never heard, saw, or read anywhere else.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
These topics were not covered at all in school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
At the time, no-it was my special secret book!!! I supposed I felt that at 16, maybe I really should not have been reading it, that it was for adults only.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No. I have only purchased and read 3 editions of OBOS, and will be buying the most recent edition.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes. I learned about Planned Parenthood from the book.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I wrote letters to newspaper editors and politicians, created and printed posters, confronted protesters outside a hospital, and I currently search the web and contact anti-choice sites.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was looking for information about the latest edition of OBOS through a web search.
Name
Shelley


Submitted March 20, 2006, 9:01 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
The local woman health clinic.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The graphic photos.
What had the biggest impact?
That it was okay to talk about our bodies as females.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I felt that I didn't need to see a male OB-GYN to get answers. That I could talk to a nurse midwife and get more understandable information.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Sexually transmitted diseases.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I like it.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I don't remember.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
It helped me ask more questions.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
My parents never talked to me much about sex. School only covered biology at the time and I think we avoided most of those parts.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I used it as a reference when I had to start talking to my daughter.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, but it wasn't because of information I read in the book. I found out I was pregnant and was not in a position that I could have a baby. I went to the clinic for help in deciding what to do.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No. I was a very passive young woman and didn't realize the importance of the movement at the time.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I am doing rearch for a paper on Menopause then and now. My main resource is the book "The Silent Passage", by Gail Sheehy. I'm to analize menopause back in history (prior to 1990's) to today. In trying to get enough on how menopause was viewed back then I remembered your book and thought it would be a good resource of how what people were thinking back then and how society dealt with menopause (or didn't deal at all). Your time line of how the book first began will be very helpful.


Submitted February 21, 2006, 6:55 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973 S&S
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
my boyfriend! pointed it out to me in a bookstore. I bought my first OBOS that day. still have the book and the boyfriend.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
drawings
What had the biggest impact?
I got very behind in school! When I would sit down to do work the OBOS book would be the first that I opened - I read that book the whole month of September of my junior year of college. This book started me on my lifelong career in women's health - pretty big impact.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
probaby
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I used it to read about everything! I was most interested in the information about sexual intimacy, contraception, abortion and pregnancy at the time.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
The book really opened my eyes to information and the concept of women being in charge of their health.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
can't say - it was an early issue - look at how much it has grown in these 30 years!
I am really happy to see how many topics are not included - especially environmental health issues because they are often misunderstood.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
YES YES YES
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
In school, in 1970 and 1971 I had some health classes but really only recall STD education - not birth control and certainly not sexual intimacy
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
probably each of my college roommates had her own copy
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
I once worked with Susannah Cooper Doyle in providing information about Natural Family Planning
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
yes, all but Sacrificing Ourselves for Love.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes and yes

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I worked at the NH Feminist Health Center in Portsmouth , NH in 1981 and was on the early board for The Mabel Wadsworth Women's Health Center from about 1985-1990. I am a member of the National Women's Health Network - for at least 10, probably 18 years.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I am working on a talk for women's history month and was "googling" the women's health movement. I use the current OBOS in a women's health class that I teach so I have explored the web site.


Submitted December 4, 2005, 2:56 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
saw it in a feminist bookstore in Cambridge
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
wasn't "surprised" I guess
What had the biggest impact?
just its very existence
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
yes--I found Bill Baird Clinic--then on Boylston St, Boston, I think--looking to get my Dalkon Shield removed!
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
yes--six years later (1979), when happily pregnant against all odds and after three operations (that damn Dalkon Shield), I first turned to OBOS for info re: pregnancy
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
no disagreement
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
at the time--probably not
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes, definitely
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I had learned nothing in school--grew up in NH in the 60s...
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
gave it to my daughter for her 14th birthday (1997)--the New OBOS
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no--though I read a recent commentary on the latest edition (and I confess I can't now recall by whom or where), critical of the new publication from the BWHC with section on bikini waxing--if you happen to know of this critique, I'd appreciate the cite--while I was surprised that such is included, I guess it makes sense if only to reach many young women of today
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes--see above--and when Bill Baird's clinic closed down, I started going to PP in Brookline until I left Boston later in the 70s--since then and to this day, I have tried (some places and under some health care plans more successfully than others) to see only women health care practitioners
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
other than being a part of the class action suit against Robins, maker of Dalkon Shield, no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
was searching for quick background for my US women's history class (like our students, we all "google")
Name
Kathleen Banks Nutter


Submitted November 28, 2005, 5:18 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
early 70's
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973 edition
How old were you at the time?
14
Who brought the book to your attention?
My sister.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The common sense and honesty, in that order.
What had the biggest impact?
Hard to say, although that book had more to do with my shaping that any other single source.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Hah - absolutely. And still does to this day.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, all of them.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
When I was 14 I wouldn't have known enough to disagree, and now, it wouldn't be right to remove it from its time and place.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not that I was aware of.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Profoundly.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Contribute and contrast imply there was something else there to begin with - that was not the case. The book was my sole source of information.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, yes, yes - everyone and anyone.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Looking for my history -
Name
Jean Marie Shepherd


Submitted November 20, 2005, 2:22 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2004
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
I started with The New Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
21
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was taking a women's health course at UW-Madison, but I'd also heard OBOS mentioned in the movie If These Walls Could Talk. I was curious to read the newest edition, and got a chance to recently.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
No, I expected an uncensored approach.
What had the biggest impact?
The environmental health section was really good.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, OBOS reinforced my confidence in women's health specialists and helped me understand what qualities I would like to see in a healthcare provider. Because of my specific needs, I started working with an internist.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Sometimes. I liked the nutrition section.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Please see response to next question.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I hope to see more information on some medical conditions:
-depression
-bipolar
-dental health
-whether Rxs are more habit-forming than drug companies admit
-the problems with psychiatry for woman patients
-difficulties within the rape crisis movement
-why someone may elect not to press charges, as this exposes them to further abuse and trauma
-that whatever a recent "victim" needs to do is OK, whether it means locating emergency contraception, doing a home pregnancy test, taking a shower (which will help a person to empower herself by taking and regaining control of her body), choosing among different health resources (Planned Parenthood, her long-term healthcare provider, a social worker or psychologist, a hospital providing state-supported services--really whatever she feels comfortable with is most important; a survivor should never be pushed into pressing charges or investigating, which way too-often happens in hospitals and in rape crisis centers)
-campus systems for rape are badly developed and stupidly designed, so it is wise for students not to rely on them, but an 18-year-old freshman isn't necessarily going to think about the realities of the system in these terms, and so will require support from friends and if possible a long-term counseling therapist
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, it shows that we must work to have good body images.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
OBOS provides real information and doesn't have the constraints that schools too-often work under (which needs to be changed, but at least OBOS is always there as a resource).
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have recommended the book to friends because OBOS puts together lots of broad information.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
I will consider doing this because there are areas where I would like to submit comments on and/or ask questions.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, not yet.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Not directly.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes. I volunteer for Pro-Choice Wisconsin, and work for candidates who stand up for women's health. I went to the March in 2004. I also focused my undergraduate program to include a minor in women's studies.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I knew about the website from a standard net search, and from there I randomly found a link to the study.


Submitted November 10, 2005, 5:44 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves 1973
How old were you at the time?
23 years old
Who brought the book to your attention?
A girl friend - my age.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The information about sex and childbirth was facinating to me. I had become sexually active as a Junior in college, but was very innocent about many things. I was hungry for information.
What had the biggest impact?
By publishing a book, written by doctors, the concept of being a woman with a sexual life was legitamized. I came from a generation that was brought up with very little information. We didn't get information from the older women in our families - in my family the only talk about bodies had to do with eating and elimination. Most of my life I had hated being a girl. I vividly remember, as I first looked through the pictures in this book, feeling like someone had shaken me awake. I had several "ah-hah!" sensations. "Oh! Now I know what it looks like!" I think seeing/reading/knowing about myself, gave me a feeling like I was now being both ushered and welcomed into a 'club' of other woman. This raised my self esteem immeasurably.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
At the time I first read the book I didn't have a doctor, I was using the student health clinic.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes. I used it to understand my own anatomy - I didn't know the 'real' names of anything! I remember feeling amazed at learning the vocabulary. I was also facinated with the pictures of childbirth.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was completely satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, it was a very positive affect.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
This book answered real questions in an honest and nonjudgmental way. Up to this time the only other book I had on the subject was called, "For Girls Only". My brother had a copy of "For Boys Only" which my sister and I snuck out of his room to read when he was out of the house. The only thing these books covered, in the matter of females, was menstruation --which to me was very boring. I knew there was more to being a woman than having periods....but what? Up to the time of the publication of this book, any information about female sexuality was found in 'dirty books' written for men. Everything about what it truly meant to be a woman, and what my future held, was shrouded in mystery.
I knew, from the minute I opened the book, I could trust the information in it.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I recommended it to many women and also to my daughter when she was a teenager. As I am now in menopause, I have used the edition for older women.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I have seen all of them except Sacrificing Ourselves for Love. I was so happy to find Ourselves Growing Older - it was like finding an old friend who was having hot flashes, too!
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
My daughter (Kate Stewart) sent it to me - she met Wendy Kline at the Univ. Iowa and heard her speak.


Submitted November 9, 2005, 2:11 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1999 or 2000
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1998
How old were you at the time?
About 22
Who brought the book to your attention?
My sister-in-law bought be a copy because I would read hers a lot.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The pictures- the sex and disability one on p. 249, pictures of women masturbating.
What had the biggest impact?
It made me reconsider natural childbirth, and I'm no longer afraid of giving birth.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Not really, but I feel more informed before I go into an appointment. I use it to look up symptoms a lot.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes- I though I had an outbreak of Herpes. It turned out not to be that, but I obsessively read that part of the book. I think it can be not so good for those of us who tend to be hypocondriacs...it is easy to assume that you can self-diagnose.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
So far I have no criticisms.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
In some ways I wish it included more about men, but that's not the point of the book.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
I feel more confidant about my knowledge of health, and it does help with body-image issues. I'm not self-conscious about talking about health and body related issues with friends, family and doctors anymore.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It is a lot more detailed about homo/bisexuality, masturbation, birth control, STDs, and a lot of other things. I learned much more from the book than I did in school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Friends- I have many who borrow my book.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No, but I would like to some day.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Wendy Kline's visit to U. of Iowa.


Submitted November 8, 2005, 3:40 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974 or 75
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
our bodies, ourselves
How old were you at the time?
14
Who brought the book to your attention?
my mom
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
its detail and frankness
What had the biggest impact?
birth control info.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
yes, it let me know what to expect during an exam, since i had never been for a pelvic before
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
both
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
i loved the book and bought it again, twice after losing my copies
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes, it gave me power over my health care decisions
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
i learned so much more from the book.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
i remember being scared to show it to my friends as a teen because of the frank portrayal of sexuality though i did show a few. Later, as a young adult, i loaned it out to many friends and we discussed it a lot.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
first i've heard of these
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no, the one here seemed geared toward pregnancy and termination, not general health
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no, just the women's movement in general, beginning at 14
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
dunno, but glad i did


Submitted October 28, 2005, 2:26 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1982
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
I think it was the 1976 edition
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was a senior in high school doing a report for my biology class on the rhythm method
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The graphic photos were definitely a surprise for me, as were the themes of the book you mention. There was no discussion of such things in my home.

I was always terribly drawn to that awful photograph of the woman who died from an illegal abortion.
What had the biggest impact?
the information, presented competently and helpfully. I loved this book -- it was like a health bible!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, though I was still too young to be very assertive, and had bad experiences with doctors into my early 20s.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
first, contraception.
later, STDs

I read the whole book about a thousand times.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I loved it.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not that I recall
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely -- I was MUCH better informed, and much better informed than many of my friends.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Well, my teacher recommended it to us, so it was definitely part of my education.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Roommates in college always borrowed it. Later, when I was a high school teacher at a boarding school, my students borrowed it. I considered that it had the best information possible, presented with the least amount of judgement.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Never seen any of them.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Not really. I did contact such a clinic about the cervical cap once, but decided against it for various reasons.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was googling Pamela Berger


Submitted October 10, 2005, 12:51 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2001
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1992 edition
How old were you at the time?
27 -- and by the way, I'm a man. I read "Our Bodies, Ourselves" as a gay medical student, to get guidance for a project training gay men to become peer STD screeners for a gay men's health clinic in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood. (The oringal attempt at creating a clinic flopped, but 2 years later a center indeed opened in the Castro doing exactly what we envisioned--although we were by then stuck in residency and had to wait until after training to join the clinic.) There was very little guidance for us from what exists of a "men's health movement," so learning to empower young gay men to take charge of their health and education themselves meant learning from those who knew how to do health education and self-empowerment: We learned from the women.
Who brought the book to your attention?
I'd first learned of the book from friends in college (Yale, grad 1991).
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Actually, the most inspiring section for me as a physician in training was the section about using a mirror for do-it-yourself pelvic exams. Talk about self-service!
(Magnet health center is now pioneering a program having young men do their own STD swabs, rather than having a clinician do them. Which makes perfect sense.)
What had the biggest impact?
Just the overall message of self-empowerment, of de-mystifying medicine, of taking back health care power from a system of "experts." My outlook was framed by exposure to activists (men and women) in ACT UP New York in the early 1990s. But the book gave a more practical approach to what interested me, which was self-empowered health care. Gay men have been as pathologized by medicine as women (gay men, just like women, were often viewed as having bodies inherently disease or unclean, and were subject to diagnoses that had little bearing in reality, such as "gay bowel" syndrome, just as women were labelled with "hysteria."
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It affected how I doctor.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
See above. While the actual information covered e.g. on STDs was useful as a framework, of course for men's health the information is similar but different.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?

Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
See above.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I think the book's comfort with discussing queer sexuality was amazingly foresighted and inspiring to anyone now working in LGBT health issues.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
To men in my health collective, and to medical students at UCSF.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?

Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?

Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?

How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I found out about your link while reading about the history of the BWHBC for a talk I'm preparing for the gay men's health summit in Salt Lake, Oct 2005.


Submitted September 23, 2005, 3:14 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2005
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The 2005 edition (35th anniversary
How old were you at the time?
23
Who brought the book to your attention?
Had the 1998 edition, but hardly looked at it or read it
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Nothing
What had the biggest impact?
Not sure, propaply everything
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Don't know
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
General
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Completely satisfied with it
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not sure
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Not sure
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Really don't know
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Will defenitly recommed it not sure whom or why
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Yeah
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From official OBOS site


Submitted August 9, 2005, 2:20 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1992
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
My mother gave me the then-brand new 1992 edition as a gift when I got my first period.
How old were you at the time?
Twelve.
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother, who had every previous edition, including the now-rare newsprint first edition.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Hmm...well, every time I read it I find something new and surprising because I always approach it looking for a new piece of information.
What had the biggest impact?
Learning about the obstacles faced by women who want to become doctors, like harassment in medical school. Reading it made me a real crusader-to-friends about health and women's health because I realized reading OBOS how much of this information and sentiment I grew up taking for granted. I bought the new edition not because I really need it but because I use it all the time to show friends who need guidance and information.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Absolutely. I only see female doctors and I really prefer to see Nurse Practitioners when possible. I chose to make a Planned Parenthood NP my ob/gyn because I knew that having a sex-positive, well-informed health practitioner would make a big difference.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Sexually transmitted infections (luckily, I don't have any!), the yeast infection/bacterial vaginosis cycle (one of the biggest undiscussed issues in women's health, in my opinion), and urinary tract infections.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I think a lot of the tone of the original book (which is definitely lessened, but having read so many editions, I can still hear it in the text) is now outdated and would be very, very off-putting to many of the women who need the information the most. I also never found the "relationships" information to be useful; since OBOS isn't a sex manual, the book's discussion of lesbian relationships or pansexual relationships or heterosexual relationships outside the context of safe sex or the prevention of violence always seemed irrelevant to me.
It is evident that many of the original authors/collaborators are still involved in the process, because I get from the book a lot of the obsolescence that I hear from my own mother when it comes to some contemporary issues. Specifically, the book's criticism of pubic hair grooming (which, anti-old school feminist or not, is prevalent and accepted for both men and women of a younger age) does not take into account that many feminist, activist women, gay and straight, choose to do this. There aren't any actual health problems associated with it, so I think the criticism is unwarranted and kind of condescending. Not every beauty trend amongst my peers is so harmless, though; the rise in tanning bed use is actually a real problem and deserves scrutiny.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I haven't had a chance to read through the whole book yet, so I'm not sure.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Definitely. My biggest health challenge of the past year was a negative reaction to a birth control pill that resulted in a bout of bacterial vaginosis followed by yeast infections. I had an incredibly difficult time finding information about how to really fix this problem, since medical convention is to treat BV with antibiotics (which cause yeast infections) and to treat yeast infections with antifungals (which cause more BV). This cycle is incredibly common among women who take birth control pills, and OBOS made a big difference in my understanding the issues with vaginal pH and self-help for this problem.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The self-help focus is always good. I'm actually writing a health course for use online by public school students and have found my own OBOS-influenced sensibilities to be far too radical and, god forbid, informational than the current educational climate will allow.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I've given it as christmas gifts several times, and I recommend it to all of my friends.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Not that I can remember.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I read Changing Bodies, Changing Lives to consider as a text for an adolescent sexuality workshop I led. I didn't end up choosing it because I wasn't focusing on puberty but actual adolescent sexuality, so I chose a book called "The Underground Guide to Teenage Sexuality," which I think is excellent. I think that BWHBC would be wise to put out a more teen-focused version of OBOS because a huge amount of the information included in OBOS is not appropriate or relevant for younger audiences. There is a gap in what's covered by the publications; there is a space in adolescence between CBCL and OBOS that could definitely be filled by another BWHBD publication.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I've never been to a FWHC because I've never lived in one of the cities they serve, but I have gone to several Planned Parenthood clinics because I appreciate the openness fostered by a sex-positive atmosphere.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Not personally, but my mother was so we had all manner of specula around the house when I was a kid. I've educated countless friends about different women's health issues and gone to OBOS for help repeatedly. I'm going into public health and focusing on sexuality and health, and intend to keep working in women's and sexual health as long as I can.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
The OBOS website.


Submitted August 5, 2005, 2:59 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Early to mid 1980s
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973, 1976, & 1984; read around in friends' or bookstore copies till I could afford to buy my own.
How old were you at the time?
late teens-early 20s
Who brought the book to your attention?
Friends; I attended a feminist-oriented women's college (on scholarship).
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The themes and photos didn't faze or shock me, infact I loved them! Though I already knew sex was beautifully varied, I had never seen these variations dealt with in such a woman-centered way before & in such detail and that was refreshing and informative.
What had the biggest impact?
That careful attention throughout to the lived realities of women's lives. The sense of our flesh as sacred and important, not some bothersome or evil thing to be ignored away or "overcome." All this has deeply affected my politics and spirituality from day to day. Well-timed discoveries that have lasted and deepened and brought much joy to me and others!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
As a disabled & financially challenged person with very limited health coverage options, I find that the phrase "choice of doctor" and even "relationship with your doctor" often do not apply. This has made it all the more important that I take matters into my own hands as much as I can. I have multiple disabilities and the book helped me to be more vocal and questioning with doctors, and less heistant to show them that I am intelligent and informed about my conditions. I also challenge insensitive behaviors. Overall, while recognizing that some people do have greater knowledge & experience with certain things than I do, that doesn't mean I am any less of a human being, or that I don't have my own areas of "expertise." It's helped me question all sorts of assumptions about which human--and other--beings count and which don't.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes--what I learned from family of origin about sexual/reproductive health was very limited and moralistic. I really wanted to learn all I could about contraceptive methods & what is now called outercourse *before* I became had intercourse, because I wasn't ready to have kids, but no way was I ever going to have an abortion. It was such a relief to finally see not only good concrete explanations of the different methods, but discussion of family planning issues for women with various disabilities.

But I eventually read just about the whole book! And as questions and issues came up, it was a good starting point to learn something new, or it served to remind and reinforce things I needed to know.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I saw an effort to embrace cultural diversity in the book, but it still had that tone of well-meaning, white, ablebodied, middle-to-upper class liberals who still have not unlearned their class & race assumptions of privilege.

There was still the assumption of women as a monolith...which brings me to my **main gripe** about OBOS.

I have always felt that there is room within feminism to disagree about abortion, while working on the many other issues of common concern, including those to help reduce abortion. I felt back then (and still do!) as if I and people like me were rendered invisible or automatically suspect by the book's staunchly onesided presentation of the issue. Of course it has an agenda, but this was not entirely factual.

Not everyone who opposes abortion is a rightwing religious-zealot misogynist with a freakish desire to control other people's sex organs, a cruel self-righteous disdain for life after birth, and a habit of toting guns and taking out clinic workers!

But you'd never know that from reading OBOS. There's nothing in there about people whose concerns about abortion are deeply related to their devotion to feminism & women and the practice of nonviolence at all levels.

This onesideness made me deeply skeptical of the abortion history presented in the book, and I was inspired to do my own digging around. I found that there was a consesus among early feminists *opposing* abortion, not exclusively as a danger to women's lives & health, but as an unjust taking of unborn lives, caused by the withholding of better choices from women, like sex ed, birth control, housing for single mothers...

Alongside the prochoice materials, may I hope that someday OBOS will also present the prolife feminist side, including the history? I'd be glad to help with a more complex and accurate presentation. We are all feminists who care about women! If only more prochoice feminists would believe people like me...what could we accomplish together?
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Just discussed it (#9).
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
See above.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Didn't learn much of anything at school, or home, about these vital topics, other than the drily, anxiously presented, rudimentary mechanics. OBOS was so much more detailed & vivid & applicable to everyday life and relationships and feelings.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
In casual conversation, to friends; have also referred to it in my work as a writer & activist. My kid wasn't ever interested, or was too young for such a big book, but since I knew what quality, woman-centered sex ed materials looked like, I knew how to find other books for her. Books that OBOS preceded & might have made possible to exist!
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Don't think so.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
haven't read these yet.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No, never went to one even if my health plan allowed it--many of them provide abortions, and it would make me sad to be near these lifetakings as they happen. I do consult some of their websites from time to time & find some of the educational materials to be in the same wonderful spirit as OBOS.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Not per se, because I felt unwelcome due to my stance on abortion. But down the years I have often been moved to sign petitions, send letters to politicians, do public speaking on, provide clinical services for people dealing with, rsearch & devote my writing to, etc. a whole host of issues that the movement as such is concerned with: birth control, comprehensive sex ed, the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, environmental health, nutrition/hunger, aid to women in difficult pregnancies, shelter/housing, public assistance, health care access & equity, childbirth choice including midwifery...So i hope that counts, because affirming the lives and wellbeing of women is a sacred task.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From the Boston Women's health Book Collective site


Submitted June 25, 2005, 9:47 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1979
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1976 edtion
How old were you at the time?
14
Who brought the book to your attention?
my mother
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
particular themes
What had the biggest impact?
The book helped me to understand my sexuality and the importance of taking care of my body. It taught me about different lifestyles . I sometimes think when I first read the book I was a little young but came back to it many times during the years that I grew up as a reference to changes in my body. Im very sorry I still dont have my copy of the book.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I have always choosen a women obgyn over a man as I can recall reading in the book that women would naturally be more gentle and understanding of another women.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I used the book all the time during my teenage years and into my twenties. The first yeast infection I had ever gotten scared the life out of me, I thought I had vd. The book explained it all to me. When I look back its funny but I was on my own and embarressed to ask friends about it. On that particular occasion the book was a lifesaver :)
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I never disagreed with any of the content
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not that I can remember
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
drastically It also made me feel proud to be a women
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I dont recall learning about sexual issues in school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
no
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
i knew a newer version of the book came out and I,d like to purchase for myself and my daughters.


