Our Bodies, Ourselves 2011

Our Bodies, Ourselves 2011 cover

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Our Bodies, Ourselves

Publication date: October 2011

Library Journal selection: Best Books of 2011

Buy the book:

This newly revised and updated edition focuses on women’s reproductive health and sexuality. It includes dozens of personal stories and essential, up-to-date information about gender identity, sexual orientation, birth control, abortion, pregnancy and birth, perimenopause, menopause, health issues such as breast and ovarian cancers, and sexuality and sexual health as we age. View the full Table of Contents below.

The book also features stories from OBOS’s Global Network partners who engage in public health outreach and advocacy, often at great risk, using materials they developed based on “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”

Hundreds of writers and reviewers collaborated to ensure the book’s accuracy and comprehensiveness, resulting in an essential text that provides evidence-based information and addresses the political, economic and social forces that shape women’s health.

Praise for the 2011 edition

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

– Tavi Gevinson, editor-in-chief of Rookie Magazine

“This flawlessly updated edition does justice to the legacy of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” which has been synonymous with women’s empowerment for the past 40 years. Incredibly detailed, empowering, and enriched by the extremely diverse opinions and positions of its collaborators, this should be on the bookshelves of women young and old worldwide!”

– Nancy Redd, author of “Body Drama” and “Diet Drama”

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

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

“This revamped edition of OBOS shows just how far we’ve come in the women’s health movement. The level of inclusiveness of my community — those of us who are queer, trans or gender non-conforming — was really remarkable, and a big step forward for a women’s health institution. Even simply running through the biographies of the participants of the relationships chapter shows how far this book has come, and how better we understand the true diversity of our community in terms of identity but also lifestyle. We are all very different, but our experiences have common threads that this edition of OBOS so beautifully highlights.

If this had been the edition that my mom gave me as a pre-teen my life and coming of age would have been so different and much less confusing. Demonstrating what a diverse and incredible community has arisen around this book, the voices and perspectives really span the gamut, allowing every reader to find their experiences reflected within these pages. It artfully lays out the reality of women’s health as a political issue — one that goes way beyond simply understanding how our bodies work. The 40th anniversary edition really proves that education is a radical act and that sharing our struggles, triumphs and stories can ultimately change the world.”

– Miriam Zoila Prez, Editor, Feministing.com, Founder, Radicaldoula.com, and recipient of the Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women’s Health


Table of Contents

Introduction >

Bodies and Identities
1.  Our Female Bodies: Sexual Anatomy, Reproduction, and the Menstrual Cycle
2.  Intro to Sexual Health
3.  Body Image
4.  Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

Relationships and Sexuality
5.  Relationships (Learn how this chapter developed)
6.  Social Influences on Sexuality
7.  Sexual Pleasure and Enthusiastic Consent
8.  Sexual Challenges

Sexual Health and Reproductive Choices
9.   Birth Control
10. Safer Sex
11. Sexually Transmitted Infections
12. Unexpected Pregnancy
13. Abortion

Childbearing
14. Considering Parenting
15. Pregnancy and Preparing for Birth
16. Labor and Birth
17. The Early Months of Parenting
18. Miscarriage, Stillbirth and other Losses
19. Infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Postreproductive Years
20. Perimenopause and Menopause
21. Our Later Years

Medical Problems and Navigating the Health-care System
22. Selected Medical Problems
23. Navigating the Health Care System

Major Forces Affecting Women’s Sexuality and Reproductive Health
24. Violence Against Women
25. Environmental Health
26. Politics of Womens Health
27. Activism in the Twenty-first Century