Other Health Books by OBOS Founders

Changing Bodies, Changing Lives cover (1998)Changing Bodies, Changing Lives

Authors: Ruth Bell, with members of the Teen Book Project

Publisher: Three Rivers Press

Publication date: 1998

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An essential road map through the difficult terrain of adolescence, “Changing Bodies, Changing Lives” gives teens a thoughtful, empathetic and personal look at sex, relationships and the many ways puberty affects their emotional and physical health.

From School Library Journal:
Grade 8 Up | A monumental, encyclopedic discussion of sexual and emotional change during the teen years, this book is a revision of an earlier edition which did not discuss the AIDS epidemic. Clearly written by the authors of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” it is illustrated with relevant cartoons, photographs, diagrams, and line drawings. Dozens of teenagers themselves were interviewed and are quoted in this book. This comprehensive book includes discussion of sexual technique, STDs and the danger of promiscuous sex, gay sex and sexual identity, and teenage pregnancy and its alternatives. (Although the section on AIDS notes the risk of the virus’ transmission through oral sex, the earlier discussion of oral sex discusses individual preferences only, without mentioning the health risks.) A book that deserves a place in collections serving teenagers. — Ann Scarpellino, Ramsey Public Library, N.J.

From Library Journal:
Written by members of the Teen Book Project and inspired by the classic “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” this third edition of a book first published in 1981 provides information about health and sexuality for teenagers. Presented here is the latest information on the physical and emotional aspects of puberty, sexuality, healthcare, sexually transmitted diseases, safer sex and birth control, living with violence, mental health, and eating disorders. Artwork by and quotations from teenagers about their experiences in these areas bring the content to life and set the book apart from more standard works such as Richard Walker’s “The Family Guide to Sex and Relationships.” Each chapter has a list of associations and print and nonprint resources. An excellent, extremely useful source for young adults and educators; highly recommended for all collections. — Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., CA


The New Ourselves, Growing Older (cover, 1994)The New Ourselves, Growing Older

Authors: Paula Doress-Worters and Diana Laskin Siegal, in cooperation with Our Bodies Ourselves

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 1994
Some used and new copies can be found online.

“The New Ourselves, Growing Older” takes a positive, empowering approach to the physical and emotional health and social well-being of midlife and older women by providing frank and complete information on personal health.

From Publishers Weekly:
In 1971 the Boston Women’s Health Collective published its first book, “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” and thus the field of feminist health care was born. “Ourselves, Growing Older” began as one chapter of that original work; the Collective published the first edition in 1987. The authors here explain the book’s evolution: “Most of us in the Collective were in our twenties and thirties when we first met–now we are heading into the second half of life … we fought the medicalization of childbirth; now we move to questioning the medicalization of menopause. We challenge the notion that disability comes inevitably with aging.”

Clearly what hasn’t changed for the Collective since 1971 is the recognition that there is an unbreakable connection between the personal and the political when it comes to health care. For a woman, taking control of one’s life and one’s body is the most basic feminist principle around, and this book encourages readers to move in that direction, breaking down a formidable barrier of the mind — the fear of growing old. The information given is tailored to the needs and questions of baby-boomers as they enter the second half of life, addressing everything from the lack of clinical studies on aging using women as subjects, to becoming a mother-in-law, to HIV and safe sex. Pages are also devoted to managing finances and current proposals for a U.S. national health care system. Health is a political issue, and good aging means staying healthy — and involved. This is a self-help book with a conscience.

From Library Journal:
Later life is a time of challenge and opportunity for women. Although they have an average life expectancy of almost 80 years, women often face chronic health and financial problems, caregiving responsibilities, and lack of care for themselves as they age. The original “Ourselves, Growing Older” (LJ 11/1/87) was one of the first books to focus on the health and social concerns of women over the age of 50. The new edition retains much of the original information on relationships, pregnancy and birth control in midlife, housing, and health conditions but includes significant updates reflecting advances in breast cancer research, nutritional guidelines, menopause, and healthcare reform. It also features an extensive resource list of books, articles, and organizations. Enhanced with photos, poems, and quotations, this work emphasizes empowering older women in all aspects of life. Highly recommended for general and women’s health collections. — Karen McNally Bensing, Benjamin Rose Inst. Lib., Cleveland


Sacrificing Our Selves for Love (cover, 1996)Sacrificing Our Selves For Love: Why Women Sacrifice Health And Self- Esteem And How To Stop

Authors: Jane Wegscheider Hyman and Esther Rome, in cooperation with Our Bodies Ourselves

Publisher: Crossing Press

Publication Date: 1996
Some used and new copies can be found online.

Many women and girls risk health and well-being in order to please others. In an unflinching look at this pervasive problem, “Sacrificing Our Selves for Love” explains society’s role in promoting this sacrifice and provides exercises to counter societal pressure.