Submitted June 2, 2005, 3:19 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies ,Ourselves 1973
How old were you at the time?
Twenty
Who brought the book to your attention?
A group of women I was doing theatre with at SUNY Albany, NY brought it into our CR(yes that's conciousness raising group!)group. We had formed , not to raise our conciousness , which were flying pretty high at the time. We were putting together our own piece of "agit-prop" called "Home to Ourselves" and going through a lot of stuff in the male dominated theatre dept. I had a workstudy job in the scene shop & two other women had assistantships,one building scenery, one doing lighting so we were dealing with a lot of crap every day, accused of "taking jobs " away from the guys etc.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I don't know if surprised is the right word. I think we were shocked by the photo of Gerry dead on the motel floor, but felt strongly that the photo should be there! Women were dying , it seemd important. My first expereince of sex was being raped by my advisor at a previous school and we all began to really understand how the fight for reproductive rights affected us all & was always going to be there. Abortion was leagal in NY , had been for a while, but still our poor sisters were dying. And we first began to talk about rape as violence, aquaintence rape, how the availability of the pill was a two edged coin.
What had the biggest impact?
Information about health and reproductive rights,and the truth about abortion. The pill freed us, but it also caused many of us , many problems. Distorted our sex drives, and there was a lot of pressure on us culturally to "be free" and have casual sexual relationships. How could we refuse? If our only fear was getting pregnant? And what about the women who couldn't take the pill? the alternatives for drug free contraception were just not there. Politically we were a lot more accepting of same sex realtionships, we felt like queer people were our allies, and we understood why they still hid, we'd been hiding who we really were our whole lives too since we did not want to work in the costume shop, or be the ingenue, or screw the directors to get a chance to direct... It was our boss,a male Technical Director who encouraged us to do something on our own and gave us the chance to prove ourselves. He was our "brother" and stood with us in our fights with the administration
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
When I first transferred to Albany I went to the college health services , because I had a vaginal infection. The gyn was like 70 years old , lectured and humiliated me for having sex (though it was forced on me)and gave me a terrible & rough pelvic exam. The Doc who inserted my IUD, the following year was Bengali, gentle and educated me. She was the same doc who removed it six months later, because of infection and we had very frank ,but respectful talks about sex and making choices. It was a completely diffferent expereince. So much so that I was able to seek out healthcare from a FEMINIST healtcare facility in NH when I moved there years later.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
yes, as mentioned above, and used it with my friends and everyone that I met for well, the whole rest of my life. At the time I coudl have probably used a bit more info for my gay male friends, and in hindsight my queer female friends but we had what was avialbale and that was incredible torve .
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I don't recall disagreeing with any part of it, It always seemed a great resource to me, I still have my very well worn , well thumbed copy!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
It's hard to say, in retrospect perhaps more multicultural info, perhaps insight into the huge headlock the pharmaceutical companies had on our reproductive lives, but I'm not sure we all even realized it . Though we should have been able to extrapolate the power coporate organizations had and would have over lives in so many areas. In the most basic way.
Perhaps eating disorders and the effect of our violent culture and our culture of appearance, but we ere just beginning to know this too.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Completely. It is inextircably interwoven with my attitude about my body, my reproductive life, and the lives of my family.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I learned nothing other than basic biology in school. There was no idea of sex, or health ed. Health ed consisted of seeing a slide show about your period in fifth grade. The boys got a slide show about using deoderant, and nocturnal "emissions".
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I gave copies of the book to every woman in my family at Christmas. This caused HUGE repercussions for many years to come with my parents and all of the adults in my life. I eventually came to work for the Feminist HealthCenter of Portsmouth, NH in 1984, after being a client and volunteer for three years. I continued to give copies of OBOS , in it's various forms to nieces and nephews and eventually my own kids.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
yes, through my work at the FHC/P I came to know Judy Norsigian and Esther Rolle primarily. The BWHBC had been the inspiration for the two health centers in NH,and they modeled themselves after the collective. We also had many close associations with the Eastern "FWHC's" and met as sister organizations on many occasions.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
All of them. I always wanted an un updated version fo CB,CL, but Judy told me it had been their least successful book,, so probably not. This is really sad for me now that I have a teenage daughter.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, see above. After I moved to NH, I became aware of the Feminist Health Center in Concord, which was a bit too far for me to go for regular healthcare. But I gave them whatever financial support I could and sought out the bourgeoning women's community in the Seacoast. I never would have know such organization and groups could exist without these books. I was reared ina a pretty traditional blue-collar and large family of seven. I was the first of my family to go and graduate from college which defintely exposed me to ideas and people I would never have been able to expereince otherwise.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I worked for the Feminist Health Center of Portsmouth for 15 years, as well as being a client and a volunteer three years previously. I also served on the board of NH NARAL for years as well. The opening of the satellite center in the Seacoast caused a huge amount of controversy in the town. Groups from the Bible Speaks and other anti-choice roups began picketing regularly. I lived in Portsmouth at the time and attended the public hearing and voiced my support. After the center opened I became a client , and only left when I needed ob care which unfortunately they have never been able to provide. FHC/P offered the first STD clinic of it's kind and is till the only place in the state to offer anonymous HIV testing for men& women. I joined Women's Lobby of NH & went to the state legislature many times to give testimony on bills that affected the health of women & children. I also gave talks at UNH and other places on the history and value of the Women's Health Movement , on collective process
I returned to the HC as a client, and a volunteer
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From your webpage, which you sent me a notice of! I now work at the Women's studies Program at UNH , and I am on your e-mail list.


Submitted April 24, 2005, 6:44 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1984
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984,
How old were you at the time?
21 years old
Who brought the book to your attention?
I can't remember exactly, I know I was looking alot of feminist literature in college and also healthcare.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Not anything really, being a young woman (21) in college, involved already with a women's center, I was fairly familiar with the topics. I did like the explanation on how to use a speculum and were to get a plastic one to see your own cervix!
What had the biggest impact?
The childbirth section--it helped me understand that I controlled my body. It also furthered my desire to become either an women's health practioner or a midwife. The book indirectly helped further me on my career goals. I now work as a RN in women's health care.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, I was more informed in asking questions and I also sought out alternative medical care. ie. herbalists and midwives
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I mostly just read the entire book for fun and general information. But my particular favorites were health care, birth control, childbirth.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Yes, I can't remember any glaring things I disagreed with.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
I was newly discovering the various healthcare issues specific to women, the book helped tie it together. It also was a very powerful book for me to see that there were "other women out there" who were as interested as I was in this subject!! It's difficult, even now, to find women to talk to about vaginas!! (smile)
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I had very little health care information in school. I read widely myself as a teenager, and the book reinforced what I had learned and also encouraged me to go further and look outside of the conventional medical community.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I recommended it to several female friends at the time. I knew they were feminists and thought this would encourage them to take more control of their health care.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, to both questions. And it also led to me working at a feminist health clinic.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I worked at the New Bedford, Mass. Womens health center as a Health Educator. And I volunteered with the MFM, Mass Friends of Midwives to pass legalization of lay midwifery in Mass. In college I also volunteered for a year in the college's Women's Center doing peer counseling on birth control and rape.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was on the Canadian Womens Health Network website and saw the new edition advertised.


Submitted April 16, 2005, 8:34 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1983
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1976 edition)
How old were you at the time?
16
Who brought the book to your attention?
my cousin, their was also a copy in the guidance office of my high school.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
That it was all written down in one place.
What had the biggest impact?
The chapter on sex, although I wasn't having sex it helped me to feel very nornmal concerning my feelings
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
later on it did
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
it nurtured my desire for Woman centered healthcare..... I grew up in a very old fashioned home, it helped to read about others with the same thoughts and ideas I had.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I loved it and bought the 1984 edition for myself... and now I have bought the 2005 edition as a reference to share with my daughter as she grows into a woman.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
nothing that hasn't been addressed in subsequent editions.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes, it taught me a lot about my body, what different parts of me were called and where they are located.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I learned very little in school about womans health and sexuality.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have and will continue to recommend the book to everyone because I believe if you own one book about womans health and lives it should be this one.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
nope
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
not yet
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no...not an easy thing to find where I live and not easy to find one that takes my healthplan.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
an advocated for Natural Childbirth and Breast feeding.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From the book


Submitted April 4, 2005, 4:32 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1986
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973,1976)
How old were you at the time?
29
Who brought the book to your attention?
A friend referred me to the book - we were discussing how women's bodies periodically change and the changes that take place at certain ages.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was amazed to find so much information on everything from nutrition to childbearing to alternative life styles and sex to menopause. The open commentaries with women expressing their realities dealing with physical and emotional health - this information just was not available - the books jump started my search for knowledge about my life as a woman.
What had the biggest impact?
I used the book as a research guide. It gave me enough insight into most issues of the time that I could bring questions to my primary physician and gyne related to our discussions about my personal health.


Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
During my pregnancy my doctor wanted to perform a procedure. I checked the "book" and it informed me of the dangers that my doctor had not discussed with me. I had a talk with my doctor and was able to make a decision based on fact - not just the short hand information the doctor had originally given me. It also opened the lines of communications between the doctor and me - he had a greater respect for me as a knowledge-able patient.

My doctor no longer assumes I was letting him make decisions for me - we had a partnership in my health.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?

Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I enjoy every topic in the book - it is a reference guide (along with The New Our Bodies, Ourselves), and my 15 year daughter refers to it - we have some great q&a sessions about the information in the book.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
There were no discussion on women's health in school. All we learned was that you'll begin to menstruate to become a women and around age 50 menstruation would stop. We discussed the primary two sexually transmiteed diseases and the penicillian cure. There was definitely no discussion of abortion or lesbian life styles.

The book discussed the physical and mental changes associated with puberty, the female fertility cycle, changes to your bodies chemical make up during menopause, sighns of sexual or uteran disfunctions -
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I've probably recommended and shared the book with everyone. I encourage them to buy their own copies - I need my for reference and to enlight others.
Friends/ sisters / cousins / daughter
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no -
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No - althought I do participate in AIDS Walk, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and Komen Race for the cure.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
In search for menopause information at the
http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/histobos.htm
website.


Submitted March 24, 2005, 7:44 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1972 - I thought
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Mostly Our Bodies, Ourselves 1973 and 1976
How old were you at the time?
21, and male!
Who brought the book to your attention?
A feminist friend. I was a naive young man with an upbringing in a UK boys grammar school. I had no understanding of what women were.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Everything! The knowledge that women were different to men was a revelation to me - but the honesty of the books was a shock.
What had the biggest impact?
The depth of knowledge.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I have given away at least 6, and probably more like 10 copies to friends, colleagues. Those that I don't give away get stolen!
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
My current girlfriend (I was married for 29 years) is post menopausal and I don't remember much advice about that - but maybe I just didn't read it. I've ordered a couple of copies of the new edition.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
A junior version would be good - Our bodies at puberty. Especially one for the early-starters (my daughter was 9 and the first in her class) - but something easy to read for those who are younger or not so good at reading.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes - and it made a big impact on my relationships. I had a better understanding of my girl-friends bodies than they did themselves - this was england in the 1970s and attitudes were primitive.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I learned nothing in school about any of this.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
All and sundry. See above. I should be on commission.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I had Ourselves, growing older for a while, but that went off with a friend and I'm not sure I read it much.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
N/A
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Google looking for Boston Women's Collective


Submitted March 18, 2005, 2:29 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The one that you have pictured at the top of this questionnaire; I presume that it must have been 73-74.
How old were you at the time?
26 yrs.
Who brought the book to your attention?
My husband's aunt (mother's sister) gave me a copy because I was having trouble with bladder infections; she was a "with it" adult!
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The matter-of-fact descriptions and advice and the graphic photos, and it seemed to say something about anything I could think of.
What had the biggest impact?
Helped me to understand about discomfort with intercourse and with my "honeymoon cystitis."
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I could use the true terms for things rather than the rediculous terms we'd been taught as kids.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
For any question about sexuality or conditions I went to the book first. I was fascinated by homosexuality and was glad that it gave such real information about something I would/could never ask a lesbian friend.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I never discounted anything it said; it was amazingly informative.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
None that I knew of then.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
It helped me extensively with understanding my body; what was normal and what might be a concern.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was so far beyond anything I had learned from my mom; she would even call me to have me look things up in it for her. Especially after she reached menopause. What we learned in school was pathetic when compared to the book! Thank God for the book or my sisters and I would have grown up as naive as our mother!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have recommended it to so many friends that I have lost count. And, of course, I bought my own two daughters their own copy. They are quite knowledgeable of their bodies, and aware and comfortable of their own sexuality.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No, never thought of it.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I haven't -- yet. I didn't know about them until now.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No, not in women's health issues.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was seeing if there was information on-line that was contained in the book. I am away from my copy. It led me here.


Submitted March 17, 2005, 9:02 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1987
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
I got a version of the teenage edition (Changing Bodies, Changing Lives) for my 13th birthday in 1987. I got a copy of the 84/92 edition of OBOS when I went to college in 1992.
How old were you at the time?
13/18
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mom gave both books to me.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
When I read the teenage book, everything surprised me exccept the basics about how babies are made -- afterall, i was only 13.
What had the biggest impact?
Overall, I think the best thing I got from the book was that sex was fun, not shameful.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, I think I'm a very knowledgable health care consumer as a result.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
STDs and pregnancy.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was completely satisfied with the book.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The book was much more informative than anything I got from school, and my school was a progressive NYC private school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, any teenage girl.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I read an earlier version of Changing Bodies, Changing Lives in 1987. It was my much-needed guide to puberty.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I went to Planned Parenthood when I was 17 and became sexually active, because Changing Bodies, Changing Lives said that a gyn exam was necessary.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I volunteered for a short-time for the RI Women's Health Collective when I was in college.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From the OBOS website.


Submitted March 15, 2005, 8:21 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1981
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves (1976)
How old were you at the time?
5
Who brought the book to your attention?
My Mom
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I remember that I loved the pictures of the naked women because they looked so different from my own little girl body. I was especially fascinated with the pictures of birth.
What had the biggest impact?
Well, considering that all these years later I am now studying to be a midwife, I think the pictures of the birth process probably impacted me the most.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
At the time I was of course too young for it to influence that, but it certainly helped to build a foundation for being actively involved in my healthcare and advocating for what I wanted. In fact just recently I went to a women's clinic to be fit for a cervical cap (which I first learned about in OBOS) and the FNP was very reluctant to proceed, but seeing I had done my research and decided this was the birth control method I wanted she agreed to fit me. She nearly gave up when the first cap proved very hard to dislodge, but thanks to my comfort level with my body I simply hopped off the table, squatted and after some work pulled it out. She finally told me that the last time she fit one that it was very hard to remove it and she had always talked women out of it since then. Thank goodness for books like OBOS to empower women to ask for what they want even when clinicians are reluctant!
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Definitely to learn about all the things that my body would one day be capable of doing. I believe that the honest and open discussion of sexuality in the book fostered a sense of comfort and security in my sexuality and saved me from the shame and discomfort so many of my women friends have about this aspect of thier lives.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was pretty happy with it.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely! It made me appreciate my wonderous female body and see it as good and healthy and normal!
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
This book was nothing like the lessons I later learned in school about women's health and sexuality Which was basically a very abbreviated version of female anatomy and how that fit into sex and how sex should just be avoided and childbirth was painful and messy. All of these facts and images were very hard to relate to myself, it never seemed like the female reproductive anatomy was something that belonged to a real live woman, it just sort of existed on the page of the textbook, luckily I knew better because of OBOS.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I recommend this book to everyone, which is funny because I haven't had a copy since my father packed up all my mother's books after she died when I was 12. I think I will go out and buy a copy first chance I get, but what I wouldn't give for that tattered old 1970's edition that I had flipped through so many times.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I thought I had read Changing Bodies, Changing Lives, was there a version of it before 1998? I would have had it back in the mid-80's sometime. If it is the book I am remembering about puberty and adolescent sexuality - it was great!
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, probably.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I am certainly beginning to be. I am studying to be a doula and a certified nurse midwife. I hope to bring a greater sense of trust and respect for women's bodies to health care and the birthing process. I also recently co-produced and performed in a V-Day production of the Vagina Monologues because every woman needs to be comfortable with this part of her body and this play is a funny, moving, great way to help!
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From the OBOS homepage.


Submitted March 14, 2005, 4:15 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1978
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
30
Who brought the book to your attention?
Post Partum Counselling Group, Vancouver, B.C.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The candidness and factual writing
What had the biggest impact?
Being able to read this book without feeling shameful, and feeling "normal"!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, all of the above
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Yes
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Don't remember, have not looked at it in many years.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, Yes, Yes!!
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Having gone to school in England, where women still referred to their genital as "down there", and having a mother who told me nothing about my body, except that I would "bleed" once a month - this book was so informative, like a breath of fresh air, and, as I said earlier, makde me realize I was normal.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Over the years, yes. Friends, children of friends colleagues. For obvious reasons.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Participated in a training film for the National Film Board on Post Partum Depression. Also group work with sexually abused women. I don't know if you would includes these topics under "health"?
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Just typed in Womens Health Collective. Study is on website.


Submitted March 12, 2005, 7:30 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
Eighteen`
Who brought the book to your attention?
Saw it in a bookstore
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
nothing
What had the biggest impact?
the birth control information
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
yes

Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
yes, birth control

Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
still have it on my bookshelf
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
added a wealth of information never told about it was an invaluable quick reference for all women's health issues
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
yes any young woman, and uninformed older women

Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?

Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes, yes it did
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
was told by my healthcare provider (menopause clinic)


Submitted March 6, 2005, 4:38 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves - 1973 edition
How old were you at the time?
18 years old


Who brought the book to your attention?
My best friend, Sally, gave it to me with a wonderful inscription inside on the first page.

She had a sister who was four years older and who was already in college, where OBOS was all the rage.

Sally came from a really progressive family -- they sponsored about 40 Vietnamese refugees in their house, had students from Up With People stay with them when they came to town, had unisex haircuts for awhile, ate a macrobiotic diet (in the 1970s!), and her mother was the spitting image of Mick Jagger (at the time) in a pantsuit!
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
It was 1973, and although I was sexually inactive and very naive, I found all the information interesting -- it was like kind of like going on a worldwide journey through women's health and sexuality - being introducted to the diversity of it all -- like readin National Geographic. I think that it was done very tastefully and, since the emphasis was on accurate information and not on promoting one thing or another, it seemed more like a reference book.

I DID wonder about the people who posed though, because SO MANY PEOPLE had this book and could recognize them if they passed them on the street!
What had the biggest impact?
It was like the internet is today - it was THE one-stop reference for just about anything anyone would want to know or might come across in your life.

For me, it gave me power -- and the message -- to not just rely on doctors -- to go and look it up myself -- at a medical school library if necessary.

Unfortunately for me, what I DIDN'T get until decades later, was that medical schools are BEHIND the popular consumer health section at the bookstores in providing accurate information on women's health.

It was QUITE a revelation, when I realized that I had to go to the bookstore and to meetings sponsored by NON-HOSPITAL & NON-ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION patient support groups in order to get accurate information on Fibromyalgia. This is largely still the case.

There is a SERIOUS politics of knowledge problem and information lag time in medical school training, academic medical centers, and in medical care in general. That's the message that has to get out to people. The bookstore or itnernet is the place TO START oftentimes in dealing with your health.


Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Oh yes, a lot of doctors at the time pooh-poohed women's health concerns - told me that when I had kids, I wouldn't have really bad cramps anymore - stuff like that.

This book gave us knowledge so that we were no longer solely at the mercy of bad, ill-informed or bigoted doctors AND we could read it in the privacy of our home and take time to think about it all.

I am now studying to become a consumer health/children's public librarian (a good combination). I think that OBOS really was the impetus for my interest in that AND I would have majored in library and information science in the 1970s if they had not required all those foreign languages at UT-Austin.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I used it to learn about EVERYTHING!

In college, it was particularly useful about UTI's, yeast, other infections.

I didn't learn anything at home really, and even though we had some semblance of sex ed or health in junior high, it was clinical - involving anatomical charts - no faces, etc., so I didn't really GET IT until I read OBOS and then of course there is a whole other level of "getting it" that comes from actual experience.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?

I was satisfied with the book except for the following areas:

(1) This is hugely important. Many women START having problems with fibromyalgia, thyroid, fatigue, in their 20s. I felt that some of the issues in the book for older women needed to be addressed in the book for younger women - it would have saved me endless amounts of heartache and money if info on fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia and migraine headaches had been in the book or more extensively covered in the book;

(2) I feel that these issues/diseases need a chapter by themselves:
(a) Migraine headaches (including ALL types of migraines - ocular, variants, gastrointestinal, etc.),
(b) the "fatigue" diseases and causes, (e.g., Fibromyalgia, Hypothyroidism, parasites, obstructive sleep apnea, low iron, low potassium, vestibular problems, etc.);
(c) the brain fog/low productivity diseases and causes (e.g., fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, parasites, obstructive sleep apnea, low iron, low magnesium, vestibular problems, etc.);
(d) insomnia and all its causes, ramifications, etc.;
(e) more on Bladder issues and Bladder health, including
how vestibular probs affect continence and surgical interventions for younger women (that often aren't mentioned until you are older);
(f) more on IBS and how it is often misdiagnosed and how EVERYONE should have a thorough 3-day purged stool test + blood Test + saliva test for parasites if they have IBS symptoms;
(g) LISTING GOOD LABS like Diagnos-techs in Kent, Washington
that do excellent work and have very accurate tests and treatment recommendations on parasites, adrenal issues, women's hormonal problems, etc., even academic medical centers like UCLA do not do NEARLY as good a job of testing for these issues as Diagnos-Techs does;
(h) "bad" cramps and "bad" first day of period -- all of the causes, ramifications, treatments, etc.;
(i) disability -- there is a crazy period where you -- and your doctors -- may tell you that you need to quit your job if you are having so many physical problems, so you quit your jbo and then you don't have disability insurance - when it was not "stress" at all, but a true physical problem; and
(j) how the choice of domestic partners can dramatically affect your life for the + or the -, I think that the new book, "He's Just Not That Into You" does a good job of telling women HOW to discern who is the right person to live with. It should be read by single AND married women. THIS deserves its own chapter too.

(3) I DIDN'T get, until decades later, that medical schools and academic medical centers are WAY BEHIND the popular consumer health section at the bookstores in providing accurate information on women's health. They catch up, often decades later, often by coopting the work of the people who started the movements/treatments, so that they can get credit.

There is a SERIOUS politics of knowledge problem and information lag time in medical school training, academic medical centers, and in medical care in general. That's the message that has to get out to people. The bookstore or itnernet is the place TO START oftentimes in dealing with your health.




Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
See my extensive answer to #9 above.

I was satisfied with the book except for the following areas:

(1) This is hugely important. Many women START having problems with fibromyalgia, thyroid, fatigue, in their 20s. I felt that some of the issues in the book for older women needed to be addressed in the book for younger women - it would have saved me endless amounts of heartache and money if info on fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia and migraine headaches had been in the book or more extensively covered in the book;

(2) I feel that these issues/diseases need a chapter by themselves:
(a) Migraine headaches (including ALL types of migraines - ocular, variants, gastrointestinal, etc.),
(b) the "fatigue" diseases and causes, (e.g., Fibromyalgia, Hypothyroidism, parasites, obstructive sleep apnea, low iron, low potassium, vestibular problems, etc.);
(c) the brain fog/low productivity diseases and causes (e.g., fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, parasites, obstructive sleep apnea, low iron, low magnesium, vestibular problems, etc.);
(d) insomnia and all its causes, ramifications, etc.;
(e) more on Bladder issues and Bladder health, including
how vestibular probs affect continence and surgical interventions for younger women (that often aren't mentioned until you are older);
(f) more on IBS and how it is often misdiagnosed and how EVERYONE should have a thorough 3-day purged stool test + blood Test + saliva test for parasites if they have IBS symptoms;
(g) LISTING GOOD LABS like Diagnos-techs in Kent, Washington
that do excellent work and have very accurate tests and treatment recommendations on parasites, adrenal issues, women's hormonal problems, etc., even academic medical centers like UCLA do not do NEARLY as good a job of testing for these issues as Diagnos-Techs does;
(h) "bad" cramps and "bad" first day of period -- all of the causes, ramifications, treatments, etc.;
(i) disability -- there is a crazy period where you -- and your doctors -- may tell you that you need to quit your job if you are having so many physical problems, so you quit your jbo and then you don't have disability insurance - when it was not "stress" at all, but a true physical problem; and
(j) how the choice of domestic partners can dramatically affect your life and health for the + or the -, I think that the new book, "He's Just Not That Into You" does a good job of telling women HOW to discern who is the right person to live with. It should be read by single AND married women. This deserves its own chapter too.

(3) I DIDN'T get, until decades later, that medical schools and academic medical centers are WAY BEHIND the popular consumer health section at the bookstores in providing accurate information on women's health. They catch up, often decades later, often by coopting the work of the people who started the movements/treatments, so that they can get credit.

There is a SERIOUS politics of knowledge problem and information lag time in medical school training, academic medical centers, and in medical care in general. That's the message that has to get out to people. The bookstore or itnernet is the place TO START oftentimes in dealing with your health.


Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
OBOS changed everything for the better.


There was a HUGE difference between my level of knowledge and my Mom's level of knowledge about stuff.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
In 6th grade, I saw a HORRIBLE film about childbirth.

I decided, that day, that I would NEVER have children and go through that. I never wanted to have an abortion either, so as soon as they would let me (at age 29), I had a tubal ligation. I had wanted one much earlier in my 20s, but no one would believe me that my mind was made up on the matter.

I felt that OBOS did a MUCH better job in fairness and accuracy in depicting the pros and cons of all sides of issues like pregnancy, tubal ligation, etc.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I recommended it to scores of people over the decades. Mostly women.

Because it is your "at-home" place to start to see and understand the panorama of it all.


There should be a campaign to educate medical librarians and consumer health public librarians about the new OBOS.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No. I didn't know that you could!
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves, Growing Older (1987).


This needs to be updated (obviously).

I felt that some of this info was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for inclusion in OBOS.

I also felt that, in a way, this should have been OBOS Part II, not getting older, as many of the issues come up earlier than when you have white or gray hair. The title needs to be rethought, the cover photo, etc., particularly since VERY few people have white hair anymore. We just don't see ourselves that way.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, the Free Clinic in Austin, Texas that was near my apt.

This was a WONDERFUL clinic in the basement of my church and my physician at the UT-Austin health clinic practiced there, so I could continue to see her after I graduated. I was a "paying" client. It was just SUCH a great clinic.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I lived in women's coops in the 1970s, so the health thing was just part of living there. I currently reside in a UCLA residence hall with 1000 people. I live there with my husband who is a faculty-in-residence. We have done women's health programs for our residents each year we have lived here. Our programs on fibromyalgia and hypoglycemia, in particular, have resulted in students here as well as their parents getting diagnosed and treated.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
The OBOS website.


Submitted February 26, 2005, 4:18 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
197\3
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
I think I read the first published book, but may have seen excerpts prior to 1973, in Ms. Magazine (?).
How old were you at the time?
I graduated high school in 1973, but I think I read something excerpted or a book review in Ms. before that (early subscriber, started in 10th grade, 1970).
Who brought the book to your attention?
Ms., and then saw it in bookstore, can't remember exactly where that was.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I thought - WOW. This is it. Everything I had wondered about as a teen, with no real information. I've got to show this to my less-than-feminist girlfriends. First time I saw accurate info and graphics on clitoris, on masturbation, etc.
What had the biggest impact?
This book explained my sexuality to me, just as I was exploring it on my own. The anatomy, the male medical establishment, and why nobody else did anything about this. The idea that women could take control of the bodies - that was the most revolutionary idea. It just confirmed what I already felt, but had nobody to discuss this with, or even the language to talk about it.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
made me very cynical about male doctors - I have always had female doctors since that time! Female ob/gyn, female general, female periodontist. Will never go back.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
yes. Orgasms, anatomy, idea of empowerment.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
no disagreement - just left me wanting to know more,a nd wishing that I could live in an area that had more resources (I was 17 at the time, about to graduate from high school in OH). Did eventually move to Bay Area in early 1980s, but not because of this. Grateful to be here ever since.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
At the time, as young woman, if memory serves, I felt that the book spoke directly to me, but a bit one-off since I wasn't old enough yet to completely explore everything on my own. Gave me goals to work towards in terms of empowerment, but didn't give me a "teen" message. I haven't read any other edition, but believe strongly that very young girls need this empowerment. Have tried with my own daughters, and mostly worked well....but have always wished I could get a pre-teen version of OBOS and say "here, read this and then let's talk."
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes, see above comments
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
school sex ed was old early 1960s cartoons whown to me/us in late 60s/early 70s...just limited to menstruation and egg fertilization....100 light years from OBOS!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
yes, every woman I knew at the time. Obvious as to why - only place to learn about our bodies, and to take control!
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no. But 35 years later, my oldest daughter just got her internship in women's health at OBOS! Apparently, the message got thru! Politics is personal, as you know.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no - but looking forward to menopause book. Just went thru menopause.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Got abortion in brand-new clinic in 1975. Was feminist in orientation, but legal and licensed and had good male doctors, too.

Then, when needed health care, lived in SF Bay Area, so very easy to get mainstream feminist doctors my own age.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No. I am extremely active in another socially-concious profession instead (national consultant in affordable housing and community development). But raised feminist daughters, now oldest is in women's health policy field as senior in college. I always told my girls to consider med school, partially for women's health, partially for global health issues spanning both genders, and partially to fix health care system here at home. Guess it worked (daugther is MPH bound, then probably med school, outstanding bioscience work already underway).
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
reading OBOS web page because daughter got internship there for summer 05.


Submitted February 25, 2005, 5:38 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1991
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
"Our Bodies, Ourselves(1973,1976)
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
my roomate
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I felt a sence of suprise, curiousity and releif, that there was a book like this at all, that I could look to.
What had the biggest impact?
A sence of empowerment, and community amoungst all women from many different backrounds.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
At the time my concern was to educate myself about "the pill" and condoms and how to not get pregnant.
After reading OBOS I found myself completly curious ( almost as if a third eye had opened) and wanting to know more about woman's issues and the world around me.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Since the first copy of OBOS I read was from the year I was born I was really impressed by the historical impact of the book. On the other hand -as an 18 year old "punk-rocker" I had to look past the bell bottoms.
(Also the book was written before any knowledge of the Aids epidemic.)
Now at 32 one of my favorite aspects of OBOS is the historical documentation. It's great to look back and see how far we have come and how much more of an ever evolving battle we still have to contend with!
Especially now in these times of conservative bigetory trying to eliminate what should be basic human rights for all women from all backrounds of life. Such as health care, woman's right to choose, and equal rights to marry the partner they love.




Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
After high school discussing sex in a serious way felt Taboo. OBOS really helped me to begin looking at woman's health in a more confident and mature manner. OBOS helped me gain the courage to seek out contraception and practice safe sex.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, future roomates and partners.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Once at a retail job I was working in Harvard Sq. in Cambridge Masachusetts a group of women walked in the door.
As I began talking with these women they explained that they were in the area for a reunion conference for the women contributiors and writers for the OBOS book .
At this moment I actually got to say Thank you! and It was one one of the proudest moments in my life.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes and Yes!
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No. But I really wanted to go to the recent march in Washington D.C.!


How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From the OBOS website


Submitted February 20, 2005, 10:49 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1994
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973
How old were you at the time?
24
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was pregnant and staying in a women's shelter. It was a very confusing time for me. I was pregnant and alone and my doctors were talking over my head. The counselor at the women's shelter suggested it as a way to be better informed about my body so that I could understand the changes I was going through.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Yes, the graphic photos and the themese surprised me, but in a very happy and excited way. I felt like, "Now, this is what I needed a long time ago!"
What had the biggest impact?
Just being able to communicate with my doctor on a more intelligent level, besides having to refer to my vagina as my "pee-pee." It was very empowering for me to go in there and talk about the tests that I WANTED done and asking questions to get the information that I felt I needed instead of being told everything like a little child.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, it did. I have no qualms about walking out of doctor's office now if I feel he is patronizing me and he does not respond to my questions with respect.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, I did. Dealing with my pregnancy was the most important issue at the time, however, I didn't stop until I had read every page and since it was not my book I made copies of the pages I liked and I STILL have them!
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Hmmmm, it was eleven years ago that I sat down and read through it completely, but I do not remember any dissatisfaciton. On the contrary, I regretted never going out to purchase my own copy.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Again, I can not remember, but I think not.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, it did! I am proud to say that doctors and nurses find my knowledge of my body very refreshing and surprising. It makes the doctor-patient relationship so much more healthier
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
in high school the class was not taken seriously at all. I believe it was a coed class and jokes were made all the time.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I am buying my own copy now to share with my daughter who I was pregnant with when I first read it.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
I did not.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no I did not know about those books
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I am not sure abotu that. Does planned parenthood count? If so, then yes, I have and yes it did.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I put the name of the book into google and the website came up.


Submitted February 14, 2005, 4:52 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1985-ish
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976);
How old were you at the time?
12-ish
Who brought the book to your attention?
on a hippe relatives book shelf
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
all, surprisingly thorough
What had the biggest impact?
whole book, i remember being fascinated
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
no, was too young at time
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
was a resource in every aspect
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?

Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
i hope it would educate other young women
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?

Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?

How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
googled the book


Submitted February 10, 2005, 3:32 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1980 (or so)
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The first edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves.
How old were you at the time?
About 8.
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Nothing surprised me. (I was so little, I don't think anything in the world surprised me, or rather, everything did.)
What had the biggest impact?
The section about lesbians (see further discussion below).
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I learned about most aspects of healthcare and sexuality from the book, since I knew so little. The chapter on lesbians was tremendously important to me, though. I knew I was a lesbian from the time I was very small, and I read and re-read the chapter obsessively. (In the first edition the "lesbian" part was a chapter on its own; only in later editions was the material about lesbians incorporated into the book as a whole.) "In Amerika They Call Us Dykes." A very traumatic moment came when I was in high school, so the first edition of the book was no longer available, and my dog literally ate almost the entire chapter on lesbians (because the book was on my floor open to the chapter). I eventually found another used copy, but still. It was very sad. (But the dog had good taste, apparently.)
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I loved the book. The one thing that concerned me, in later years, was that in the earlier edition there was a real bias against psychiatry--I believe there was a reference to "therapists" as "the-rapists."
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes--it shaped my entire understanding of what an approach to health care was.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I learned nothing in school about women's health and sexuality.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
In college, I gave it to a woman in my dorm, because she had never seen it, and I thought it was a fundamental text.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
I had the pleasure of going to a presentation by one of the authors/editors when a new edition of the book came out in the early '90s. I think I may have asked some questions, but I can't remember what.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves, Growing Older.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Actually, I went to high school with Wendy Kline, and ended up at this webpage after looking at something on our high school alumni page.


Submitted February 9, 2005, 4:46 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1998
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
the 1970 edition
How old were you at the time?
about 12
Who brought the book to your attention?
no one, I found it in a used book store and thought it looked intresting
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was surprised at the frank discussion of sex and health.
What had the biggest impact?
The section on alternative sexualities
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
no
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
yes, the book for me became a subsititute for "the talk", since my parent's neglected to do it.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
yes!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I didn't really learn anything in school, but the book corrected my misconceptions.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
no
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
obos website


Submitted February 8, 2005, 10:44 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
In college. I think I was about 19 years old.
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
I believe it was the second edition; later, I got myself a copy of the original edition. I have both of them stashed away somewhere.
How old were you at the time?
In my late teens, just beginning to come to some kind of a feminist awareness. Probably heading into my junior year of college.
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother had mentioned it when I was growing up, and I think I saw it for sale at a used book store. I'm not quite sure exactly what made me pick it up, but I remember hanging out a lot in the campus women's center then, and reading a lot of books on feminism. I found the factual nature of the book very comforting and interesting.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The frankness with which it spoke about various kinds of sexuality, and certainly some of the graphic images--both photos and drawings. It wasn't so much surprise as a kind of long exhalation of breath, an "it's okay, then, to be a woman," moment, and this is part of what being a woman is about. It was really nice to see MANY different kinds of sexuality all placed together and given equal weight -- both lesbianism and heterosexuality. I also found the parts about pregnancy, labor, birth, and breastfeeding really fascinating.
What had the biggest impact?
I'm not sure if it was any one part of the book, so much as the fact that it was written by women, for women, and that it showed the various stages of a woman's life -- and the various paths she might choose -- in a way that wasn't pathologized, the way that most of the medical literature written by men has done. Take a look at Freud's study of neurotic women, or most psychologists' or physicians' case studies of sick women, and hold it up against this quilt of many healthy, productive women living out their lives. It gave me a lot of hope for my future as a woman, and helped me let go of some shame and fear -- both about my sexuality and about the possibility of bearing children (or not).
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, I think so. I tend to look for female doctors, because I think that a woman will look diffently at another woman. That's not always the case, though. Most importantly, I know now that it's MY body, and that the doctor's job is not to fix it, but to help me heal.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, although mostly about sexuality. I was pretty well-educated about things like STDs, HIV-prevention, and pregnancy. I came out as a lesbian/bisexual at the age of 19, though, and the book helped a lot with that.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Not sure. Overall, I agree with it. I consider myself a feminist and don't think that the message in the book is at all over the top. It's definitely presented in a clinical, even-tempered tone.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
It would be nice if there were more of a discussion about bisexuality -- not as a transition between straight and gay or vice versa, but as a bona fide sexual orientation.

I haven't read the newer editions, but it might be interesting to see you address issues of gay marriage, alternative forms of conception/fertility, and alternative family structures. I believe you did that to a certain extent in your previous books. This may be getting too far off the issue of health, though.

Discussion of diet and PCOS might also be helpful.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
More on a spiritual level. I got a lot of the basics from health class.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Mostly that it's okay to be a woman. And that it's not gross. That's a VERY important lesson, I think. The sections on masturbation, family, and sexuality were particularly important.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, I'd recommend it to any young woman -- probably after she's out of her parents' house, unless I know the parents well enough. For all the same reasons I think the book helped me. It helps a woman feel better about herself -- and if she DOESN'T know the basic biology of how her body works, then she should!
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes. Only indirectly.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes. I attended the We Won't Go Back rally in the 1990s, volunteered at a women's shelter in 1996, and was a client at planned parenthood. I continue to write letters to my congresspeople about women's health issues, especially abortion rights and access to family planning.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Wainwrightbank.com


Submitted February 5, 2005, 9:40 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
A friend and her mother who had given the book to her.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
masturbation
What had the biggest impact?
I think the idea that a group of women was writing about women. It was my first idea that there was a community of women that didn't all revolve around men.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
no, too young
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, I don't remember if it was directly a result of the contents of the book, but I went out and got my own birth control (an IUD) as soon as I became sexually active (which was, in those days, at age 19).
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I don't recall any disagreement. Some of it was already known territory.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not that I recall.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I gave the book to my sister.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, I didn't know there were other publications.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Something made me think of the book just now and I did a search for it.


Submitted January 31, 2005, 11:21 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1992
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The new our bodies, ourselves (1992)
How old were you at the time?
13
Who brought the book to your attention?
my aunt bought it for me when i got my first period
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
at 13, everything surprised me!
What had the biggest impact?
the straight forward information and solutions
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
it made me more aware of what my doctor was saying to me
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
i was able to diagnos myself with chlamydia and get the proper treatment quickly. it helped me be less embarrassed because i had the facts
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
i loved it
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
not yet
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
it made me feel more comfortable with my body. though i still do not feel comfortable masturbating, the book made me realize i'm "normal" either way
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
the information was more in depth and questions were answered you would be afraid to ask in class with your peers
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
my best friend. a great read
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
haven't read them
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
my aunt


Submitted January 23, 2005, 9:42 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
must have been 1970
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
I read it right after it first came out. I know it was the early 70's.
How old were you at the time?
I was 30 years old and no one had ever mentioned the word Vagina to me, nor had I seen one. Comical today isn't it?
Who brought the book to your attention?
My doctor,a male and a lovely Mormon in Salt Lake City, Utah.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
It was all a surprise, masturbation? I grew up in Germany and in my family body parts were never discussed, let alone intimate details. I doubt that my mother or father or siblings ever masturbated, we wouldn't have known that THAT exists.
What had the biggest impact?
The frank and enlightening explanations, the graphic pictures.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Absolutely, but I must say, I've had both men and women doctors and both good and bad. I've had some fantastic male doctors and one terrific Rheumatologist and one horrid, horrid female gynecologist, HORRID.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
health care, sexuality.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was and still am so happy that this book was published.I have given it as a present so many times I lost count.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
If there are or were, I probably wouldn't know it.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes it did, it allowed me to fight for myself and make it understood that it is MY BODY and my decision what happens with it.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Are you kidding? I went to school in Germany 1945-1957, never was anything like that discussed. I doubt that Germans believed that their bodies existed. If I had ever mentioned anything about a Vagina to my mother, my mother would have passed out cold or called me a slut.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Many many times, to my daughters, to young daughters and sons of friends with their parents permission. It's a bible every young woman and man should have.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Never did, probably would not have felt myself worthy to comment at the time. Immigrant's fear of bad English usage.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No I have not, but I am about to decide which one of them to give to a young motherless daughter age 12 and your help and advice would be appreciated.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No, didn't know they exist. On the other hand I've always lived in small out of the way towns due to my husband's occupation.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No, but active in NOW for a long time and women's issues in the work place and active in health issues in my daughter's lives.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Went to look up Our Bodies Ourselves because of the decision which one to buy for this 12 year old girl.


Submitted January 15, 2005, 6:28 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1975
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973, new our bodies 1992, and foreign translation
How old were you at the time?

Who brought the book to your attention?
friend
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
no
What had the biggest impact?
resource it provided
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
yes
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
all
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
yes
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
more about menopause
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
much more
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
friends and step daughters
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
didbn't hear about them - am very interested
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes yes
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
not directly
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
through google + name of book


Submitted January 6, 2005, 2:07 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1990
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Not sure. It was white / yellow, probably the 1984 edition.
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
It found it on my aunt and uncle's bookshelf.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The openess of it, photos and themes I had not seen written down before - masturbation, abortion, lesbianism.
What had the biggest impact?
I liked the "for and by women" part of it because it meant solidarity. It was powerful somehow, probably because it was a strong statement and unusual. It was like secrets noone else was talking to me about!

Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It did make me think of my body as being my body. In a way the messages I got at school were positive - "You do not have to give your body away. It is yours, watch out the boys will try and get it!" but that was a loaded responsibility on me as a female in that. I had to do the stopping of the boys, they can't help it. As for and women loving women - that wasn't even raised as far as I remember. This book was open about enjoying your body.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes there was information about enjoying sex and I remember the part about examining your body, using a mirror to examine yourself.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I remember some of the topics were new but I do not think I was in disagreement, it made me more curious about many topics.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, I think I became more consious of how political women's bodies are in our society (Ireland).
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Well in my convent school you didn't get any education on safe sex. One biology teacher gave information to pupils about safe sex but that was a brave thing to do given that it was against school principles. Sex before marriage was out. Masturbation was not even joked about. I was 19 before in the company of girls the word masturbation was mentioned and there was a bit of a silence!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes I must have mentioned it to several friends. My best friend bought me a copy of the book when I was 21 so I must have been going on about it! We were on J1 student Visas in the US in 1993 for the Summer. I was absolutely delighted. I remember thinking I was kind of smuggling it into the country because it had abortion information in it!
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I thought I would treat myself to the book if I can get it here in Ireland. Then I thought I'd check on the Internet about what editions are out now. I hope the new edition is as good as the one I had. By the way the friend who bought it for me borrowed it and gave it to her friend who must have needed to look up something. I never got it back. It's somewhere in Northern Ireland and I hope it is being used!


Submitted January 1, 2005, 9:33 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1994
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Most likely The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992)
How old were you at the time?
22
Who brought the book to your attention?
I found it on the book shelf at my campus women's center. I went out and bought my own copy within a week. I kept it for years, until the time came when I had a friend who needed it more than I. I gave my copy to her.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was pretty sheltered in terms of being in touch with my female body, so the whole thing surprised me, but I wouldn't say it was shocking. I was pleasantly surprised and a bit relieved to have access to this kind of information. I read through the whole thing, I especially remember the information on birth control, body image and abortion.
What had the biggest impact?
There wasn't any one section or issue. The impact was it's accesiblity. OBOS was (and is) in many ways like a wise old woman who I could turn to to ask ANY question, without embrassement, without explanations. I didn't have a female relative in my life who could provide me with this information.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes. I realized that I needed to have a female doctor. I am in process of looking for a new doctor... I think I will make sure this book in on her bookshelf!
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I appreciated the body image chapters and anything related to reproductive system.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Satisfied. Didn't disagree, didn't have enough knowledge too. Ten years later, I might...
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Don't recall any.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
YES YES YES, as explained before.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I didn't learned much about women's health and sexuality until my junior year of college when I started taking women's studies courses. The book was quite the supplment!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, I gave it to friends and relatives. As a former campus women's center director, I have recommended it to 100s of students. We have even made it available to purchase through our Center.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Flipped through each. Actually came to the OBOS website today to order a copy of Sacrificing Ourselves for Love.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I am in process of trying to find a feminist health clinic or at least a feminist-identified doctor. I am presently getting the run around from my healthcare providers and I need someone who takes my symtoms seriously. This book just emphasizes the need to have healthcare providers that are female-focused, which I define as feminist.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Through www.ourbodiesourselves.org.


Submitted January 1, 2005, 9:10 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1997
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992);
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The loving, graphic photos (esp. around issues of pregnancy and childbirth).
What had the biggest impact?
I think the book helped me internalize the idea the lived experience is as important, if not more so, than clinical or scientific "knowledge".
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It helped validate my anger/fear toward my medical experiences. The book has continually empowered me to know and trust myself and my experiences.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I've used to book many times for information about birth control abortion, relationships and sexuality.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I have some issues with the edition I have:

1) I think the information about fertility awareness is somewhat innacurate. I wish there was more information about it - I think an inclusion of how to "chart" would be incredibly empowering.

2) I think that the problems associated with tampons and synthetic hormone birth control were minimized.


Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
1) I wish that there had been information about the type of non-surgical abortion I had. Even though the procedure was reccomened to me by PP, I was concerened that it wasn't in your book. It was quite popular int eh nineties for very early pregnancies - it involfved some kind of anti-convulsant drug as a vaginal suppository which caused miscarriage.

2) There were no voices of transwomen. In your future editions, please, please, please don't include the voices of transMEN (I know many have roots in the lesbain community .. . . ) and ignore transwomen.

3) More information about eating disorders (and esp. how women of color, poor women and fat women are under-diagnosed).

4) More discussion about fat issues and fat discrimination.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
OBO has been continually affirming, and each time I re-read a chapter, I learn something new.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I learned almost nothing in school about health anc sexuallity. My mother, however, was very open with me, so OBO simply augemented what she taught.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have reccomended the book to many women in my life. Sometimes a women will seem angry and confused, usually with the medical world, and I find that your book is very helpful in these times.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I am trying to conceive now, so look forward to reading Ourselves and our children.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Planned Parenthood reffered me to a private doctor to recieve a non-surgical abortion (pre RU-48?). I'm not sure if it had anything to do with OBO.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Is this like capital letters The Women's Health Movement? I don;t know what that means . . . but I have been involved in women's health activism.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Reffered by some message board some time ago. Someone said the new editionw ould include more trans issues, more information about eating disorders and fat issues. I surfed over here tonight to see if it was true.


Submitted December 22, 2004, 8:59 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976)
How old were you at the time?
22
Who brought the book to your attention?
My ex-sister-in-law.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
A full chapter dedicated to lesbianism.
What had the biggest impact?
The orientation of the book, that women should take control of their own health care.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes: birth control; pregnancy; abortion; post-partum depression; menopause; other gynocological problems.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
The 1973 edition seemed to place undo stress on lesbianism. It is still the only edition I have, and now the chapter on menopause seems inadequate.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
My view of the book has changed drastically as I enter a new phase in my life. The 1973 edition was mostly orientated towards women during their reproductive years, and shortchanged topics of cancer and menopause. Of course it did not mention AIDS.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Complemented what I had learned, which was very rudimental.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
No. I wish there were a Hebrew translation so I could give a copy to my daughter.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Google search for book lead me to the Our Bodies Ourselves webpage which lead me to the study.


Submitted November 28, 2004, 8:57 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1975
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves, 1973

Our Bodies, Ourselves, 1973




How old were you at the time?
30
Who brought the book to your attention?
I can't remember. I think I just saw a copy in the bookstore.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was surprised about all the very direct information; happily surprised.
What had the biggest impact?
The section about sexually transmitted diseases. I had just learned that I had gotten genital herpes from a sex partner who had NOT informed me about his own herpes. I was devastated.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No, I had already been to the doctor about it. It was a doctor I picked out of the yellow pages and, thankfully, he was understanding and objective.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, I think I read the entire book! My knowledge was quite limited up to that point.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was satisfied. It's so long ago. I remember its being a real eye-opener on many topics but I was grateful for it.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I don't remember thinking that.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, I remember thinking I was in charge of making sure I stayed healthy.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Hey, I had learned practically NOTHING in school. My sex education in high school was a joke for the most part.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I had some good talks with two women across the alley!
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
As a high school teacher I used sections of the books about teen girls. Can't remember the exact title of the book I used at the time but I think it was one of yours!
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, there was a place in Minneapolis called Crysallis that I visited several times. That may actually have been the place where I heard about the book - just can't remember.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No, I wouldn't say that. I've donated money for breast cancer research.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Well! I'm just now having a herpes outbreak and I remembered your book so I typed in Boston Women's Health Collective to see if I could get some tips on "home remedies" for the condition. I've been lucky through the years; very few outbreaks and only one sore. The last couple of years, the outbreaks have become more frequent, like three times a year. I had been told by a doctor that this could happen. I am distressed by it. Fortunately, my husband is very understanding. I got herpes before I met and married him. So, anyway, I noticed your survey and decided to take it because I remember that your book was very helpful back then on a whole range of issues. (Now, THERE'S an answer I'll bet you weren't expecting!) :)


Submitted November 23, 2004, 10:46 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1988
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
21
Who brought the book to your attention?
Women's health class at University of NE-Lincoln
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
the photographic comparison of intact hymens
What had the biggest impact?
the usefulness of the book. I just referred to it this AM while discussing birth control/pap smear exams with my newly sexually active 17 year old son.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
no--I already had my consciousness raised a couple years prior to reading OBOS.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
oh yes--every chapter of the book has been used by me to learn or teach others (like my son's male and female friends)
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
My disagreements have changed over time, so I can't say that there is anything in particular.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I don't remember any...
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
added immeasurably to what I learned (did I learn ANYTHING?!?!)in school
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
see above #s 6 [I just referred to it this AM while discussing birth control/pap smear exams with my newly sexually active 17 year old son.] & 8 [teach others (like my son's male and female friends)]. Am taking this survey b/s it was a link on the page where I plan to buy several copies to give to my son's female friends.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
nope
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
All but 'sacrificing...'--they are good additional, focus information, but do not merit "stand alone" status
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no, see answer # 7 (no--I already had my consciousness raised a couple years prior to reading OBOS.)
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Only tangetially doing pro choice activism and volunteering at my university's Women's Center
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Am taking this survey b/s it was a link on the page where I plan to buy several copies to give to my son's female friends.


Submitted November 22, 2004, 5:09 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973 version
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
Women's resource center at michigan state university
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Everything! That it was so readable, engaging, informative.
What had the biggest impact?
The energy and empowerment and belief in the importance of individual women's experiences.

That so many lay women believed that they -- and all other women -- were entitled to information about their bodies that previously was only available to formally educated, licensed health care professionals.

And that they could take that belief and through the energy of organized action, research various health concerns and provide information in a readable, educational format to a lay audience.

Plus...including the personal anecdotes and individual feelings about all these issues -- now that was very powerful. Adding the photos and drawings personalized the book and made it three dimensional.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
yes -- gave me confidence to speak up for what i wanted.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, all areas.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I just wish there was more and eagerly awaited the next version.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Yes -- inherited bleeding disorders that disproportionately affect women... but I've addressed that by being a contributor!
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely.

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The book's feminist lens created an entirely different and woman positive interpretation that was not provided in school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Of course: all my friends and young teenage first cousin. Now I'll give it to my neices.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Yes! I introduced myself to Judy Norsigian and Norma Swenson at various women's health conferences.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves, Growing Older (1987)
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, I was involved (still am) in the then called 'feminist health movement' in the 1970s.

When I was pregnant I sought prenatal/birth care from a free standing birthing center. My knowledge about midwives originally came from OBOS. I've been a long standing midwife advocate.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes:

late 1970's: advocating for improvements in sexual assault services and abortion rights and services in Lansing, MI

early 1980s: Coordinating DES Action and advocating for abortion rights and midwifery services in Michigan

mid 1980's -- advocating for abortion rights and midwifery services in Philadelphia

1990's present -- advocacy and education in California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam and nationally about Von Willebrand Disease, the most common inherited bleeding disorder


How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I'm an OBOS fan.


Submitted November 15, 2004, 4:48 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
our Bodies, Ourselves, 1976
How old were you at the time?
15
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was my mother's book. She had it hid in her closet. I asumme because of the graphic photographs and its address of certain "taboo" issues such as abortion and homosecuality.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The graphic photographs and frank discusion of sexuality, birth control, abortion, pregnancy and childbirth did surprise me, as well as open my eyes.
What had the biggest impact?
Probably the birth control information - I was a teenager in the deep south at the time, and the information simpky wasn't available. Also, the pregnancy and childbirth section open my eyes - for the first time I think - to the idea that woman does nothave to labor and birth in a hospital with a male doctor as her master, but that woma does have a choice in hoe she brings her children into the world.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, as an adult.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Mainly birth control, but as I previously stated it had a major impact on my views of pregnancy and childbirth.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
As I reacll, I was completely satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Very much so.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
In the 1970's deep south, such topics other the basics of menstruation were not addressed. The book was, basically, my main source of information until I went to college.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, my roomate in college. Why? I think she need the information on birth control as much as I did.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I have all editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves and plan to share them with my daughter when appropraite (she's only 7 now).
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes, I have worked to have home birth direct entry midwivery legal in all states
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Via Google


Submitted November 9, 2004, 7:51 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1975
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
THE 1973 EDITION, THEN I BOUGHT THE 1984 ONE
How old were you at the time?
25
Who brought the book to your attention?
My sister, and ardent feminist at the time, suggested I get some better knowledge than the medical stories I was being told about my illness
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was really relieved there were women out there who cared enough to put all of the medical/gynaecological facts and our rights as women in charge of our bodies in a book in a sensible, non-frightening or confronting way.
What had the biggest impact?
the fact that I actually had a choice about my body, that I didn't have to take the Doctors'/my mother/mother-in-law's/(insert every bloody expert on the planet) opinion as final, that I had some say about what might happen to my body.
I started to get a picture of what was happening to me - both internally with regard to infertility issues, and externally, in the way I felt I was being "handled" by the medical experts.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, incredibly. I began to speak more plainly and demand the same of him. I insisted on having EVERYTHING explained, every single procedure, I wanted to read my case history notes, (he gave them to me to read)I wanted drawings, books, medical journals, the LOT. I DROWNED in gynaecology texts, but I realised quite quickly that these men in Australia in the late 70s early eighties knew very little about infertility, PID & associated trauma in the pelvic area.
Before undergoing the hysterectomy that we both (finally) thought was inevitable, I insisted they do the laparoscopy first, then talk to me about what they saw & what options there might be. In most hospitals in Australia in 1984, this was unheard of. I caused a lot of dramas at the hospital by not shutting up & allowing that "doctor knows best"...
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
After finding it so useful for dealing with and understanding my fertility issues, I read it from cover to cover. I learned more about the possibility of being a lesbian (I came out as a lesbian in 1986) and I have subsequently re-read up on menopause, herbal & alternative therapies etc as they have become relevant.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I LOVED IT
I LOVED IT
I LOVED IT

IT LIBERATED ME IN SO MANY WAYS
THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
NO


Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
YES, SEE QUESTION 7
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I had a catholic boarding school education and we got nothing from those nuns. Everything we knew was a mixture of supposition, conjecture, rumours, hearsay & rubbish.
We weren't even allowed to use tampons unless we had permission from our mothers, and even then the nuns and other girls were really disparaging about it.
Even 25 years on, at a reunion, when I mentioned this book as being a real turning point for me, I got quite a few "looks" from these catholic matrons...
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Every lesbian I know has a copy of this book - I have recommended it to everyone I talk to who have issues with the "medical model"
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I have made a point of only dealing with health professionals who are demonstrably feminist and I think that OBOS has influenced this stance to a degree, although some of my experiences have also taught me to be extremely careful in my selection of HCPs.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
through the OBOS website


Submitted October 28, 2004, 4:49 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1991
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
my aunt
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was surprised at the honesty and wealth of information.
What had the biggest impact?
the information about my body as a woman
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
definitely
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, it did. I used it to learn about female anatomy, safe sex, and bisexuality.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Yes.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The book explained everything in a simple, nonjudgemental, and clear format that I had never received at school, from my doctor, or my parents.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, I did give a copy to my younger sisters and some of my friends because I felt the book was so informative.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I have read Ourselves and Our Children and Changing Bodies, Changing Lives. I thought both were wonderful companions to Our Bodies, Ourselves.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, I did. The book helped me find the resources I needed.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
At the time I read the book, no. However, a few years later, I did become (and still am involved) in the pro-choice movement.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I looked it up on google to find out when the latest edition would be coming to the bookstore.


Submitted October 25, 2004, 10:06 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1992
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1992
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
The Women's health clincic on my college campus.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
No nothing surprised me. I was aprreciative of the fact that the book was so forthright regarding every aspect of a woman and her body-her sexuality and her health.
What had the biggest impact?
The enormous information I received.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It did not affect the doctor I chose, but I felt more informed when discussing some of the issues I had at that time. My OB-GYN couldn't really tell me anything that didn't make sense with regards to my body.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
The book was very helpful when I was faced with dealing with some STD's. I wasn't as frightened or nervous.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Completely satisfied. I recommended it to all my girlfriends as a "must have". And I have a daughter now-and this is definitely a book she will have when she starts to become a women.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, I learned not to be ashamed of my body.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?

Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
NO
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, unfortunately.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I typed in "Our Bodies Ourselves" at GOOGLE search engine.


Submitted October 19, 2004, 8:14 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1990
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
10
Who brought the book to your attention?
No one, I found it.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)

What had the biggest impact?
In Amerika They Call Us Dykes
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?

Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
yes, lesbianism
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
it made me feel like i wasn't alone
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?

Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?

Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?

Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?

How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
i thought maybe you would have information online like in the book. i just searched online because i was too lazy to pick up my book. :)


Submitted October 14, 2004, 8:28 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1985
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
I purchased the 1976 edition of Our Bodies Ourselves and brought it with me to Asia, where I was to begin a long career of working with Chinese/Taiwanese children.The edition that I brought with me was in English and I must say, for the local culture, at that time, the information contained within the covers of that remarkable resource book, was considered "radical" at best by the women who I shared it with.
How old were you at the time?
I was in my late 30's.
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was browsing through a bookstore, in Boston, shortly before my flight to Asia and saw it. Since I could not squeeze it into my suitcase, I hand carried it with me to Asia, on the plane.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
What surprised me was the bravery, not the content, on the part of the Women's Collective, to dare to print and discuss information about women's health issues, personal lifestyle choices and ways to work with these issues.

This book, supported the wave that was to follow for women of all ages to have the right to discuss our bodies openly and to find alternative avenues for choices and decision making, without being sneered at by others, including those within the American Medical Association.
What had the biggest impact?
Reading this edition, provided valuable and concrete information about how to better take care of myself.
It also gave me an avenue to provide support for other women, who I met and who were struggling to find answers for their own health concerns. Living in Asia, at that time, was a challenge, especially with regards to health care issues.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
This book greatly influenced my decision making process about doctors.
I realized that it was "my body" and that many times, doctors did not have an alternative mindset for approaching women's issues and health care.

This book also provided solid information, which supported me when I had to think clearly and without emotions clouding my thoughts, so that I could deal with my health issue clearly.

Another fulfilling aspect of this book was that when I approached doctors, I had more confidence and was more willing to ask questions, even when the doctor(s) may not have wanted to answer them.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
A hearty resounding "yes" to this question.
I used the book as a teaching resource to women from the foreign community, in Taiwan.
I also introduced the book to the local Community Services Center for foreigners living overseas and purchased a copy for a local Chinese Social Services Center. Even though most of the clients could not read English, back then, many of the counselors had studied English and understood the importance of the book's contends, even though local customs supported opposing views/approaches to women's health care.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
For the 1976 edition, I was satisfied.
However, as I grew with my own awareness, I purchased other editions, whenever I could get back to the States.

One issue that I would have changed was to pay more attention to the perspectives from other cultures that were supportive of women's health care and their issues.

Within the Chinese society, there are some very good and gentle methods that are not only holistic but seem to work more carefully with the entire process of the body's system and its needs.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Currently, I have yet to purchase the newest edition.
So, I am afraid that my opinions would not be up-to-date.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes. One positive effect is that I have made the choice to select health care individuals based on their understanding of the needs of women.

I have become better at using the networks that are available to me, through the information provided in this publication.

I have been able willingly take responsibility for my own health care and I now am able to love my body and show it the respect that it deserves.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
This publication provided information that was not bound up with other people's editorials.
It was one of the few health care resources that stuck to its mission...to provide information.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, I would recommend the book and have because of the items mentioned in the above responses.
Sorry, this is a very long questionnaire.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Yes
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, yes
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
yes
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
google.com


Submitted October 14, 2004, 2:06 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1971
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Women and their Bodies
How old were you at the time?
20
Who brought the book to your attention?
My sister gave it to me.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I found it very informative, providing the information I needed and that women were just starting to talk about. Not shocked--relieved. I was just getting into feminism and it provided validation and factual info.

The masturbation section gave me permission to masturbate,which was wonderful. Eventually I was able to show 2 partners how I masturbated.

When I had a brief relationship with a woman, I already had some background knowledge,and it was wonderful to have a lover who had the same "parts" that I did! This relationship helped me explore my bisexual side, although I identify as heterosexual.




What had the biggest impact?
Well, since it was over 30 years ago...I guess the fact that women were taking things into our own hands,providing useful info,and that my own experiences were valid. I liked reading the personal stories.

The relationship section was good,too--showed that they take a lot of work,but it IS possible for women and men to have good communication,sex,companionship and love.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I went to women gynecologists as soon as I could find them,eventually I was able to ask more questions,and it has provided info that doctors sometimes skipped over. I also realized that I could have a support person, as when I had an ultrasound to look for ovarian cysts.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Have referred to it many times over the years, and have used it when I taught Intro.to Women's Studies. Encourage many women to read it. Gave my first copy to a teen woman who needed the info.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I liked and still like the use of laywoman's language, and the analysis of the health care system; in addition, the research is solid and continues to be updated. I now own Ourselves Growing Older as I'm now 53 (how did that happen?!) The latter book has given me hope that I can be sexual as long as I want to. My marriage/partnership of 25 years ended with my husband's death last year, and I still have a healthy libido. Eventually,I will be able to find that rare supportive feminist man, and that I don't need to "settle."

The only thing that made me a litlle uncomfortable was the discussion on anal sex,but I realized that it was just another variation of sexuality and I didn't need to do it if I didn't want to.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
It just evolved as the times changed and more info became available. I suggest that the next edition have more information on vibrators,Betty's Barbell, and other sex toys.

I think it's wonderful that it's been translated into so many languages. Knowledge is power!
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. I developed more pride,and helped me to become assertive in relationships with men. When I finally found someone who would make a commitment, something I despaired about at times,I had the knowledge and information to have a wonderful sex life with a man who always was concerned about my pleasure. I knew from OBOS that I had the capacity to be multiorgasmic, and with my beloved partner/spouse,I was multiorgasmic the second time we made love, and it continued that way!

Also,it was quite reassuring to read when I developed yeast and other vaginal infections, and when I got HPV,for which I was treated successfully.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Again,I read it avidly,as I wanted and needed to have factual,understandable,information which I could refer to
periodically. This was the beginning of my REAL education on health and sexuality,and I've never stoppped reading other reliable sources as well.

It answered some questions I had about lesbian sexuality that I was too shy to ask the lesbians I knew about.

The section on mental health was and is good, too.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
See above--one young woman and women's studies students.
Also friends over the years.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Well, I tried to contact the Collective after I returned from a visit to Cuba as I wanted to give the FMC (Federation of Cuban Women) free copies; they'd heard of the Spanish edition but it was next to impossible to obtain in 2001; the situation remains the same today due to the U.S. embargo. But I never got a return call. It's vital that women in developing countries get this info.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
The first 3--all good.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No,but I sought out feminist gynecologists.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I volunteered at a grassroots feminist health storefront clinic the summer of 1971; this center eventually became the Portland Women's Health Clinic.
I did political work around stopping violence against women & reproductive rights. I took self-defense classes and encouraged other women to do the same.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Craigslist Women's Issues Forum.


Submitted October 13, 2004, 1:30 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1982
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves 1976 edition
How old were you at the time?
I was in my early twenties and out of nursing school twoa nd half years earlier.
Who brought the book to your attention?
My supervisor had the book and we used for teaching patients in the chicano community clinic
What had the biggest impact?
I think the whole book in general...it was easy to understand, had graphic (or what I considered graphic at the time)drawings and pictures...as well topics from orgasms to lesbianism...oral sex and so on.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I don't beleive so since the Doctors I worked with at the time also recommended the books to our patients and staff to read.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I relied heavily on the book for most of my information for patient education since I lacked the personal experience...and I really had limited knowledge of what I was teaching to the hispanic female patients prior to reading the book. I used it to help me explain to the hispanic females on how to achieve or why they were not able to achieve orgasm, how to help in sexual desire, etc...It also benefited me for later relationships in my personal life.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Well some beliefs were hard to discard and I was for the most part very happy with the book and I still think it's a fantastic book and highly recommend it, even to my 24 yr.old step-daughter
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I found it to be pretty complete and eventually it had a book about older women and the life changes and issues with getting older...but the name escapes me for the moment.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes I got better understanding with regards to my body and it helped me in my marital relationship with my husband and feeling comfortable in requesting what I wanted.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Well what one learns is so limited and one is not well informed through middle and high school, until after I went through nursing school and finally went to work at a community clinic did I really start to learn!!!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I recommended it to my sisters, friends and co-workers as well as patients who ask about how their body functions and even with my own kids.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Read changing bodies and changing lives and Ourselves growing older...but I was much more impacted with Our bodies Oursleves since it was the first book I read, and the one I like the best and then Changing bodies, changing Lives.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Not really since I sought out physicians I worked with and they were very open minded and nothing seemed to be taboo.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no...
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
When I was doing my CEU's it had it as a reference.


Submitted September 27, 2004, 1:20 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1989
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
22
Who brought the book to your attention?
I started taking women's studies courses and going to women's book stores and visiting the women's health section in the bookstore. I saw it referenced so many times, and saw it so many times, I finally picked it up.

What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Graphic photos, for sure, but it was mostly the breadth and serious dedication to women's health and women's bodies. It made me realize that my body and my health were something I should both treasure and something that I should take responsibility for. Prior to that, I had just passively inhabited my body and left any health decisions up to fate or the doctor.
What had the biggest impact?
The size and range of it, the openness and lack of judgement. Everything I needed was in that book. Its very exhaustiveness made me aware of how complicated and special we women truly are.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It made me more active in my health choices and my lifestyle choices. It also made me more aware of my body and how it functions. In general, it made me proud to be a woman.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Sexual health issues for sure. I'm not sure I read in details many of the other sections -- but that is a reflection of my age at the time of using it then. Now I use it for many other topics as well.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Yes, though I was very aware that it was a tad 'hippy-ish' in terms of the kinds of photos and the women in the photos. As a hip young 20-something woman, I was 'cooler' than that (sorry!). But it didn't prevent me from reading the content by any means.


Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No. Though now looking back, it probably didn't do enough with race (multi-ethnic) and other topics, but at the time I was unaware of this. It served my own needs.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. (As mentioned above). It made me aware that I inhabited a body! And that I had agency and power in terms of how I cared for that body.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I hadn't learned much, to be honest. It was very much 'leave it up to the doctor', and I knew only the basics of my body.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Within 6 months I had purchased a copy of the book (each) for both of my sisters (younger) and for my mother. I also, when it later became available, bought the 'Ourselves growing older' version for my mother. I have also recommended it to friends and colleagues.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves, Growing Older -- I bought it for my mom and she has used it several times.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, I have, and maybe it was partially influenced by OBO -- I can't say for sure that I've made this connection.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes; I went on (much later) to author a book on first menstruation for young girls. I also joined the women's health movement as a writer and editor. I have several times referred people to OBOS.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Google. Searching for topics on 'menstrual suppression.'


Submitted September 21, 2004, 2:22 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1977
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
I believe it was a U.K. edition
How old were you at the time?
Eleven
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was a birthday gift from friends of my parents.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I didn't feel any surprise after I had ripped off the gift wrap and began flicking through. I was too busy trying not to die of embarassment while being watched by my parents and their friends.
What had the biggest impact?
OBOS didn't seem to have any impact at the time. It has however contributed to making me who I am now and the attitudes I learnt have coloured all relationships throughout my life.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I used the book as the starting reference to find a doctor who would be happy to support the home birth of my second child. She had read the book and so had some of the midwifery team attatched to her practice.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I often took the book from the shelf and used it to look up questions of healthcare.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Probably the best book I have ever owned.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I have wished many times that there was a companion volume devoted to men. I have three sons, and no matter how much I try to give them all the information they need, there are going to be things I can't begin to tell them, they will have things they don't want to ask, things I couldn't begin to understand as I am the wrong gender. I got so much of this from OBOS because of it's no-nonsense informative content.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
I was never afraid of my body and it gave me the confidence to ask the right questions of the right people.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I took great pleasure as a smart-assed teenager in lending the book to my high school biology teacher who had annoyed me during a co-ed lesson by emphasing that condoms weren't the best form of contraception due to a loss of sensation on the part of the male in the union. I suggested he had missed the point of love-making and that his partner might like it if he used OBOS to refine his technique!
This episode rather set the tone for the rest of my high school career. Even as a young teenager, I understood that the teaching of human reproduction in schools was concerned with the mechanics but felt that it should also be taught within the context of loving relationships.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I lent it to all the men I considered having a sexual relationship with and their reaction to the book determined how long the relationship would last. I also lent it to many female friends who were confused or ill-informed about their well being.
I wish though that whoever I lent it to last would own up and give it back. I need it for my children.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Trying to source a copy in the U.K., I typed the title into Google and here I am.


Submitted September 16, 2004, 11:38 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1981
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
OBOS 1976
How old were you at the time?
13
Who brought the book to your attention?
my mother had it on the shelf
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The suggestions about self-examination - I thought I was the only one ever to want to see my genitalia
What had the biggest impact?
Probably the above, and the reassuring, matter-of-fact advice years later when I thought I'd contracted herpes II. It helped me to question the very rude doctor who told me it HAD to be herpes before she even sent the sample off to the lab. It wasn't.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
See above.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Birth control, primarily. I trusted OBOS more than any person, so I referred to it constantly when I (or my friends) needed information about anything woman-oriented.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I wish there had been more references - I always wanted more information on everything!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not that I can think of right now.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. It gave me a non-judgemental resource for information and sound advice. For a teenager, that is just about the biggest gift there is.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
My "health" teacher went briefly (and with great embarassment) over the anatomy of our "private parts" but I relied on OBOS for most everything else.

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes. Friends who had never read it, students who seemed to have incorrect information about their bodies, and (of course!) my two little sisters.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No, though at least one of them was the mother of one of my schoolmates. Now that I think about it, that is probably why I didn't contact them!
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I've read CBCL and OGO and admired them both, but my favorite is still OBOS.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes - I got my first diaphragm in 1986 at Planned Parenthood.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I am a clinic defense escort and very involved in the operations of the local clinic defense organization. As my day job, I run the only North American Hotline for people seeking information about abortion. We receive upwards of 3000 calls a month.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Our communications director sent out an article from Women's ENews with an article about the latest BWHBC publications.


Submitted September 14, 2004, 11:09 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1979
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1976
How old were you at the time?
Nineteen
Who brought the book to your attention?
I saw it at a garage sale and bought it for three bucks.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Honesty, excellent graphics, cool lovemaking pics.
What had the biggest impact?
Just the wealth of info. on womens health issues packed into one nice tidy package. WOW!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, I felt better informed and could participate in health decisions more completly.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I have herpes simplex and needed info on that. I have had three babies, I am now begining peri-menopause, I have battled cervical cancer. I still have the original book I bought at the garage sale.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I loved the book. It became my health bible.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes. Everything mom never told me (probably because she was as ignorant as I was ) was in the book.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was more empowering, made me understand that womens health issues were not like mens and pregancy and menopause were not sicknesses.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes. I have bought a copy for a girl, age 13, and two brides. It is essential women have such vital info on hand at all times. We are the ones that are ultimately responsible for our health.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Yes, I have a copy of Ourselves and our Children.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, I did, and yes the book did influence me. I chose a feminist clinic for cervical cancer treatments, HIV testing, PAPs and two abortions.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Link on Boston Women's Health Collective page


Submitted September 13, 2004, 8:39 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1978
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves 1973
How old were you at the time?
twenty years of age
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was a part of an existing book collection.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I obtained the answer that I was looking for, after considerable bouts of vaginal yeast infections, in addition to a broader understanding of MY condition.
What had the biggest impact?
It, the book, allowed for a more free-flowing environment of discussion with all of our children: male and female.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Prescriptions became the last resort and herbal remidies the first line of defense.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Not particularly, but knowing where to go if I needed help was of much comfort.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was such a novice it simply broadened my interpretation of the world.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
They were ALL larger than my life at that time.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, the book gave me an understanding of control and responsibility.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
School generic. Book descriptive.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, as a Marriage and Family Therapist I am often surprised at taboo subject matters.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No, are you looking for contributers?
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Yes, Changing Bodies, Changing Lives. Of course, that issue had progressed and matured, but it did not lend, for me, the comfort of familial of the earlier edition.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, I did and yes as a direct result. The book gave me the self-assurance to participate in a self-help and hands-on teaching environment for being fitted for a cervical cap. Prior to the book I would have continued along the lines of traditional birth control methods.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Searching for information to forward to a friend.


Submitted September 7, 2004, 1:09 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
c. 1984
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984 AND 1992)
How old were you at the time?
24
Who brought the book to your attention?
I don't remember
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Graphic photos and frank discussion of things I was never invited to frankly discuss.
What had the biggest impact?
The open discussion of women's health issues.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It informs my relationship with my doctor to some degree in that I don't allow him to be in charge of my body, or to patronize my concerns. It didn't influence my choice of doctor on the face of things - I chose my doctor based on my HMO at the time, and geography - but had I found my doctor to not be serious about women's health, or to be patronizing of me, it would have influenced me to find someone else.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?

Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I am still somewhat more inclined to seek medical attention, rather than home remedies or alternative care for my medical problems. Just my feeling that the medical profession is trained to treat my health.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
I understood my body and my health much better, using Our Bodies, Ourselves as a guide.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I went to Catholic school in the 1970s. I barely learned anything about women's health other than menstruation and childbirth. Women's sexuality was something to be repressed prior to marriage, and to be ignored in favor of one's husband's "needs" after marriage.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I've made recommendations. But I don't remember who or why, frankly.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
If Planned Parenthood counts, yes, I have. But it was prior to my reading OBOS.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
It was linked to an internet message board I frequent.


Submitted September 7, 2004, 5:46 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1984
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
I believe it was the 73/76 edition
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
I found it on the bookshelf in my dorm.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Not much--I went to Simon's Rock College and altho we didn't talk much about sex, my family was very liberal. The graphic photo of a woman who had a "home" abortion was probably the most surprising.
What had the biggest impact?
Good to get detailed info on reproduction and childbirth. I remember the most important bit of infomation was how to wipe myself and sharing that with my younger sister. Our mother never told us about this (did she know then?) and I remember my dad more involved in toilet training for some reason. I had tons of urinary and yeast infections when I was a teenager. This little fact was life changing!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, I have been much more proactive with my OB/GYN choices since then. Always use a woman.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
everything! now that I'm pregnant, I use it to get the info and support that my other books don't give me, the reassurance that asking for control of my body is OK--especially since I am in Korea, and you wouldn't believe how impersonal they are, despite all the modern technology and birthing beds, etc.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
completely satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
haven't thought about it, maybe about talking to our children about sexuality but maybe it's in there and I haven't read that part.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes, even tho I was pretty liberated, it reinforced that and filled in many details
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Since I went to Simon's Rock, I didn't finish HS and missed health ed. I don't think they had sex ed at my school except in health class. I just remember photos of how genitals look if you get some VD. Anyway, it wasn't instructive. In 4th grade the girls watched some weird movie about getting your period, but it didn't do the job!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have recommended it to many friends. Because it is the most comprehensive, woman-oriented text on women's issues especially around sexuality.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No, but I found this survey by doing an online search to see if there is a Q&A site since I am overseas.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no, I don't think so
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes. Probably but not consciously, the book and its ideas are just part of my life. When it came out of the box shipped from the US and I was looking at it for the first time since I first became pregnant or was trying to get pregnant with a 10-day window, my husband said "what's that?" (he's Korean), I replied, "it's my bible for my body."
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no, not directly; gave money to Planned Parenthood
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
yahoo search


Submitted August 30, 2004, 9:26 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1979
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976)
How old were you at the time?
19 years old
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was in my college library ( Reading Community College). The cover caught my eye.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The illegal abortion picture surprised and shocked me. To this day I can see that photo and to this day it's why I fight for safe and legal abortion.
What had the biggest impact?
The chapter on abortion.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I still don't put up with doctors who won't listen to me. I do believe it stems from this book.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Not at the time. It has been a resource ever since. I have Growing Older on my wish list.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I thought it was marvalous. It opened up a whole new world to me.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, I discovered that I wasn't weird for liking women.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was more down to earth. I was totally confused by my high school health classes. I thought a period lasted 28 days!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I always recommend it to young college women. I feel they deserve another point of view.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves and our children (1978)
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, when I couldn't find a doctor in the 1980's who would did not want to give me downers. When I found the Women's clinic they instructed me on proper rest and relaxation techniques that still help me.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I am a strong supporter of a woman's right to choose. I work with women's groups to that end.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Through your website.


Submitted August 23, 2004, 1:24 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1980
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]

How old were you at the time?
i was 24 years old.
Who brought the book to your attention?
a friend gave it to me as a gift. i was going thru a devorce at the time so many things out of order in my personal life.
one of the best gofts i've ever recieved. i have in turn given this book to other young sister as gifts.
my friend was in medical school at the medical college of georgia in augusta, ga.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
themes such as masturbation and lesbianism
What had the biggest impact?

Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
in helped me to open up a diagloge, and talk about things i would not have had to nerve to bring up.
also it prompted me to fond a new doctor (gyn).
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
yes
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
absolutely
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
YES!!!
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
yes
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no, but i will look for these books.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes, no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
i am a participant in the black women's health study slone epidemiology center.


Submitted August 20, 2004, 1:29 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1992
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
I first read the 1974 edition, which I bought at a yard sale for $3. It was hopelessly out of date.
How old were you at the time?
14 or 15.
Who brought the book to your attention?
Not sure - aware of it as a feminist document.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
A suggestion that condoms could be washed and re-uesd (I already knew this info was out-of-date).
What had the biggest impact?
Just having access to information I could trust when I needed it.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I think the book has helped me be much more open with health professionals and aggressive in pursing the care I want.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?

Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Compeltely satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The information was much more balanced and thourough than anything I got in school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I've given it as a gift and recommended it. I think every woman nees this owners manual for her body.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Yes. I was an intern at BWHBC in 1999.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Changing Bodies, Changing Lives.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I have been actively involved in pro-choice campaigning and I have ben a peer health/sexuality counselor.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
OBOS web site.


Submitted August 13, 2004, 2:22 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1998
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (for the '90s)
How old were you at the time?
I was 13 years old and in 8th grade.
Who brought the book to your attention?
I ran across the book at a Library book sale just south of San Francisco, CA -- they had just gotten the new edition in.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was intrigued by the photos and the fact that nobody was apologizing for the word "lesbian" blazing across the page. I loved it.
What had the biggest impact?
I was shy about buying it but knew that I had found a gold mine -- something struck a chord. Reading that book is what brought me into womanhood -- not my lackluster relationship with my mother, not getting my period, or taking sex ed. It shook me out of naievete and showed me what was up with the woman's world. I still have that addition as well as the two editions following it -- I share it with everyone!!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I make sure that I have a doctor that's looking in the same direction as me, more often than not a woman.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes -- i have used the book many times over the years to refer friends, deal with health concerns surrounding std's and pregnancy, and have gleaned much information from the sections on living freely in one's sexuality.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
i agree, for the most part. i am so happy to see it being reprinted and rethought for new generations. i'm only 20 and i want you printing this book for my kids to read.

Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
ill get back to you on that. but no, i dont think so, off the top of my head.

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes. i understand both so much easier -- in laywoman's terms. and im not afraid to ask questions, either. i feel educated and i feel empowered.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
i went to an all-girls catholic school. they were not liberal, they were not women-loving. i graduated in 2002 and we still werent talking about homosexuality. PSHAW!

the feminist fight has much work to do and schools who cut funding for contemporary sex ed or work keep homosexuality out of their lesson plans are holding humanity back.

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
yes! i have lent this book out bundles of times for projects, reports, worried friends, empowered but directionless and uneducated friends, and many many curious minds. its the best damn coffeetable book i have.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
nope, never. but thats a good idea :) they deserve some serious props.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
i had no idea there were others. wow.
readyyy... amazon. :)
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes. and yes.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
yes! march for women's lives, prochoice marches, take back the night, the vagina monologues, and the womens health center on campus. woot.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
i wanted to find out when the newest edition of OBOS was coming out.


Submitted July 29, 2004, 1:46 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1991
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ouselves
How old were you at the time?
13
Who brought the book to your attention?
my mother bought it for me for Christmas. I was really embarrassed to get it, but was secretly fascinated by it. I would read it alone in my room with the door closed.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
the masturbation part, especially the fantasies, opened up a whole new world to me. I had never tried it before and became an avid, um, masturbator as a result.
What had the biggest impact?
definitely the masturbation. I had received good health education both from school and my family. I had grown up in a liberal college town and things like lesbianism were normal to me. and I guess I had known that girls can masturbate, but it wasn't something my friends talked about. I was an only child, so I wasn't getting info from siblings, either.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No, my choice of doctor wasn't really something in my hands at that point.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
It mostly gave me fodder for my fantasies. Which is a little embarrassing to admit--I can't believe that was its primary purpose in my life. But hey, I guess that's important, too!
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I thought some of it was a little touchy-feely or overly politically correct. But I see the reasons behind it.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No, not at the time. I haven't read it for years (though I plan on rereading it soon), though.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yeah. I think it gave me some great, detailed information.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It complemented what I learned in school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
No, as a teenager I was still a little embarrassed by it, and the fact that my hippie mom had bought it for me.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?

How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
a friend sent it to me.


Submitted July 23, 2004, 7:05 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1994
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
OBO for the New Century
How old were you at the time?
21 years old
Who brought the book to your attention?
a friend in college
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
the amount of information provided, I had never known much about sexuality, the mere mass of information surprised me. I had no idea...

What had the biggest impact?
Understanding the menstural cycle in detail, learning that pregnancy can be planned after all, not just a "miracle of god"
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Very much so. I have gone to great lengths to have a female general practitioner, a female OB GYN, and a nurse practitioner for my regular exams.
All have read Our Bodies Our Selves.

I learned to take an active role in my health care, and focus on prevention. My health care team accepts my questions, concerns and spend time with me as I request. They are aware of my concerns of being over medicated, respect that and have extended themselves to using creative treatments for me.

If it were not for the Book, I probably never would have learned what to expect and demand from my health care team, and never know that there are resources for me to be empowered and to pass on to friends.

It has been a tremendous gift.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I used it to learn about STD's, never taught that ever.

I learned about my menstrual cycle so it has not become an enemy like it is for a lot of women, it is a process.

Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was completely satisfied and continue to use it as a resource to this day.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
For me, it addressed my issues. Most importantly it connected me to other resources that could adress topics.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Very much so, it should be required reading.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I had basic biological explanation with a heavy dose of abstinence only programming. NOTHING about women's health and sexuality, only shame, shame, and silencing.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have given it to my sister, plan to give it to my nieces.

Because they need to know what a collective is, they need to be encouraged to connect and read about their health.

Because they are women in my life.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
NO
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
NO
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
It had everything to do with reading OBO.. It became an option I could search for, it had never entered my mind before. It became a possiblity. It was as if the book had turned on a light in the dark room of my mind's eye and seeing my health for the first time.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Very active. In college I was an organizer of students for choice, a women's studies major.
I currently volunteer for a reproductive health clinic.
Actively vote and follow legislature concerning women's issues.

How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Found out about it through the link on the BWHBC web home page.

I got to it through a google search with the intent to find the Boston Women's Health Collective


Submitted July 22, 2004, 12:11 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1970
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Women and Their Bodies
How old were you at the time?
23
Who brought the book to your attention?
Women's Crisis Center, Ann Arbor
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
All of the above
What had the biggest impact?
frank discussion of anything sexual--it was eye-opening and wonderful
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
yes
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
sexuality, birth control
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?

Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
don't remember
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
yes. i didn't learn anything in school
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?

Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
yes
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes & yes
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
yes. abortion counselor
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?



Submitted July 14, 2004, 7:43 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1998, but I'd peeked at my mother's 1973 book when I was much younger
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998). This is the one I own (it's loaned to a friend right now), and I came upon your survey while looking to see when the new edition will be printed.
How old were you at the time?
20 in 1998.
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was a textbook for a Women's Studies class at college (the University of Wisconsin).
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Many of the photos seemed dated; hairy women in 70's haircuts, with partners who looked like stereotypical 70's hippie swingers. However, I understood that the bigger issues transcend time and haircuts, and that much common thought about our bodies and our issues is largely unchanged.
What had the biggest impact?
The women's quotes in italics were helpful. I always wanted to add my own! As I've gotten older and more issues have become relevant to me (pregnancy, abortion, social issues), I've continually gone back to the book to re-read sections. What has impacted me most is the knowledge that as I change, the book can change with me. I can use its information in different ways in different stages of my life.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
OBOS made me more outspoken and less shy about issues when I'm at the gynecologist.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I have used it as my main source of information about birth control. I recently had some questions about the Nuvaring but the 1998 edition came out before the ring.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I didn't disagree with any content. I'm from NYC, I was raised downtown by two very liberal ex-hippie parents (who have changed their swingers haircuts since the 70's), and therefore nothing fazes me. Except conservatives. Of which there aren't many featured in your book.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
The Nuvaring! (I know it'll be in the next edition, and I asked my gynecologist about it anyway.) I'm interested to see what you will say about it, as well as what you will say differently about everything else 7 years after the last edition.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes! Much in the way "What's Happening to my Body?" worked when I was 9. It's my most-used reference book. A dog-eared women's bible.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I'd learned the basics in high school, taught without any political leanings. OBOS contrasts with my education in that it is very liberal-minded.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I lent it to a grossly underinformed friend and now we're going through a rough spot, and I'm like, "if we break up then I want my book back!" It's a little rough, but honestly I like the book more than I like her. It's so much more forgiving.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Not until now.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I haven't; once I flipped through "Ourselves, Growing Older," because I hadn't seen it and thought I'd recommend it to my mom. (I did.)
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
My gynecologists aren't particularly feminist, but they do have an all-women's practice here in NYC. I don't know if that's because they're feminists or because they want to make women feel more comfortable. I bet it's a little bit of both.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No, I wasn't involved; the big part of the feminist movement happened before I was born. I would definitely have been a part of it if I were alive then. It just seems right.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I came upon your survey while looking to see when the new edition will be printed. Glad to help.


Submitted July 6, 2004, 12:32 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves 1973
How old were you at the time?
13 years old
Who brought the book to your attention?
My brother who was 16 years old
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The lesbians who I could not visually identify with. They looked very confident.
What had the biggest impact?
The openess and care for the female body and women in general. It was the opposite of Seventeen magazine which I was also reading.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Perhaps.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I read almost all aresa of the book on various occasions.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was just relieved to have it in my possesion privately.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
It was enough at the time at age 13.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
I apprecitaed seeing what the inside of my body looked like to understand more about my period.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was the diffrence between being clothed and nude as a sign of beauty. The message was that of all female bodies , large, small lesbian or heterosexual are the right kind of women. Our insidious culture holds captive to being a particular type of women as correct. My small town in long Island as everyone elses in the 70's.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
This August my brothers daughter will turn 13. I will be giving her the updated version.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Yes and not at the moment.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I have been a teacher of teenagers and older for many years.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I looked it up to order the book.


Submitted June 25, 2004, 9:11 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1982
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976) I think - it was in the UK - Lancaster University Library's copy
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was browsing the shelves in the university library. Not quite sure why I was in that section - possibly looking for books on disability???? Not an area that I would have been reading for my course (B.A. English - mostly early language and linguistics)
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I _think_ it was the real women's voices.
What had the biggest impact?
The description of masturbation.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Not directly, I think. But at that time I was gradually becoming more aware of the politics of disability, and of the politics of inequality in general, and this book contributed to that.

That change in attitude has lead me to avoid authoritarian healthcare professionals.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I used it to learn about sex in general, but particularly masturbation.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I remember disagreeing with some of it, but can't remember what in particular.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
It seemed very American in many places, and didn't address the issues peculiar to the British healthcare system
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
No.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
At school, it was very much geared to health, particularly in avoidance of sexually transmitted disease and in having healthy and wanted pregnancy. There was nothing at school about sexuality, and I don't think I was particularly aware, before reading the book, that the _quality_ of sex can differ as widely as the quality of food can!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
To a couple of close (girl) friends. I recommended it because I knew they'd be intrested in it.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Via a posting on h-dis


Submitted June 24, 2004, 2:07 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2002/2003
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves 1984 and Our Bodies, Ourselves 1976
How old were you at the time?
17 or 18
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother had both editions on her bookselves, along with a lot of other women oriented books.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I suppose i was suprised with how frank and forward the writing was, especially in dealing with sex. Most such conversations dance around the topic, OBOS went straight to it, and went beyond the merely biological aspects of it into the emotional side.
What had the biggest impact?
Realizing that it was ok to think of sex in the way that i did, for all that my mother was feminist and rather open, i dont think she did a very good job of raising me to think of sex as healthy and natural. Her party line was don't have sex, period, and although that has changed in recent years it still had a negative effect on my thinking about sex. Reading OBOS allowed me to be more upfront about my needs and thoughts and feelings in all sorts of arenas in my life.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes--it's made me more able to assert myself, not to just follow along with whatever they tell me. I ask questions, and force them to treat me as educated, an individual, a woman, and a human, not simply as their patient.

Unfortunately because of financial and transportation limits i am unable to find exactly the sort of health care facilities i would like, i have to make the best of what's available.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I may be pregnant right now, and have been rereading the book as a guide for what to do--i have an appointment at a clinic for a pregnancy test in about 30 minutes. It's helped me realize all of my options, and how to follow through on them.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Yes
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Im sure there are as its nearly impossible to cover everything in one book, each edition that i've read (up to the Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century issue has covered progressively more topics, i am looking forward to the 2005 edition.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The book was much more direct, not bland. It didnt give the message that the only possible results of sex are negative ones (pregnancy, STD's etc.) It gave the idea that sex is fun, it can be healthy and good for you, and that it can be part of a meaningful healthy relationship.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Not yet, but i certainly will.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves and Our Children (1978)
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Not yet
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?

How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Through the OBOS website


Submitted June 19, 2004, 5:57 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1979
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1976
How old were you at the time?
just turned 18
Who brought the book to your attention?
An alternative high school for senior year
The only woman teacher brought it in
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The up front and honest portrayal of women, their bodies.
Especially the section on Lesbianism.
What had the biggest impact?
I was just starting the process of coming out to myself.
I did not even consciously have a name yet for what I was feeling.
I picked up the book to look through it. The first page I saw had a picture of two women embracing in a bed. I don't now what was louder,
my slamming the book closed or the pounding of my heart.

I took the book home and read the entire section on Lesbianism.
The pictures, the stories... Everything I had been struggling with...
Right in front of me. Very affirming and helpful. Especially after a lifetime of hearing the words, deviant, faggot, queer attached to
same sex feelings and relationships.

I was able to come out to the teacher who introduced the book and two safe friends. It started me on the path to self acceptance.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Not then,
But when I read later releases it did
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
In 1979, I used it to learn about Lesbianism and sexuality in general

Recently, 2004, I read the sections on gyn issues. I was needing to have Hyterectomy and reading OBOS sections on this, helped me change from a total to a supracervical.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I can't say that I disagreed with any of the content.
I have not read all of it.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Maybe more about safe sex, both lesbian and heterosexual.
More detail.

Adenomyosis. I don't remember it being discussed.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
learned in school? not much. Sex education explained the basics in a very dry and clinical way.

OBOS took it to a level I had never been exposed to. It should be required reading for ALL teenagers.

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
no

I would love to give it to female members of my family, but I don't think it would go over very well.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
yes
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no, there wasn't one where I was living at the time.
and I did not think of it when I moved to Mass.

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I did a search on Boston Women's Health Collective to see if there was a newer release


Submitted May 31, 2004, 5:31 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves, (1976)
How old were you at the time?
23
Who brought the book to your attention?
My college roomate
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
All of the above
What had the biggest impact?
The level of detail and the theme of women taking charge of their health lives. In addition, I remember enjoying the actual quotes from women. I think I remember reading them over and over again.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Definately, I began to pay attention to the way physicians interacted with me as a patient. I began to search for women gynecologists. I kept re-referring to the book at each stage of life -- pregnancy, pre-menopause. I began to write down questions for the physician.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
At 23, during the "hippy" era, I was definately paying attention to the information on STD's and the consequences. I really paid attention to the methods of birth control and the types of devices (at that time). When I became pregnant, I think I kept the book by my side at all times.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
It was invaluable to me. As a child of a 50's mom I had the similar experiences that we all talk about. We could not talk to our mothers about this information. There was no one to go to. I had graduated from college and had engaged in some risky behavior before I got the book.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I would be interested to see how you have updated it since the Aids epidemic arrived.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Most definately.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
All I had ever experienced in the past had been clinical kinds of programmed texts offered to teen girls in school at that time. The book made me realize how much more complex women's health issues are and how many areas we needed to pay attention to.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Some events occured in some young relative lives which made in my own daughter's lives which led me to pull the book out (now yellow and tattered) and suggest it to my daughters. (Aged 20 and 13). I thought I would look it up to see if it was still published. What a joy to see the Boston Women's Health collective pop-up so readily on the screen.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No I have not.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I don't think there were any in my area. But I did attempt to use nurse midwife services for my first pregnancy. I think I would attribute that to the book.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Used the search line --Boston Women's Health Collective.


Submitted May 20, 2004, 12:57 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1993
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves.
How old were you at the time?
21
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was used in a Women's Studies course that I took at Villanova University.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Nothing. I thought the book was candid, honest, and pertinent. The reality of it all is: the book is about women's bodies, about women, and really about people who know women. As a man, I learned a great deal and was able to grown intellectually by learning about various topics.
What had the biggest impact?
The fact that within one dynamic publication, many topics were covered and additional resources were identified.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
When my wife was pregnant, it influenced the degree of care we received from our ob-gyn. We were able to ask more questions and were more involved with the entire process.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
It's used as a general reference point. Then, if additional information is needed, we start with the list of references provided.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Completely satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The book was more informative and all-encompassing.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I recommend the book to all of my students in the Women's Studies courses that I teach.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Via our bodies, ourselves.


Submitted May 16, 2004, 5:29 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1990
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves 1976(or maybe 1973)
How old were you at the time?
11
Who brought the book to your attention?
A friend and I found it in my mother's room
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
pretty much everything-my friend and I questioned many of the questions as well as a lot of the information provided in the book--especially masturbation, and lesbianism
What had the biggest impact?
Mainly just the honest and detailed information given that we were completely oblivious to- things discussed in the book were never discussed ever in my life-until i was much older
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
no
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
no
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
At the time we would have disagreed w/ a lot of the information-i would like to think that most of it is true and i would agree with most of the content if I was to read it today
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
i can't remember
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
not at the time-but I'm sure the information has helped me over the years
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
N/A-we hadn't learned anything in school at the time i was reading it
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
yes-my children
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
yes-for about a year I have been a activist with an organization in San Diego called V.A.G.I.N.A.(Vibrant Activist Grrls Invoking National Attention). One of the major events VAGINA organizes every year is a Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Women's Health Festival called VaginaFest. At the festival we provide low income women and/or those that may face discrimination by health care providers w/ free pap smears, mammograms, STD testing and various other services.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
A women mentioned the book at a lecture I recently attended.


Submitted May 11, 2004, 11:48 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1999
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998)
How old were you at the time?
14, I was in 8th grade
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother bought me a copy of the newer version; she had the New Our Bodies Ourselves on her bookshelf.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I didn't really "explore" the book persay until I was older in high school, and more interested about myself in general. But when I did, I was surprised at some of the very descriptive bits about sex and masturbation. I wasn't expecting it to be so specific (and helpful).
What had the biggest impact?
The chapter on masturbation showed me that it really was a normal thing that plenty of people did. Although I wasn't raised in such a way that it was frowned upon, female masturbation was never as public as male masturbation.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No, not yet
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I've used the book for information about masturbation, birth control, and sex, especially as I've become more sexually active. I also used it as a resource on abortion, as I've become more active in the women's rights movement.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was completely satisfied...even if I disagreed with the content, I would still think that it should be in there, because someone else needs to see it.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not really
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, I became more aware of my own body.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The book gave more detailed, useful information than what I had learned in school. In my school, health education ends in 9th grade. We learned about birth control in 8th grade. I didn't need to know, or care about birth control or sex until junior and senior years, when I was no longer getting sex ed.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
No
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I went to the March for Women's Lives this year (2004) in Washington, DC, and I'm going to be involved in my campus' women's rights organization (Feminist Majority)
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From the Our Bodies Ourselves website


Submitted May 10, 2004, 5:23 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1970
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
women and their bodies newsprint
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
the new york women's liberation center
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Everything! I had never seen or heard of anything like this. had never heard of female orgasm -- vaginal or otherwise. had never read accounts of rape or abortion.
What had the biggest impact?
The very concept that women could learn about their own bodies and health, and help themselves.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
yes, from then on.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
birth control.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Totally satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I hadn't really learned anthing, beyond nice girls don't do it, and sexuality is something men want from women.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have recommended it for the last 30 years.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no, but in the last year I was contacted by the collective and asked to help with revising the new edition.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves growing older. Love it, too.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
yes. I ran a women's health information center in collge (1971-72), and have worked as a women's health researcher/professor since 1978.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I need to order the current edition for my students!


Submitted May 9, 2004, 10:12 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1994
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves 1992
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
My older sister gave it to me for my 18th birthday.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Nothing surprised me, I was grateful for the knowledge within it.
What had the biggest impact?
When I was 19 and thought I was pregnant - I immediately looked in there before/after taking the pg. test and realized that I was. I used it as a resource in helping me decide what to do.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Certainly. Upon reading the book, I realized that only I was in charge of my body.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Definitely. Both. In "finding" myself, I used it as an outlet for sexuality and determining what I needed for me.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Completely satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I would like more insight to menstruation, cysts, etc.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, I learned a great deal about how to take care of myself.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was more open, freeing, enabled me to know that I was in charge of my sexuality, not men.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, all my friends during that time period when I received it and still now, 10 years later.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes and I later volunteered at one because of it.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes, I volunteered, petitioned, participated in women's studies classes and talks.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I actually am not able to locate my book currently do to a recent move and I would like to find out some information about going off the pill and how your body reacts.


Submitted May 1, 2004, 12:34 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1995
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1992)
How old were you at the time?
15 years old
Who brought the book to your attention?
My friend's mom had bought the book for her to learn more about topics we were too scared to ask.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Everything shocked me! We read the sexuality chapters over and over, and about birth control and abortion. We were fascinated virgins learning about a whole new world.
What had the biggest impact?
The contraceptive information was great. We all learned about the pill, and about STD's. It really made us think about planning sex and not just throwing away our bodies at the first boys who looked at us. It's because of this book that we went on the pill. I will most definitely be giving a copy of this book to my daughter's when they are hitting puberty.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, we went to a local clinic because they offered contraceptives.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Definitely! I was a teenager, I learned more from that book than from any other single source. Other teens may have been exchanging rumors and gossip, my friends and I discussed the facts we learned in Our Bodies, Ourselves.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Yes, completely.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No, I still enjoy the book, it's very informative and complete.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, it was the foundation for me. It wasn't uncomfortable to read the book with friends, as much as it was in school with giggling girls. We took the book very seriously.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was very similar. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, school sex-ed was fairly liberal. I had some great teachers, but my school mates would often make it awkward to ask the questions we really wanted answered.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Everyone I knew, and I'll give this book to my daughters someday.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No...
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No...
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
N/A
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No, but I am an employee of an HMO that is quite liberal and helpful with women's health, and I'm very proud of that.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From a Yahoo! search. I saw this study link on the homepage.


Submitted April 24, 2004, 1:22 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Our Self....First Edition
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
My friend had it.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Nothing surprised me was glad iot existed.
What had the biggest impact?
Birth control
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
no
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Source for all areas...
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
not at the time...
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Helped me become more knowledgeable.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
gave me more information
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?

Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No but would like to get additional books
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
just made donstions
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Looking up info on STD's


Submitted April 16, 2004, 10:10 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I'm not really sure when I first read it, but I used it as primary source for my senior (HS) term paper on natural childbirth in 1973-74.
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
It probably was the 1970 version; it was definitely the cover shown above.
How old were you at the time?
seventeen
Who brought the book to your attention?
I don't remember anyone telling me about it. I was just drawn to it.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I don't remember being particularly shock about anything when reading and studying the book...mostly I remember being inspired by the birth portions, which were my greatest interests. I was a young, sheltered girl who was literally "breaking out" with the information given in the book.
What had the biggest impact?
Birth, by far, had the most impact on me. While I always had interest in birth, this book opened the door to prepared/natural childbirth. This book was there at the beginning of my passion. I struggled through a 20 hour labor with my first baby, and felt so joyous after the natural delivery that I was able to achieve. Five more babies later; ten years of combined breastfeeding; two nursing degrees (RN, BSN); years of working in labor and delivery; to my present position as lactation consultant (IBCLC),certified childbirth educator (CCE) and labor and delivery nurse, I must say that my level of fulfillment is great. When I describe to young women today the beginning of my interest, a little English term paper on prepared childbirth, I must say that I feel fortunate to have come full circle. Whether this book was the chicken or the egg, I cannot say; but it definitely was a large part of the beginning of what has turned out to be a joyous, fulfilled life.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Birth, as described above
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
While some areas didn't really pertain to my lifestyle, I felt as a teenager that it was such an important information source. I came from a home where my mother handed me a box of pads and a little book to explain menstruation. Never a word was spoken about it. So, it was extremely freeing for me to have accurate, complete information.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I really don't remember.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. It was my first anatomy book.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I learned nothing in school. This was my first education concerning sexuality, anatomy, physiology...everything.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I'm sure that I told friends...and I'm sure my English teacher was at least curious about the book when it was used over and over as reference for my term paper!
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No...I no longer even have my original copy, but I do have a newer edition.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No. I did use a Planned Parenthood clinic as a teenager. My decision to use birth control as a teen was largely based on what I learned through the book.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I would like to consider my work in labor, delivery, lactation to be involvement in women's health.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Through a post on a lactation internet group (lactnet).


Submitted April 7, 2004, 11:02 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1972
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The newprint version
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was lving in a house with some "older women" (they were in their late 20's and early 30's) I was such a lucky young woman to have stumbled into their paths. They kindly shared mush information with me as well as their copy of Our Bodies Ourselves. I am forever greatful for their kindness, generosity and patience. They opened up a world of information for me regarding women's issues and women's health.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The honesty of the information presented. I always felt as if I was getting the inside story that my mother could not share. The information helped me to feel a part of a world of women that were ready to help other women. It was so refreshing to have such a resource.
What had the biggest impact?
Again the open and direct nature of the information.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes. Up to this point in time, I had learned that the doctor was always right and that a "good patient" was te one who did everything the docotor said. The book helped me to learn ab=nother patient role... a "good patient" takes an active part in her health care and should ask questions.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
None specific. I was an empty slate. I needed as much information as I could find on just about all aspects.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was satified and was eager for the future editions to appear.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was a whole new world. It made sense to me. It made me wonder why information regarding sexuality and maturation were kept such a secret.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I shared the book with all of my friends. It was quite a "used/shared resource"
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Yes
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Was looking up info regarding menopause and hormone replacement therapy and came back to this familiar and truted resource!


Submitted March 29, 2004, 11:23 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1982
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
Twelve years old
Who brought the book to your attention?
My Mom bought the book for me when I was entering my teenage years. She referred to it as the Bible for Women's Health. At the time she was very active in Women's RIghts and she wanted me to understand the many unique facets of womanhood.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I think the information about Masturbation that presented it as normal and accepted was the most surprising to me.
What had the biggest impact?
The wholeness of the book. It gave me a profound understanding of my own body and also helped me to focus on my emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes. I tend to choose female physicians or nurse practioners when possible. I also seek out more holistically focused practioners.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, frequently. I have referred to versions of this book for over twenty years. It has been a source of information and education on many issues including: sexuality, orgasms, physical and developmental stages, and sexual assault.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I love this book.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No. In my opinion this is the most comprehensive publication about Women's Health that has been published.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes. It helped me to love what I see in the mirror.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I did not learn anything of value in school. This book gave me a honest, complete source of information.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes. When my daughter turned 12 I bought her the The New Our Bodies, Ourselves version. We read several chapters together. I have also bought the book for my step mother, my neice, and one of my students who is struggling with her sexuality.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Changing Bodies, Changing Lives
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes and yes.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes. I do volunteer teaching with adolescents about sexual assault prevention. I am currently trained as a sexual assault nurse examiner, though there is not a SART program in my community. I hope to influence the move towards community SART development when I finish graduate school. Violence against women and children is an issue that I hope to impact over my lifetime.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was looking for a copy of the book for a student when I found this web site.


Submitted March 29, 2004, 7:11 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2000
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1998
How old were you at the time?
21
Who brought the book to your attention?
WILL (Women Involved in Living and Learning) at the University of Richmond, VA. This book was given as a graduation present to each member of the senior class.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I'd never read anything quite so encompassing - races, orientations, attitudes. Everything was so open and accessible.
What had the biggest impact?
The childbirth pictures - amazing!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes. I try to ask more questions and be more active in my healthcare.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes - yeast/bladder infections, childbirth/pregnancy (though I'm not pregnant myself, the topic facinates me).
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
n/a
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes - I try to me more aware, more conscious of my body, how it feels, how I treat it.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I don't think any women's health/sexuality issues were ever covered in this much depth or breadth in classes I took. The so-called "alternative" healthcare topics were never discussed in school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I've chatted with a few girlfriends about the book.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
n/a
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
n/a
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
n/a
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
n/a
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
www.ourbodiesourselves.org


Submitted March 16, 2004, 3:13 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1997
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992)
How old were you at the time?
12
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother had it on the bookshelf in our living room.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I remember the book having a truly unique way of being as graphic and explicit as possible without being obscene or offensive. It was incredibly informative and left nothing out. To me, that was a huge surprise and a huge help!
What had the biggest impact?
Our Bodies, Ourselves had a huge impact on me in terms of its effects on my familiarity with my body and my understanding of women's issues. The book played a crucial role in my becoming an active feminist and my learning to discuss a vast array of topics with other women.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I certainly learned about many medical options of which I'd have otherwise been completely unaware.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Absolutely! Definitely birth control, STDs, diet and exercise, what to look for in a gynecologist, rape/sexual assault...
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I think the book is 100% satisfactory and improves greatly with each new edition.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not that I can think of. It seems to me that as time passes new issues evolve, and the latest edition of OBOS is the first place I find new women's issues are thoroughly adressed.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
It definitely did and I'm sure it will continue to.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
OBOS was far and away the most thorough, honest and useful tool in my women's health/sexuality education. It was infinitely more helpful than anything I learned about these topics in school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have given/recommended it to friends and boyfriends and family members and even teachers. I think everyone should read it regardless of age or gender.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no... maybe I should someday.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, not yet.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I've never been to a feminist health clinic although I plan on looking in to it.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I participate in women's rights events and marches whenever I get the chance. I am a member of a number of women's rights organizations. I do everything I can to help the feminist community.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I just kind of surfed on in.


Submitted March 15, 2004, 8:59 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1970 - I still have the newsprint edition (1970) and the 1973 and 1984 editions
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
All but the 1998 edition.
How old were you at the time?
32 (for the 1970 edition).






Who brought the book to your attention?
I probably got the newsprint edition at the Toronto Women's Centre or the Toronto Women's Bookstore and heard about it at our C/R group.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
No surprises except for the fact that FINALLY here was information written by women, for women out of their own experiences with the addition of medical facts.
What had the biggest impact?
Information on birth control/hormones/women's personal stories and quotations (I love quotations) that illustrated what was being discussed.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
In so far as it ratified how I felt regarding what I needed to get from a doctor.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I don't recall exact topics so much as using the book(s) as a constant source of reference for what I needed at the time as I myself grew older.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
The hardest part for a reference tool is being sure to have the latest info/facts. The book(s) at least got me started to know what questions to ask. I didn't expect OBOS to be Mdme. God.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Menopause - as I approached it. Generation interaction.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Sure.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Are you kidding? With a background of growing up in the 1950's in a Roman Catholic family, taught by nuns? Thanks goodness for my older sister and Mother St. John (Ursuline Order in Canada).
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I practically wore a sandwich board advertising OBOS. A number of my friends bought it. I taught courses for women at Ontario community colleges (Adult Ed.) and community centres in Canada and Taiwan. I always had bibliographies for these courses which I had designed. THE basic book I always recommended was OBOS because it gave basic, honest, women-centered information.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
1. I vaguely remember O&OC (1978). Why is that? It should have been a milestone book.
2. CB,CL (1998) is a book I got out of my daughter's high school library (I was teaching there). She was a teenager and, of course, knew everything. I left it on the dining room table (my secret spot for books I wanted my family to look at). The next time I looked on the table, the book was gone. She later told me that she and her friends thought it was a pretty good book.
3. I got O,GO (1987) and used it in my classes. For menopausal women, I found OBOS the book to buy if they could only afford one of the collective's books.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I designed courses for women on menopause that I taught at two Ontario, Canada community colleges and later for expatriate women in Taipei, Taiwan where I, too, was an ex-pat. I had to make up the original course because I was entering early menopause (late 70's) and needed info. Couldn't find anything, other than a few basic books. I got everything I could, then realized other women must be having the same problem so I told our community college they should have such a course for adult ed. They agreed so I did it.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
My daughter, the feminist, (did we raise her right, or what?) was researching on the web, found this and told me.


Submitted March 7, 2004, 6:04 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2002
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century
How old were you at the time?
16
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother gave me the book for my 18th birthday.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Well, mostly he graphic nature of the stories and photographs. I didn't think things like that could be printed...
What had the biggest impact?
Most of the things in the book are not widely known. When I start to talk with my friends about something I've read, they just stare at me. It seems that knowledge about the female body, psyche, and spirt is a rare commodity.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
The book allows me to have an informed conversation with my doctor. She appreciates that I have some concrete knowledge about birth control and reproductive health. I was a child when my mother chose my doctor, but she said that her reading the previous editions did help her make a choice of our current doctor.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I have used the book for healthcare consultation concerning pregnancy, birth control, abortion, violence against women, sexuality, and women's health.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I am beyond satififed with Our Bodies Ourselves.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not any that I can think of.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
I understand the physiology of my body better and can be on the lookout for trouble on the horizon. Often, I find the knowledge in Our Bodies Ourselves has saved me from unnesscessary trips to the doctor or other health clinics.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
This year, my local school board passed an "Abstinance Until Marraige" curiculum for sex education. No teacher, administrator, or other public school staff member is allowed to mention contraceptives, resources for contraceptives or outside information about sex. It really is quie depressing to have this knowledge and see it so wasted by my school system.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have used the book as a reference in several school projects because I consider it a useful resource to anyone who wishes to read it.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I read a little of Changing Bodies, Changing Lives when I worked at a public library, but I am as satisfied with it as I am with Our Bodies Ourselves.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Not yet, but I want to be.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I went to the Boston Women's Health Collective website and there was a blurb about the survey.


Submitted March 3, 2004, 3:20 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1975
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
One of my elder sisters gave me acopy of it as a present duirng my first year of college.
How old were you at the time?
I was 18.
Who brought the book to your attention?
One of my sisters gave me a copy of it.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I wasn't surprised or shocked - more like relief - like coming home.
What had the biggest impact?
I was just so releived to have this precious gift, the first postive thing I had ever seen about lesbians. I was questioning and curious at the time and had nowherge to turn for support. Then I received this book and it was if te world beagn to open up again. I had been suicidally depressed at age 16 over my sexuality and the hatred people like Anita Bryant.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Most definitely. I reject authoritarian doctors and seek out doctos and healers who will coallborate with me on healing and health.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes. I get the new editions. I use the books in my clincial practice and as an educator. I visit the web site, turning students and clients onto this incredible resource. I just gave out information directly from OBOS website to a client who needs to discuss BC with her sexually active 14 year old daughter. I recommended that she get a copy of the book for her daughter.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was disappointed when you took out the article on deciding whether to have children or not, from the second edition. That was a very important article for me personally - really helped affirm my decsion to remain childless despite all the pressure.

I would like to see more acknowledgement and exploration of hidden disabilities, as I have hidden disabiities - I look on the surface like I am okay, but I have severe neck, shoulder and wrists problems - I can pass as able bodied - but often I suffer in silence or I am misunderstood, criticized or shunned when trying to establish boundaries about what I am physically cabaple of - My body language is often misinterpreted because of the manner in which I need to hold my arms across my chest to support my shoulder, especially when I am fatigues. I saty active and exercise, but have to be careful not to overdue it or I wind up in severe pain for days. I do not want to go on pain mediation and manage the pan through diet, exercise, yoga and stretching. It is people with visible disabiities who recognize my disabiities almost immediately. Abled bodied people often accuse me of whining if I even mention it.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I am eagerly awaiting 2005 edition to see how you tackle the HRt controversy, and other bogus treatments that have been foisted on women without any testing.

I'd really like to seee a critique of the methods used to research birth control. For example that famous phrase "Studies on birth control pills conducted on college age women in teh 1970's ..." Well I was one of those women, and we were not infomed that this was a test, we did not signs releases, we had no idea that we were being used as guinea pigs - and many of us are still suffering health consequences as a direct result of being exposed to sucj high levels of hormones for so many years. This questionable methodology is still going on - signing college age women up for depro shots, full page ads in the college newspapers.

And te continued unethical streilization practices going on every day inhospitals across the counrty - the targets are the poor, women with substance abuse problems _ I have seen this abuse with my own eyes in the hopsitlas - withholding pain medication after Ceasarean surgery until a woman signs a release for a tubal. Having a woman sign the release for a tubal while whe is in labor. I could go on and on, but it is appalling. Just try a random survey of social workers - you will scratch the suraface of a very ugly menancing form of eugenics that many of us fight against every day.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Definitley. This is my body - I have a right to know see and make decisions about this body which is my home.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Oh please - I went to Catholic school and learned this; The virgin mary wouldn't ouch herself "down there." I hope that they are doing better these days.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes yes yes, my nephew when he and is wife needed factaul information about abortion. My sisters. My studetns, my clients (cleinical practice).
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
I don't hink I have.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
OUr Selves Growing Older - wonderful. Unfortuantley I loaned it out several years ago and did not get it back - I need a copy for myself now that I am 47.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes. In Madison Wisconsin in the 1980's - and I seek out feminist doctors and chiropractors, massage therapists now. I find them by word of mouth recommendation in the lesbian and recovering communities I've lived in.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes. I was a volunteer peer phone counselor at the Rape Crisis Center in Madison, Wisconsin. I also became a volunteer trainor while working there.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I saw it on the OBOS web apge when I went there today to find some information for a client who needs to talk to her daughter about BC.


Submitted February 29, 2004, 1:35 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1999
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, ourselves
How old were you at the time?
24 years old
Who brought the book to your attention?
I found it in a used bookstore.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was surprised that there still were Women's Health Groups as silly as this sounds. For some reason I felt that these groups only existed in the 70's. I felt "Thank God these women are out there".
What had the biggest impact?
I was going through a major depression without any help and after reading this book it helped me talk with a doctor and explain something of what was going on.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I had an experience with a male doctor who, when told of the depression and pain I was going through, said, "What is with all you women and your "depression", that life!...."

The book encouraged me to see a compassionate female doctor!!!
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Helped me discuss intimacy with my lover, I gave him the book.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?

Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I would like to learn more about birth control that doesn't involve taking hormones or using devices. I gave my copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves away but have read an interesting article on tracking and charting your temperature, secretions and cervix position as a way of knowing your ovulation dates.

This would be helpful if it isn't in already...
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I grew up in the North of England and we were given only one talk on not flushing sanitary napkins down the toilet!

Your book was the only resource on birthcontrol methods I read.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
To my then lover, now husband I gave a copy so he could read and learn.
To my friend so she could study and try to understand her emotions.
To an ex-boyfriend's sister who was fascinating and I loved very much.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and don't know where to look for a Feminist Health Clinic - waiting lists for any female doctors are very long.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?

How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I noticed your book listed in 75 Books by Women Whose Words Have Changed the World - Women's National Book Association. I found the study through the Our Bodies, Ourselves website.


Submitted February 17, 2004, 11:03 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
our Bodies Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
16
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother! She sensed I needed information.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was surprised by the straightfoward, casual delivery of information. It demystified sexuality and sexual health, gave me a roadmap for relationships and armed me with real facts to base decisions on.
What had the biggest impact?
There was something different for each phase of my life- sexual relationships as a teen, questions about STIs when I was fearful and didnt know whether to call a doctor.... and pregnancy questions followed after I married.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I asked more questions...more informed questions...
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
see above
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
allok
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
don't remember
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes of course
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
it filled in all the gaps!!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
teens that I worked with later as an adult ...as a teacher and social worker
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes but I had a bad experience - health care was not adequate... would have traded better medicine for the comfort of the feminist atmosphere :1982 Seatttle clinic
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
domestic violence...mental health counseling
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was looking up the book to buy for my 18 year old son and came upon this


Submitted February 14, 2004, 8:35 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1991
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992)
How old were you at the time?
28
Who brought the book to your attention?
Quality Paperback Book Club
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Nothing
What had the biggest impact?
The section on birth control methods.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No, but I had a really great doctor who listened and took time with me at the time.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes. All areas!
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was completely satisfied. Excellent resource!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I didn't really learn *anything* in school about women's health and sexuality, so it was very informative.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I bought a copy for my mother who was going through menopause, and she still thanks me for it to this day.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I haven't had the need to seek medical treatment from a feminist health clinic.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Only local, free-form "conciousness raising" sort of sessions, and subscriber to Ms Magazine.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From the "Our Bodies Ourselves" website


Submitted February 11, 2004, 9:24 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1994
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973
How old were you at the time?
14
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Truthfulness and stories
What had the biggest impact?
Learning how to have sex
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
How to treat myself and respect myself
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
More info on women who can't have orgasms
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Above
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
In virtually every way-- it was respectful and truthful
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
No
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Searching


Submitted February 10, 2004, 1:08 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1993
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves(1973,1976) & The New Our Bodies Ourselves(1984,1992)
How old were you at the time?
Wow, I think I was about 15yrs. old.
Who brought the book to your attention?
I found it when I was looking for books about feminism, and lesbianism. I picked it up, and could'nt put it back down.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Yes. The graphic photos. How liberated it made me feel.
What had the biggest impact?
I was going through a period of self dicovery. I was away from home that year. I had up until the age of 15 been feeling lost, and confused, and did'nt know why. I had been raped, molested, and just used by different "men" starting from a very young age. After reading this book, and surrounding myself with positive, and influential women, I began to feel so empowered. I thought to myself "I can say no, and mean it, and prevent myself from following the same self destructive path". I found that I was not the only woman who has been raped, and molested by ppl she was supposed to have trusted, and love. I learned that it was ok to a lesbian, bi-sexual, and/or what I label myself as now(a freedom loving person, a nonconformist). This book opened my world to what being a "woman" is all about. I love this book. I would read it over, and over again. This book taught me that I have the right to be me.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Oh yes definitely. At a very young age I began to ask my doctor all kinds of specific questions that I was too scared to ask before. I began to "help" make decisions about my health instead of allowing my doctor to do it alone. I made it clear if I did'nt agree with my doctor that I would seek different opinions. I had to get a different doctor eventually, but I felt, and still feel that this was the right decision.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I totally exhausted all the books resources. I never put it down. I high lighted everything that interested me.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I disagrred with nothing in the book It seemed at my young age that nothing was wrong. Just another idea, or way of thinking.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
At the time, no.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Oh yes. I was very promiscuos in my childhood. I learned that sexual abuse, and molestation were most likely the reason why. This book helped my turn my life around. I became my bodys owner. Finally.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I learned nothing in school. This book educated me way more than any class I ever took in school on the subject.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Oh yes I reccommended it to all my friends, because they all saw the changes in me. I had to show them the book so that they could see for themselves the information. Most were pretty disgusted, and did'nt even want to bother reading it.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
I don't think so, but I really wanted to.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I am sorry to say that i've never read any of these books, but i'd love to get a cataloge so that I may order some. I'm now a mother of three children.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I never have. I live in NYC. Are there any here?
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No I was'nt, but I would always tell women to not be afraid to ask their doctor anything, or suggest anything after all it's your body. You know yourself better than anyone else. Don't leave your health completely in others hands.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I got ti while going through another website I was checking out for the first time. I believe the name of it was "http://www.butchdykeboy.com/"


Submitted February 3, 2004, 6:40 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
don't remember
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
23 yEar Old
Who brought the book to your attention?
I searched it out, and had my sister send it to me from America. I was living in Germany at the time, and had little access to healthcare, and wanted to see what I could do for myself.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was pleasantly surprised that it covered a full range of women's issues, and wasn't just dedicated to sexual health, but discussed all aspects of life, from the point of view of women. This isn't done very often, and it was interesting to get to know just how much I should be learning about myself and my relationship to the world. The wide variety of comments I could read by all sorts of women made me more closely examin my own feelings. I was happy to read about std's in a more objective way, whereas usually information can be worded to make people feel guilty or irresponsible.
What had the biggest impact?
I read the book like a novel, from start to finish. I was actually most startled to read about how women had been so scared of their own bodies. Some women's comments were so sheltered and scared. I thought that women only felt like that a hundred years ago.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I already felt like doctors should be chosen reall carefully, but it did reinforce my weariness, and make me feel better about supporting more sensitive and knowledgeable doctors, and trying to refer them to friends.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I wanted in general to be able to use home remedies for yeast infections, to identify std's, and to learn more about women's health as opposed to men's in a preventative way.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I wouldn't say I was completely satisfied, because there's so much more that can be added. But I did recognise that the book is already so big anyways. I thought it was a well put together summary of even more than I had realized should be discussed.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Maybe how to get your partner to get tested for std's or how to help him to stop giving you a yeast infection. More ideas on how to get men involved in women's issues, to get them to believe you and understand.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Definitely!
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I think women's and men's feelings are ignored in a lot of school classes, when they are so important to a person's health and understanding. This book really recognised that.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Eventually, by the time I moved back to the states, I had lent it to numerous friends. I then gave it to a close friend of mine who was really happy to get it.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I usually go to Planned Parenthood, or women's health centers because they can give me treatment for less money, and I am usually very poor. I was doing this since I started and that might be where I heard of the book in the first place.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I guess the closest I come to that is trying to be a calm, informed source of information to a lot of half sexist and very confused men in my life. And to get my friends to respect their own bodies and learn how to take care of themselves.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was trying to look up some health concerns of mine on the internet, and decided to quickly take part.


Submitted January 28, 2004, 5:09 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1977
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973,1976).
How old were you at the time?
Between 11 and 14 years of age.
Who brought the book to your attention?
My Mother.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
All of the above.
What had the biggest impact?
Helping to understand the changes of the female and male body, coming up as a teenager.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
All areas.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was completely satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
No.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
We did not learn that much in school, I got more information from the book.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I plan on giving the book to my daughter.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
By pulling up the website.


Submitted January 25, 2004, 4:09 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
It was in 73 or 74
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The first addition 1973
How old were you at the time?
I was in Jr. High School so I was either 12 or 13
Who brought the book to your attention?
My mother.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Being a young girl, it had to be the masturbation stories. I thought that was pretty interesting. I didn't know people did things like that.
What had the biggest impact?
All of it. Since I was a young girl. The book taught me that I could learn about myself and that it was okay to investigate all of these things below the waist.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Sure it did. Of course that did not come until later. My doctor is wonderful and we have a great relationship. He knows I will ask questions and expect nothing less than the truth. He also knows that if he doesn't have the answer I expect him to get the answers, conduct his research and get back to me ASAP or refer me to someone who does know what's going on.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I used that book to learn about all of the things my mom could not (or would not) talk about. She was pretty open but somethings she just could not get into with me.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was very pleased with the book. I did not disagree with any of it.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutly!
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The clinical parts were exactly like school. You know, that 5th Grade Sex Ed.class. What was new to me was learning to explore my body and becoming comfortable with it. Learning to take responsibility for my health care and that I should ask questions. Even as a young girl that stood out for me.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
A friend of mine here in Germany was wanting a book on womens health care. I told her about your book and what an impact it had on my life. I passed on to her the copy that my mother passed on to me. She loved it!
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No, I did not.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I have not read any of these books
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I have not saught treatment from a feminist health clinci
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I was not
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was interested in knowing if the book had been updated and went on line to see what I could see.


Submitted January 24, 2004, 5:42 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1985
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
17 years
Who brought the book to your attention?
A counselor at an alternative high school.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The open and honest depiction of masturbation. The acceptance of lesbianism. The natural way in which all relationships ( gay or straight) we celebrated.
What had the biggest impact?
At the time, I was pregnant, and the information regarding childbirth and fetal developmant were very important to me. It amazes me all the interventions that the hospitals and doctors require in order to deliver a healthy child.
I learned that it was ok for me to say "NO!" to them and thier so called interventions. Subsequently, I chose to deliver all 3 of my sons naturaly. No pain meds, no pitocin (sp?), and no unnatural manipulations. My reward was a very alert and healthy infant after every birth.

Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Basically, I informed my OB- " Look, my body knows what it's supposed to do- You just stand there and catch the baby when we're ready." I had some issues with military dr.'s when I took this stance, how ever, I refused to be intimidated. This was after all, MY CHILD.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Child birth and birth control choices. I felt more informed and armed with the truth, so I feel I made better decisions.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I loved the book! It was my "woman bible" for years.
My husband even read it when I couldn't make him "see" what I was trying to explain.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I can't remember.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Definately. I felt like I had a great tool and was able to find answers to questions that I could never ask my mother. And the questions a Dr. never had time nor the inclination to answer were there for me.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
School health and education was 4 hours in the 6th grade. Boys in one room and girls in another. It was a farce and made me more confused than I already was. There was a stigmatism and a "shame on you for asking" scent to the whole experience. No wonder a lot of girls got pregnant while we were still in high school. The boys got no education other that it was ok to get a hand job, and the girls essentially were told this is why you menstruate.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I gave my first copy- very dog earred and tired to my god daughter when she was 13. I bought another copy and gave that one away too. I have yet another new copy which I will probably soon give to my sons girl friend.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Planned Parenthood helped me considerably in the early years of my adult life. They were an awesome source of support while I was a teen mother, and when I had difficulties with nursing my babies.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No, however, I would become active in anything that helps get Lupron ( the anti- period/endo drug) off the market and out of womans bodies.
Being a survivor of this therapy has changed my life. And yet, I can't find a Dr. who can see what this drug has done to me and my life. It changed everything about me and I'm still having physical and emotional issues even after discontinuing the injections 3 years ago.
Ultimately, having a Hyster, has helped with the physical pain but, the mental and emotional side effects linger. It makes me crazy knowing that women are still being used as test subjects for a drug that has had no studies done passed 6 months post treatment.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?



Submitted January 22, 2004, 12:32 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
191980
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
OurBodies, OurSelves 1976
How old were you at the time?
16 years old
Who brought the book to your attention?
my sister
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The gentle affirmation that sex was natural and good; the acceptance and encouragement of masturbation.
What had the biggest impact?
Freedom from the repressive ideas transmitted to me by my family and the Roman Catholic community.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I discovered Planned PArenthood
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Everything from anatomy to the act of intercourse to the power of women,
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was in awe of the truthtelling.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Cannot recall.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Entirely; I felt less ashamed, saw my impulses and experiences as natural, and established my first sexual relationship, one that was loving and responsible.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
What I learned in school was only about the mechanics of menstruation. Otherwise, my catholic school was very dogmatic and introduced the association of sex and guilt, of chastitiy as a moral yardstick for evaluating women.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I shall give it to my daughters at the appropriate age; I regret there is no version for girls who are just entering puberty.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
All my healthcare was provided by a Planned PArenthood clinic until I was in college.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I participated in the march on Washington in support of abortion rights in the nineties.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From the authors/publishers website


Submitted January 15, 2004, 1:41 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1995
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
the new our bodys ourselves
How old were you at the time?
twelve
Who brought the book to your attention?
my mother brought me a copy of the new one (she has the older version) and it lay for many years under my bed
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
illegal abortion, picture of protests- all the images of women, bear and suffering- fighting for power over their own bodys
What had the biggest impact?
the illegal abortion, the veiw that masterbation was OK
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
i didn't really have a choice- she has always been my doctor- but when i first went to her for a gyno appointment I was alot more comfortable with everything than i think some of my friends were at that time
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
YES
what my vagina looks like
masterbation
abortion
homosexuality
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
i was satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
it greatly enhanced the little I knew- the pictures gave meaning to a mysterious phenomina vaguely talked about
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I made my highschool boyfriend- the first partner with whom I really enjoyed having sex, look through it- especially at the diagrams of the vagina.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, yes

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no- too young
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
i was looking for more information about pregnancy and abortion, so i typed in the name plus "dot com"


Submitted January 9, 2004, 7:49 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1992
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1992) The one with the orange cover
How old were you at the time?
14
Who brought the book to your attention?
I volunteered at a local library and was getting trained to be a peer counselor. The book was a gift for completing the course.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
All of the above. As the daughter of a Chicana woman and a Japanese American father, many of the issues were not openly discussed in our family.
What had the biggest impact?
The sections on exploring my body, STDs, birth control were most informative. These were not subjects I was comfortable researching or asking about on my own.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Absolutely. In college I felt most comfortable with female doctors who I could ask questions and who weren't put off by my concerns. The best doctors created open dialogues with me. I'm sure this book influenced my perceptions about what a good doctor should be.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
See answer to question 6. Once I started having sex, I suddenly became keenly aware of my body and its functions. I also became aware of shape, possible abnormalities, etc. I do recall a certain section on homeopathy that was very helpful. My mother was always very conscious about homeopathic alternatives and I liked that this book addressed them.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I loved the book and in many ways it became a personal health bible. I felt confident and knowledgable about many issues I would have otherwise not known about. It also made me more comfortable confronting health practioners. Often I think the book served as motivation to visiting my first gynecologist in college.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Not that I recall.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. See answer to #9. I also believe that being more knowledgable and confident made me feel a certain obligation to caring for my body. It gave me a real respect for diversity and having control over our bodies that are so objectified, controlled, and abused by our society in so many ways.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I appreciated the thorough openess of the book. Women's health and sexuality were never topics in the open. However, my sex ed teacher in high school was fairly liberal and open. There weren't major contrasts, but the pictures in Our Bodies... were far more graphic than anything I had ever seen. They were necessary to create body awareness and respect for diversity.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I recommended the book to all of my peers. When I was about 16 I helped my friend pick out her own copy. She loved it and it answered many questions she had about similar areas of interest.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
When I decided to have my first abortion, I did so at a local health clinic. I later decided to visit their gynecologists. Our Bodies... had everything to do with my decision.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
In college I was generally politically active. Now the most I do is contribute money to a local clinic.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I'm looking for the most recent edition to get my niece for her 17th birthday from Borders. The study is linked on the Boston Collective homepage.


Submitted January 4, 2004, 1:22 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
i wand sex bodies
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]

How old were you at the time?

Who brought the book to your attention?

What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)

What had the biggest impact?

Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?

Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?

Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?

Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?

Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?

Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?

Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?

How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?



Submitted December 28, 2003, 2:05 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1997
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
i can't remember. I think it was The New Our Bodies Ourselves though
How old were you at the time?
19 years old.
Who brought the book to your attention?
my girlfriend. I stumbled across it when she checked it out from the library...a sort of unexpected suprise.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The fact that the book even existed, and that it had been around since the 70's and i'd *never* heard of it. It also suprised me that i had never really had many questions about my body, since i didn't know a lot of what was in the book. It made me ponder my own relationship with my body in general.
What had the biggest impact?
The section on abortion, and the politics therein. I hadn't heard much from either side of the abortion issue (i know, i'm a hermit!) and i really took that section to heart.

The second runner up was the section on sexual anatomy. Being trans (ftm, at the time stone butch) i'd never looked at, questioned, or even wanted to think about my genitalia, so everything in that section was pretty new to me!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
didn't have a doctor, and don't really have one now either so it's hard to say.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
no. I just kind read it and moved on...
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I don't think i knew enough at the time to disagree with the content...i just kinda took it in. Haven't read it since then so it's hard to say what i'd think now...
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
again, can't remember well enough.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Definately, it was a beginning introduction to the politics of the body for me, and an empowering one. Many years latter when i came out as trans i carried a lot of that empowerment over into asserting my desire to transition and live as a man.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It talked about more than just basic reproductive anatomy!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Nope, i sat down and read the thing through and then it went back to the library. I felt happy knowing it was out there but never looked at it again.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Nope.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
nope
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I finally went to a feminist health clinic when i started physically transitioning. That was years after reading Our Bodies, Ourselves, and was not directly related.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
That's hard to say. What would you sat comprises the women's health movement? The last few years my circle of friends put on women's erotica shows, which often addresses issues of women's sexuality and bodies in a way that strives to be empowering and healing. I also facilitate an advocacy and support group for gender variant people in our area, which includes helping trans folks gain access to health resources. I beleive that the women's health movement includes the health of FTM and MTF trans people.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
i found a link off of the Our Bodies, Ourselves website.


Submitted December 21, 2003, 7:40 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1975
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973,1976)
How old were you at the time?
15
Who brought the book to your attention?
A friend that had an older sister
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was so pleased with factual information so I did not have to ask an older woman. The times were changing so rapidly that even my liberal mother would not have all the answers or know what was out there.
What had the biggest impact?
The section on birth control. I felt so informed of my many choices.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Absolutely. I came into the doctor/patient relationship empowered.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes. Birth control, pregnancy, general women's health, women's mental health.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
At the time I was so young I did not know if anything was left out.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes! I felt clean, beautiful, powerful, knowledgable.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I had not learned anything in school.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
All of my friends.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes and yes.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Ourbodiesourselves.org


Submitted December 20, 2003, 10:15 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1982
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976)
How old were you at the time?
21
Who brought the book to your attention?
Found it at the library, while looking for books about pregnancy.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I don't remember anything surprising me. The photos were probably more graphic than any I had seen before in one of the books I was checking out from the library at the time.
What had the biggest impact?
I think that I learned more about my anatomy than I had ever known.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
It did influence my choice, although I was not able to have a woman be my doctor for my first 2 pregnancies, the women practicing medicine in our community were not plentiful and didn't deliver babies!!!
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I don't remember.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I probably just chose to not read parts that I disagreed with. But don't remember specifically.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Oh yes.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The emphasis at school was on changing, and was before, the "safe sex" time, there really was no mention of what men and women did together. The book was more graphic.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I don't remember, it was a library book, so had to return it.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No. There isn't one in the area, but my doctor is probably the closest we have to a feminist, practicing medicine.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
www.4women.org
Saw the request for women to tell about their experience in reading the book.


Submitted December 11, 2003, 12:42 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1978
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973,1976)
How old were you at the time?
22 years
Who brought the book to your attention?
Very close friend
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
That it was okay to be a lesbian
What had the biggest impact?
Chapter 4 about lesbianism
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
not at the time, but with the next version
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
sexuality
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
none that i could think of then
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes, checking your body is okay and necessary
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Doctors need your help to help you and it is okay to be yourself
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Other women i was close to
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
never read
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
looking for news about menopause and remembered that this book covered that expertly. Survey was listed on the website.


Submitted December 9, 2003, 2:51 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2002
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
obos for the new century; had glanced through the new obos before but fully READ obos for the new century first
How old were you at the time?
19
Who brought the book to your attention?
a friend who had it on her shelf
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
it's very thorough but it wasn't in-depth enough for me on each topic -- gave me more of a general interview. reading it i became more interested in the political history of the book.
What had the biggest impact?
the factual articles coupled with the social history gave me a great context on women's health issues.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
definitely. i've always gone to a nurse practictioner and this just encouraged me to keep with it.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
vaginal health
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
i thought it glossed over sexuality issues and ignored lgbt issues (although the most recent edition focused on it more)
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
trans health issues
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
definitely -- now i know that much more
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
i had learned little to nothing about women's health and sexuality in school -- just "this is a fallopian tube, this is a uterus" etc.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
oh i definitely have. i recommend it to everyone i know since i feel a lot of my peers (i am in my early 20s) do not know nearly as much about their health as they should. i know people who STILL have not been to the gyno even though they have been sexually active for years and i want to slap them over the head with obos!
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
yes
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes. i was doing that before obos but obos really underlined my feelings of support towards it. i realized that i was doing a very feminist thing by utilizing a feminist health clinic without even realizing it -- i was just looking for a place, when i was in high school, that offered support and exams and birth control! after going to a gyno and having him do a pelvic exam for approximately half a second with no explanation, i realized how much i really valued my feminist health clinic experience, where the nurse practitioner/midwife explained everything every step of the way.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
yes. i am in the women's health zine community and worked briefly for planned parenthood. i also have written papers on OBOS and third wave women's health activism.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
the obos webpage


Submitted November 11, 2003, 11:23 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2003
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves from 1973
How old were you at the time?
23
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was at a yard sale and my husband brought the book over to me to see. I had heard about it and flipping through the chapters I found a lot of information. So, we bought it for $1.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was surprised that they knew so much stuff that I didn't even know today! I was also surprised that they talked so much about sexually open communes and used words like "groovy". It was very interesting reading.
What had the biggest impact?
The chapter about lesbianism had the biggest impact for me. I am married to a wonderful man, but I have recently come to realize that I am bisexual. It was good for me to read about relationships between women in a safe context.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes. I learned a lot about my anatomy and also about relationships between women. Interestingly, in the 1973 version they don't talk about bisexuality at all.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was not satisfied because I felt there were many topics that were left out. I have glanced at the chapters for the newer editions and I think they include more of the stuff I was looking for.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Bisexuality, emotional and eating disorders.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
In school I was taught to use a condom and that if I didn't these horrible things would happen. We got the slideshow of horribly infected penises (no vaginas). They never discussed the female anatomy at all! I was glad to find that here.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes. I reccomended to a few friends and to people on a forum I belong to. I think it is a good book and so many girls know so little about their bodies.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No. I didn't know there was such a thing.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No. I am too young.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was looking for a newer edition and googled it. Found a link from the our bodies ourselves homepage.


Submitted November 6, 2003, 8:25 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976);
How old were you at the time?
20
Who brought the book to your attention?
A psychiatrist.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
All of it.
What had the biggest impact?
That other women felt like I did.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, about sexuality, that it was alright to feel sexy.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I have problems with the parts on abortion.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
NO.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was more informative and open-minded.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
My sisters, we were all sexually abused as children.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Through a different page, it was a link.


Submitted November 3, 2003, 7:29 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
About 1989 I think
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves 1976 edition; then I went out and bought it - must have been 1992
How old were you at the time?
Born 1946, therefore mid-forties
Who brought the book to your attention?
can't remember, but about that time I had developed a strong interest in feminism
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
if anything the references to lesbianism
What had the biggest impact?
everything in it was real, not like the so-called health system that I worked in (the British NHS) as a nurse.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No, but I always read it whenever any health issue cropped up in my life, and i would prefer to follow the advice in OBOS to anything any doctor would say
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
getting older, menopause, breast health, political aspects of health.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Pretty much satisfied from what I remember - but haven't looked at it for a while
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
don't think so
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
to a certain extent; as a trained nurse i'd developed a sense of understanding, but my interests in the promotion of breastffeeding led me to think more independently and that was backed up by OBOS
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
never compared it, it was too long ago!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
frequently, because I thought it was brilliant and had the definitive answers, the ones you could believe in and have faith in.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
NO
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I don't know where there is one, otherwise I might have done. This might be more of an American thing than an english one/
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
If there is "a" Women's Health Movement, then no, but I was linked iwth the National Childbirth trust re; breastfeeding, and for nine years I've been a helath promotoiin specialist in the NHS and I've worked with women
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was looking to see if there was a new edition of the book and google sent me here. That led me to this study, otherwise I would never have found it.


Submitted November 2, 2003, 12:53 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2002
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Both Our Bodies, Ourselves and The New Our Bodies, Ourselves at about the same time
How old were you at the time?
17, perhaps 18
Who brought the book to your attention?
I had of late become more interested in things pertaining to being a woman, and the book being on my mothers bookshelf was too good an opportunity to pass up.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
How candidly it dealt with all of the issues common to women. I was suprised and delighted to come across these books which dealt with these things in such and easy and open manner, covering all sorts of issues which pertained to me directly.
What had the biggest impact?
The short testimonials of all the women found throuhgout the book. They helped me to see things from a different perspective at times, and to find options for things i was dealing with.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Not yet, but i am glad to know that there are doctors out there that dont treat me as a just a body with something wrong with it, but as a person, an intelligent one at that, who should have input and a say on what goes on with her body. Not incompetent and unable to care for myself.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes---doctors, birth control, relationship issues, STD's and so on.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Yes!!!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I know that the books are made to appeal to all sorts of women, but i wonder if there shouldnt be a section, or perhaps a whole book, made to appeal to adolescent females just coming into their sexuality. Dealing with the ins and outs of sex for the first time, birth control etc. I havent read the new versions of the book, who knows, there may already be such a section.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I knew a fair amount about the basics of sex and female genitalia, but i had never really been exposed to a ver open and honest way of dealing with sex. I had been in sex ed classes in school since the 3rd grade but they had never really explored topics beyond what menstruation was when we were younger and then later the negative consequences of sex and how to put a condom on a banana. They never explored the emotional effects of sex, what to do if you find yourself pregnant, abortion, other types of birth control. I suppose they assumed because we were younger we would have no need of imformation about diaphragms because there use implies being in a relationship where you trust your partner not to have AIDS, but they never stopped to consider that we were growing up, and such a time might come up pretty soon in our lives.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Not yet, but i definitely will. I think it is very important to women everywhere that such a book exists. By women, for women.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I've read Ourselves and Our Children. Based on the thoughts i read in there from different parents it made me wonder what my mother has been thinking about me all these years. It also made me respect her even more than i already did.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No, but i may at some point. Yes.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No, but i am planning on doing so.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Found it on the Our Body, Ourselves web page which i found through google.


Submitted October 28, 2003, 12:25 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1985
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves 1973
How old were you at the time?
11
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was babysitting and it was on the shelf.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was most enthralled by the testimonials.
What had the biggest impact?
Absolutely the testimonials, and the news that it was okay to masturbate.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes--I've always had the latest copy and have investigated every aspect of health care in the book.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Masturbation, homosexuality, difficulty with sex, relationships, getting pregnant, body image.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
YES. Totally satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
The testimonials, if I recall correctly, were depleted if not removed from later editions. Those were the most compelling part for me as a young girl and still stick with me.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I didn't learn any of that stuff in school. School was about scary stuff--fearing your period and puberty, how gonorrhea was treated, watching live births on TV with no supervision.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Any girlfriend who every had a question about sexuality. It's the only resource out there, and it's so comprehensive, there need not be another. Would that there were such a resource on EVERY topic.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves and Our Children was in our house and I remember being frightened of the drawings of boys' anatomy.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No, I never did.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Through Google.


Submitted October 23, 2003, 6:50 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1975
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973) Edition, Since then The updated 1992 version plus Our Bodies Ourselves aging.
How old were you at the time?
25
Who brought the book to your attention?
Women's Health Collective at University
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
How clear and openly everything was presented. Supported with graphic photos, women's comments etc. It was so easy for me to read and understand.
What had the biggest impact?
The simplicity of language making knowledge of my body, and its functions so much easier to understand and discuss with any physician. The "self-empowerment" of this book plus its follow ups [re-publications] keeping in tune with current times
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Absolutely
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Absolutely....

Sexuality
Sexually transmitted diseases
Breast Cancer
Self-examination
Vitamins
Diet
Menopause
Hot Flashes
Choosing your physician
How to discuss with your physician
Keeping your own medical journal [journey]
etc., etc. Everything from cover to cover
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Completely satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No. If there were any general statements to follow on, there were lots of reference materials referred to for more indepth information.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. As I said above, it gave me the self-empowerment over understanding my body and bodily functions. It prepared me in many ways prior to seeking a physician or homeopath. Having my homework done in other words in order to discuss treatment.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I learned NOTHING in school. However, at University, I was lucky to come across a Women students' Health Collective. It was a non-credit course.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I gave many copies away to women who couldn't otherwise afford to purchase. Mostly women of ethnic backgrounds, as I worked in a non-profit agency dealing with settlement issues for new immigrants and refugees.

Now I'm living and working in the Greek side of Cyprus, and helping to empower many close women friends with the help of this book. Women in Cyprus are so distant from their bodies. Masturbation is not discussed, not allowed etc., etc. Women still think that tampons cannot be used by virgins as example. That sexual pleasure is only derived from the man. There's a lot of work to be done here.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes and yes.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes...

Self study group and being an active volunteer in the Rape Distress Centre.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Through Google.com knowing Our Bodies Ourselves as the subject matter to search. It brought me to the website.


Submitted October 19, 2003, 4:50 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973, the year I graduated from high school
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
newsprint version first, then the 1984 ed.
How old were you at the time?
probably just turned 18
Who brought the book to your attention?
I had received a 20$ book gift certificate to the local university bookstore by virtue of being smart. (Everyone with a 3.5 or above at my high school was so awarded by some civic group.) I went up to the bookstore and spent what seemed like a huge amount of money on a number of things including "The Liberated Woman's Songbook," a collection of Mary Cassatt, and the newspring version which I think cost 50 cents!
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Nothing surprised me per se, it just was so incredible to read about things I had no knowledge of--it was just so liberating, and I was so proud of it. (Drove my college roommates crazy bragging about having this quasi-underground source of info.) But we all appreciated knowing how to cure our yeast infections, etc.
What had the biggest impact?
Just that it was there at all.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
healthcare
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I wouldn't have known how to be dissatisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Certainly it made me more proactive.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I hadn't learned anything about women's health.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Shared it with friends--although I don't know what ever became of my original newsprint copy.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Someone gave me Ourselves and Our Children. I don't remember that it made much of an impact on me.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I've always only had female physicians as my primary heatlh care practitioners and used midwives for my first pregnancy and delivery. My own feminist beliefs and the book were all of a piece.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
advertisement in the Women's Review of Books.


Submitted October 14, 2003, 7:18 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1973
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The first book printed by the collective and the "New" our bodies ourselves
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
Ms. Magazine
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The information in general
What had the biggest impact?
Learning about various drugs and how it impacted our bodies
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Definately
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I used it to learn about Women's health in general
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
It helped in ways you can't beleive
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I opened up a whole new world about me and my health
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I can't remember
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes and yes
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Our Bodies Ourselves web site


Submitted September 23, 2003, 4:12 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1987
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
14
Who brought the book to your attention?
My grandmother bought it for my sister and I.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
At that point a lot of it surprised me. Mostly I was just surprised there was a book like it out there. I guess the biggest shock was the no-nonsense approach. Everything else I'd read to that point came from sex-ed classes... and those, of course, pull their punches. This was information on almost any topic you could think of... and it was hitting you square in the face.
What had the biggest impact?
The sections on pregnancy and STD's. Those sections gave me information I hadn't gotten elsewhere and could depend on clear into adulthood.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes and no. I've always been fortunate to end up with doctors I'm comfortable with. But I knew early on that if I wasn't I didn't have to have a reason. It also led me to really respect doctors that know how to say, "I don't know." If they can't say that about *something* it's time for me to find someone else. No one has *all* the answers.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
The sections on development in that book are so dog-eared I read those parts everytime something new happened... and sometimes out of nothing better to do.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I loved the book so much that I've ordered a copy for my 11-year old daughter. While I think there's content she's not ready for, I know there's plenty of "reference" material there. I expect to spend many hours pouring over it with her until I think she's ready to read it by herself. I guess if there were something I'd disagree with, it would have to be that the book comes a little too close to expressing opinions. But then, I agree with most of those opinions, so it's not a problem for me. But I can see where it would be too "femenist" for some.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
All in all, I don't think so. I can remember reading parts of the book during my teen years and wishing it had more information here or there. But it's impossible to add everything to a single book. I understood that then, even if it was frustrating... and just went and looked up more somewhere else. But it certainly always gave me a good start.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
It made me understand that a lot of the freaky things that happen when you're developing are not only perfectly normal, but that everyone goes through them at some point. When you're a teen, it's always great to know you're not alone, no matter how much you feel like it.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
For the most part what I'd learned in school wasn't about sexuality... it was about the development of anatomy. We could have been talking about chickens, as interesting as it was. Most of the information was strictly factual... like a bad history textbook. OBOS gave me a much more personal look at things. I wasn't just a health statistic and I wasn't really expected to develop at the dates that some doc said I should. I was an individual, and as such, had the right to my own schedule.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I've recommended it to anyone who'll listen. I think it's a great gift for any teen girl starting out in the world... gets you off to a great start! As I said, I've ordered a copy of the new edition for my 11-year old daughter... and I suspect, with her curiosity, she'll read even more of it than I did.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Nope... never felt the need to.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No... but now that I have the titles, you can be sure I'll look for them.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Nope... unless you consider Planned Parenthood a feminist clinic... and my choice to go there had nothing to do with the book.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Nope.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
By doing a search for Our Bodies, Ourselves. I found the study link on that page.


Submitted September 17, 2003, 6:57 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1982
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
OBOS REVISED AND EXPANDED, 1973, second edition
How old were you at the time?
28
Who brought the book to your attention?
Found it in bookstore (used, second-hand, in NYC.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Chapter 6, Taking care of ourselves
Chapter 9, Venereal Disease
Chapter 10 Birth Control
Chapter 11 Abortion
What had the biggest impact?
You are in control of your body, of your life. You choose.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Very much, my doctors should be willing to listen to and accept my opinions and choices.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Health prevention and promotion, choice.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Very satisfied with the book's contenst, views and perspective.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No I did not.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes it did.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I had learnt very little about women's health and sexuality, and in isolation. OBOS opened a different perspective, health is a work in progress, to be assesed and discussed, especially with those you care.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, and later bought the Spanish version, to share it with friends working with families on health issues.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No I did not.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No I did not read other publications by the BWHBC.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, and it did.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Currently, as an epidemiologist.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Link from CDC's webpage.


Submitted September 16, 2003, 1:09 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1991
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
22
Who brought the book to your attention?
I saw it at the campus bookstore in college and I really like that it was focused on women's health issues from a feminist perspective.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
A lot surprised me. But not in a shocking way. It was more like "Finally! Something interesting, educational, feminist, liberal - from people who think like I do."
What had the biggest impact?
I think just that this book even existed at all!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Not really. I have always chosen to go to female physicians whenever possible. It has been my experience that they are easier to talk to and that they tend to take my concerns more seriously than male doctors.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes - sexuality, pregnancy, and overall health.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I love this book! I read it every now and again just because I enjoy it - not necessarily for any specific information. I was very pleased to recently find one of the original copies at a used bookstore - it felt like such a treasure!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
I think that it broadened what I already knew - it's a great reference book.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
When I was in sixth grade, the only area of women's health and sexuality that we learned about was menstruation. What a joke!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I recommend this book to anyone who will listen. I also bought my mom a copy of "Ourselves Growing Older."
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
Ourselves Growing Older.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Looked for it on the Yahoo.com search engine.


Submitted September 15, 2003, 4:53 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1984
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1976) I think
How old were you at the time?
12
Who brought the book to your attention?
mom
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
The graphic photos and detailed discussions of sex. Surprised and fascinated, not disgusted.
What had the biggest impact?
To this day I remember a woman who was quoted "I don't care how great a guy is, how smart or talented, if I don't feel wonderful when I'm with him, I'm not interested."
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
it influenced my perception of STDs and my role in my health care
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
STDs, pregnancy, safer sex, as well as what sorts of sexual experiences different people enjoyed. The testimonials were, of course, the best.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
satisfied!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?

How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
it fleshed it out, gave it a voice with all the people's experiences, and gave me a reference I could read over and over to answer questions.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
yes. A male friend interested in sperm content of precum.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?

Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
checking out the latest version for my friend. saw the link.


Submitted September 5, 2003, 5:41 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1996
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Uour Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
My father gave it to me
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I was just in awe of how much information it gave--it talked about everything!
What had the biggest impact?
Graphics of Female genitalia. I was 17 but was still a little cloudy about the exact workings of my female reproductive organs and the exact anatomy.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yea, mainly about birth control.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?

Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes. I had a much better understanding of both--much better than taking health ed.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It was so matter-of-fact and detailed. There was no embarrassment or judgementalness. It just answered my questions.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I didn't. I think it is still in my old room at my parent's home. However, I would recomend it and if I had a daughter, I would give her a copy.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I went to the BWHBC website to get prices for Our Bodies, Our Selves in english and spanish; I work for an adolescent health clinic and we plan to purchase a number of copies. While on the website, I saw this link.


Submitted August 26, 2003, 3:11 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1977
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves 1976
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
A college student. I had just finished high school and was an assistant counselor at a summer camp. A female college student from UC Berkeley brought her copy to camp and shared it with us.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
It was so comprehensive and honest. Nothing was glossed over or hidden. It was so refreshing. I recall being a little amazed of the honest approach to the controversial subjects of abortion, lesbianism, and masturbation. Because the book covered those topics openly, it made me trust the entire book more than I would have if those topics had not been covered.
What had the biggest impact?
What I remember most - the picture of the young boy and girl. They looked like they were warming up after a swim. The girl was lying on the ground on her stomach, and a little boy was lying down on his stomach, on the girls back. The picture struck me in a warm fuzzy way. They looked so comfy!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, I have always required a give and take medical relationship on the basis of me being a full participant in my healthcare.

I have to mention that I used to assume that women would just naturally be better health care providers for other women, but over the years I have met many women providers who are paternalistic to patients, and not caring , not understanding. I have learned that some men are excellent, caring, and compassionate providers.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, for just about everything.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Completely satisfied.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Made me more comfortable about being a woman, more knowledgeable about my health, and sexuality.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
The coverage in school was a flowery skim of the whole and not very helpful.

Wish I still had a copy of that silly little book they gave us in school in the 60' - 70's. Just to see how really awful it was!
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Oh, yes. Bought my own copy right away, and recommended it so many times I could never tell you. Bought updated versions as they came out.

I am now a family nurse practitioner for a small tribal community in N. Wisconsin. When we received a small grant for youth, for concerns regarding unintended pregnancy and STIs, I purchased several books for our youth center; Our Bodies, Ourselves for teens was one of the books I purchased.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, but would like to.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, planned parenthood clinics. They held the same philosophy of openess I found in the book, and that was important to me.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No, not really, but in my own quiet way I do what I can.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
from the home page of the book (ourbodiesourselves.org)


Submitted August 25, 2003, 7:58 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1985
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976)
How old were you at the time?
17
Who brought the book to your attention?
My college roomate owned it and I picked it up - she did not show it to me. I read the whole thing cover to cover I was up until dawn.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
My mother had a degree in reproductive physiology, I was stubborn about resisting gaining this knowledge from her (despite the fact that she seemed to bring up the subject often). I was relieved to fill in alot of the knowledge gaps without having to repress my reaction. I also enjoyed the freedom to research followup questions without risking judgement.
What had the biggest impact?
Truthfully - the access to information - it seemed like you could look up ANYTHING in the index and find something. Even topics that seemingly have nothing to do with sex or reproduction. Like nutrition and exercise.

I was also awakened by the attention to differently abled people. I had never given much thought to the social and sexual reprocussions of having a mental or physical disability.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
absolutely

My first gynocological experience was with planned parenthood. I was 15 and the nurse practicioner had a VERY AGRESSIVE (and condecending)manner. I was well informed at the time (thanks, Mom) but I rejected her info and advice similarly.

I was much more comfortable after reading the book.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
After I no longer lived with this roomate I bought my own copy. I used it as a reference for everything. Most importantly I turned to it when I found myself in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic. The book was very straitforward about the typical avenues of denial one trys on when the realization that you are not in a healthy relationship arises.

There was a section that clearly outlined the acceptable and unacceptble boundaries of a healthy relationship that everyone deserves. It gave me stregnth to leave my abuser.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Satisfied -

However, I'm sure the tangents are limitless.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
I'm sure if I looked for them I could come up with shortcomings.

It has always been useful to me as a reference - if for nothing else but the bibliography.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
undeniably
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
I grew up in the south in the 70s and 80s I learned very little in school about sexuality.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
twice

My younger sister - I assumend she might appreciate it in the same way I did.

Two years ago I gave it to a boyfriend (now an ex boyfriend) when he revealed to me he was interested in cross dressing and bi-sexuality. After serious soul searching (and looking both things up in OBOS) I knew these were things I did not want in my daily life but I was hoping the book would demonstrate that I was not judging him. I hoped by marking the sections it would show I did have a good understanding of what he was facing and what I was also I was choosing not to face with him. He responded positively - it ended up being a good break-up.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
Never
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes and yes
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I have womens studies as my second major and often participated in many things reccommended by the department. I did become dissillusioned by what seemed to be fanaticisim and extremeism in many factions of the movement and I was VERY dissassociated by the time I completed my major.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I have moved recently and my book is packed away - I hoped there was an online reference and I stumbled across this study.


Submitted August 18, 2003, 11:29 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1985
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New OUr Bodies, Ourselves (1984)
How old were you at the time?
18
Who brought the book to your attention?
mother gave as a christmas gift
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
the exerpts - quotes from real people
What had the biggest impact?
section on sexuality
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
yes, made me more articulate and demanding about my health care
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
yes
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
satisfied!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes, very much so. made me much more confident b/c now i understood so much more about my body.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
it was just more detailed and honest
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
friends - who needed to read certain sections on specific issues.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes - went to women's health clinic after reading obo
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
yes - prochoice
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
looking to buy the most recent edition


Submitted August 14, 2003, 8:49 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1992
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
22
Who brought the book to your attention?
A women's studies instructor at San Jose State University

What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
the amount of information specificially related to women's health all located in one place.
What had the biggest impact?
Addressing women's health across the lifespan as well as information not previously thought of that may or may not be attributed to women's health.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Healthcare: general information re: cancer, treatments, and alternative methods of treatment.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I loved the book and still use it today!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
No
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Provided much more information in a manner that was easy to understand.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes: female clients in residential treatment program to educate themselves about their bodies and try to reduce anxiety about medical conditions or treatments offered to them.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
From the OBOS Website homepage


Submitted August 13, 2003, 1:45 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1999
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century
How old were you at the time?
20
Who brought the book to your attention?
Health class
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I couldn't believe how much information was in it, or that I could actually look at my vagina with a mirror!
What had the biggest impact?
It was all such an experience -- I would read every chapter over and over again. Whenever I found a new bump or hair, I would consult the book, and still use it as my health text. It's also a wonderful connection between myself and my mother, talking about how we both learn from the book.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Not exactly, but I chose to stay with my doctor based on qualities I learned in Our Bodies Ourselves.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Mostly as a resourse for sexually transmitted diseases, symptoms of pregnancy, and methods of birth control when I first started having sex.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?

Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes, I feel empowered to make decisions and question medical professionals because of this book.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
This book was my first real lesson on women's health, after the usual film-strip 6th grade health-class.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I constantly use it as a reference (and sometimes just for fun) and talk about it to my friends when they have questions, always suggesting that they buy a copy.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
nope
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
oohh.. I haven't, but I will!
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
no
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
I worked with Planned Parenthood on universal ultrasound projects, but have not been terribly active on a grand scale.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
from an employee who is interested in working with Our Bodies, Ourselves.


Submitted August 12, 2003, 4:12 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1993
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies Ourselves-Now I have Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century.
How old were you at the time?
11
Who brought the book to your attention?
My Mom-I wasn't as comfortable as she was talking about the changes in my body.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Nothing negative, I was so fascinated and grateful to be reading about things that I was curious about/already feeling
What had the biggest impact?
There's so much-at the time learning about menstruation, etc, and later the chapters on same-sex sexuality. Now I've read almost the entire book, I like to open to a random page and start reading.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Yes, my first and all gyn exams have been at a feminist health clinic-I'm one of the only women I know who can say I have had good experiences with my doctor. I'm also very honest with her (who but me gets hurt if I lie...?)
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes, just as I said in section 6. I also look up specific symptoms when me or my friends has something going on.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Completely satisfied
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Nope.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Definately, I think that because I've been reading it since I was so young, I grew up with a different awareness of my body and my health.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
There was no shame in OBOS.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Yes, my friends. I now live in a house with 8 women and we all love it.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No, but ten years after my Mom gave me my first copy of OBOS, I gave her Ourselves, Growing Older.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes, and yes.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Boredom at work, I just surfed to it.


Submitted August 11, 2003, 5:02 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1974
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973)
How old were you at the time?
13
Who brought the book to your attention?
I believe it was an older friend
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I wasn't surprise, but grateful, for the plain no-nonsense, non-judgemental approach.
What had the biggest impact?
I needed the information, and it was not forthcoming from either home or school. It made me more conscious of my own health, and more responsible for taking care of myself...really!
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
No.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
I was becoming sexually active, so it was very helpful for me to undestand more of the mechanics relating to birth control, sexually-transmitted diseases, etc..it kind of blows my mind that it was pre-AIDS
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
It was a good friend and a constant companion through college.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Can't remember...hmmm, I guess I better go buy a new copy.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Yes.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
It answered more questions, didn't gloss over the details like they did in class.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
No.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
No.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was looking for some information for this old bod and remembered the book. I typed the title into Google and here I am.


Submitted August 11, 2003, 1:05 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
2002
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
our bodies ourselves for the new century
How old were you at the time?
18/19
Who brought the book to your attention?
my friend jessie,, i had just moved in with her
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
lots of info about womyn all in the same place
What had the biggest impact?
abortion information
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
i have always had issues with male docters, and my fem problems..
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
abortion... i was going through one....
yeast infections... i get them like crazy,, i was born with one.. i dont think it ever truely goes away
and endimetriosis,,, though not diagnosed im convinced i have it... i need to see a docter about that

Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
extremely satisfied with the book
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
hmmm..... i dont remember if alternative menstration topics were fully talked about...
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yeah,, i need to see a docter,,
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
haha
in school you learn that "down there is dirty, and you just dont talk about it"

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
i just wrote a zine.. so whomever reads it... for the yeast infections plus its an all around good book
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no,, didnt know they were out there
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
hmm.. the sex clinic i go to is all female staff, which is welcoming.. and makes me feel more comfortable.. one of my docters was a little hostile.. because i wasnt using a condom,, and i was getting tested for stds.... in my defense,, im in a year long monogamous relationship, with someone whom i trust, and i was getting tested, simply because i had a yeast infection, and the nurse i talked to on the phone thought it could be something else... it was just that. a yeast infection.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
cunt: a declaration of independence....


Submitted August 7, 2003, 3:06 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Around 1974
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
1973
How old were you at the time?
13
Who brought the book to your attention?
A teacher
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Nothing
What had the biggest impact?
I was still at an age where I believed if something was published in a book it must be true. So, I read the book, and I believed what I read. I have enjoyed almost three decades feeling good about my body, not perplexed or ashamed about the workings of it. I have been able to recognize and meet my sexual needs without guilt. After the Bible, it has been the book with the largest impact on my life, that is why I'm taking time to do the survey.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Relationship, yes. I'm aware that it is MY body and I'm comfortable participating in my own healthcare.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
All areas, I read it cover to cover, over and over.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Satisfied with the book. I do remember a funny part -- a sign that said "Free Food. Free Beer. Free Sex." and then something about the third one being up to you. I think it was a Faternity rush sign. Too cute!
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Nope.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Of course!
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
No real contrast. It was the 1970's in California, we had great teachers. Actually, a teacher recommended the book.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
Today, that is how I found the web-site. My friend's daughter is reaching puberty and my friend asked me how I turned out so well. I explained that I had purchased this book when I was her daughter's age and it really helped me understand myself. For kicks, I looked it up on the web, and voila, here I am!
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No.
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Planned Parenthood. I don't remember why I chose them. They were quite popular in my area at that time.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Not really, other than donating to Komen foundation.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
See number 13.


Submitted August 6, 2003, 9:09 AM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1975
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
lst edition, as pictured on website
How old were you at the time?
23
Who brought the book to your attention?
don't recall
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
I still recall reading it... not surprised but interested... the chapter called In America they call us.....
Lent my copy to somebody and never got it back
What had the biggest impact?
The section about using a mirror to see what female anatomy ( my anatomy) looked like
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
no
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Just a general knowledge
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
Satisfied...I found the website because I have a daughter now and thought about getting the book for her(us) to read together
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
no
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
ABSOLUTELY
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
MORE INFORMATIVE
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
SEE ABOVE...
LENT IT TO SOMEBODY...
WOULD BUY IT NOW FOR MY DAUGTER
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?

Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
NOT AWARE OF THEM...WOULD CHECK THEM OUT NOW
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
NO
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
NO
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
LOOKING TO BUY THE BOOK FOR MY DAUGTHER


Submitted July 29, 2003, 2:30 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?

Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
our bodies,ourselves
How old were you at the time?
19 or 20 ?
Who brought the book to your attention?
can't remember
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
cool pics. better than cross section (slice) of reproductive organs
What had the biggest impact?
it was by women. not old white men
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
yes. knowledge is power.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
i used it all the time as a reference. i need to get the new one.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
it's been a long time since i read it
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?

Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
yes. it made me more aware and more confident with my body.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
completely different. i feel sorry for my mother's generation. i think they would have had more fun and less stress if they had had a book like this instead of mrs beeton's cookery book.

Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
i recommended it to everyone
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
no
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
yes. went to well woman clinic as i had never liked male doctors and realised i didn't actually have to put up with them.
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
no
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
surfin'


Submitted July 25, 2003, 10:24 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1985
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
~ 10

Re-Read sections later (17), first year University.
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was on my parents bookshelf.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Images were more graphic than I had seen elsewhere, but not shocking or suprising. Black and white makes things not quite so vividly sexual
What had the biggest impact?
Understanding what sex actually was - that there were different ways to have it.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Not at the time
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes.
Masturbation
Lesbian Relationships
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was impressed with the presentation, the honesty, the effort to include different kinds of experiences/different voices.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Transgender issues were included only marginally, very accepting attitude, but little actual information.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
The book presented the concept of human sexuality in a way that was honest, graphic and positive. It was one of my primary sources of sexual information as a kid.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
In school, sexuality and sexual health were not addressed. We all underwent the CARE program that taught about 'good touching and bad touching, but sexuality was not addressed beyond this. In Junior High School, there was a sex component in the health class, but it was very cursory and my own information was beyond that presented. There is little/no discussion of relationships, feelings or actual physiological responses.
The book, on the other hand, attempts to answer some fo these questions.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
My best friend, as an adult, reccommended it for her to give it to her younger sister - one of the best overall reference books on the subject.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes

No

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes
Sexual Health Educator for Youth from 1994-1998 with a youth HIV/AIDS organization.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Metacrawler - 'Our Bodies, Ourselves'


Submitted July 25, 2003, 10:22 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1985
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How old were you at the time?
~ 10

Re-Read sections later (17), first year University.
Who brought the book to your attention?
It was on my parents bookshelf.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Images were more graphic than I had seen elsewhere, but not shocking or suprising. Black and white makes things not quite so vividly sexual
What had the biggest impact?
Understanding what sex actually was - that there were different ways to have it.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Not at the time
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes.
Masturbation
Lesbian Relationships
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
I was impressed with the presentation, the honesty, the effort to include different kinds of experiences/different voices.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
Transgender issues were included only marginally, very accepting attitude, but little actual information.
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
The book presented the concept of human sexuality in a way that was honest, graphic and positive. It was one of my primary sources of sexual information as a kid.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
In school, sexuality and sexual health were not addressed. We all underwent the CARE program that taught about 'good touching and bad touching, but sexuality was not addressed beyond this. In Junior High School, there was a sex component in the health class, but it was very cursory and my own information was beyond that presented. There is little/no discussion of relationships, feelings or actual physiological responses.
The book, on the other hand, attempts to answer some fo these questions.
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
My best friend, as an adult, reccommended it for her to give it to her younger sister - one of the best overall reference books on the subject.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
No
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
No
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Yes

No

Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
Yes
Sexual Health Educator for Youth from 1994-1998 with a youth HIV/AIDS organization.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
Metacrawler - 'Our Bodies, Ourselves'


Submitted July 20, 2003, 6:18 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1976
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
Our Bodies Ourselves, and subsequent editions
How old were you at the time?
14
Who brought the book to your attention?
I was a pregnant 14 year old, in major denial, who had not informed my parents. I was in a bookstore desperately seeking any kind of information and came upon the book. I very secretly made the purchase and read the book in private at home. It was a very radical book to have in my house at the time.
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
What surprised me the most was that I learned my sexual feelings were NORMAL! In fact, part of the reason I was "hiding" the book was because I was so ashamed that I was wanting to learn about pregnancy, but also had this reference material on all these other "things" I had thought about or had concerns with.
What had the biggest impact?
The biggest impact for me was that it invited me to really explore what being a female meant in society, what it could mean, and what responsibilities I had to myself and other females (girls and women). The book indirectly inspired the activist I later became.
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
I cannot say for sure except that I never had problems asserting myself in the paternalistic tendencies within the medical community.
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes -- pregnancy, birth control, affirmation of abortion as a medical issue and right, masturbation
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
completely satisfied, albeit on occasion throughout the years I probably would have had a different way of communicating some material.
Did you find that there were any important topics left unaddressed?
teenage and pre-teen women -- I bought the latest edition today to share with my 11-year-old step-daughter. I realize it is far too high level of a read, but her need for information is intense and I thought it good to go ahead and begin the passing of the "woman's Bible".
Did it affect the way that you understood your own body or your health?
Absolutely. I developed an appreciation for the parts of the whole in terms of my body. All that I had been raised to be ashamed of did not seem so shameful anymore. It was okay to explore "down there" for example. I learned it was actually important to be familiar with my reproductive self as there are health concerns that necessitate one knowing her body -- to either affirm all is normal and okay, or something should be checked out.
How did the book\'s information contribute to or contrast with what you had learned in school about women\'s health and sexuality?
Phew! Well, I recall a film in which a woman was walking around in a white chiffon outfit extoling the virtues of becoming a woman...so, when my period started on a field trip to the zoo, at age 11, I simply could not comprehend the red blood that had soaked my shorts and prompted someone to inform me. I truly thought I'd be wearing these neat clothes like the woman in the film!!! (I really was pretty smart but no one educated me)
Did you give or recommend the book to anyone else? If so, who and why?
I have throughout the years in my professional and personal lives recommended the book. I have given away several copies. Why? Because it paves the way for women to become liberated about their bodies period. I think this is particularly the case for young women grappling with their ideologies, morals, sense of self, knowledge of health and reporduction, etc.
Did you ever contact the authors with additional comments or questions?
no
Have you read any other BWHBC publication? (including Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives (1998), Ourselves, Growing Older (1987), Sacrificing Ourselves for Love (1996). Do you have any comments about these books?
I have skimmed each, have purchased Changing Bodies, Changing LIves for a Goddaughter. I like that book because it does appeal to younger women and makes sense of things.
Did you ever seek medical treatment or advice from a feminist health clinic? If so, did your decision to do so have anything to do with reading Our Bodies, Ourselves?
No but I directed a family planning/abortion clinic and would attribute my philosophical views to the book in part
Were you ever actively involved in the womenís health movement? If so, in what capacity?
YES! I directed a clinic, served as a spokesperson for a state, directed a constitutional amendment campaign for abortion rights...and much to the dismay of my feminist sisters, I had the audacity to report an abortion provider to a medical board for unsafe practices after he refused to correct them. It was a real awful Catch 22. At the time, I became haunted by my life as a 14-year-old mom-- the physician was wrong, made the report public and since I was a public figure at the time, he could say anything about me but I could not say anything about him -- I would be sued. The fact that his credentials and wealth generated credibility, and my perseverance and ethics proved unwanted, I left my activist life.
How did you get to this webpage? How did you find out about this study?
I was searching for the book title "Changling Bodies, Changing LIves" to buy for my step-daughter and began with the Our Bodies site, which mentioned the study.


Submitted July 20, 2003, 4:26 PM

What year did you first read Our Bodies, Ourselves?
1990
Which edition did you read? [Women and Their Bodies, newsprint edition published by New England Free Press (1970); Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973, 1976); The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992); Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century (1998); or a foreign translation or adaptation?]
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves (1984, 1992);
How old were you at the time?
20 or 21
Who brought the book to your attention?
A feminine studies class I was taking, required text book (but turned out to be so much more).
What, if anything, surprised you about the book? (such as graphic photos, or particular themes such as masturbation or lesbianism)
Graphic photos, the infamous mirror shot, clear discussion about birth control
What had the biggest impact?
Birth control
Did it influence your choice of doctor or your relationship with your doctor?
Felt more confident when discussing birth control
Did you use the book as a resource to learn about particular issues of healthcare or sexuality? If so, in what areas?
Yes. Sex and birth control issues.
Were you completely satisfied with the book, or did you disagree with any of the content? If so, in what area(s)?
If my memory serves, I was satisfied with the book and referenced it often while in colle