Who is Our Bodies Ourselves Today for?
Everyone! We expand upon the original Our Bodies, Ourselves, a book “by and for women.” Our Bodies Ourselves Today (OBOS Today) is by and for women, girls, and gender-expansive people. Our resources are available, at no cost, to everyone who wants to learn and grow.
Why do you include storytelling?
As we know, evidence-based research does not tell the whole story. First-hand stories provide a valuable resource to share experiences, offer new ideas and information, and create community. It is important that women, girls, and gender-expansive people know their own bodies and are offered spaces to create connections and exchange their personal knowledge. Our storytelling project is one way we achieve this. If you’d like to tell your story please visit our Share Your Story page. If you want to be interviewed, please sign up for a time slot here.
What information do you consider valid?
You can be assured that the information you receive on OBOS Today is sound and trustworthy. We do not link or source to any information that is not vetted or medically accurate. At the same time, we recognize distinctions that occur in evidence-based information. To address this, we also include necessary issue-based information that contextualize our health education and offer our readers understandings of larger power differences in connection to our health, sexuality, and well-being.
Some of the kinds of information we include:
- Evidence-based: Evidence-based medicine (EBM) relies on rigorous research. OBOS Today always turns to the best research available. The gold standard of EBM requires randomized clinical trials. EBM can prove or disprove the efficacy of treatments. However, there are limitations to evidence-based research. First, not everything affecting women’s health or sexuality has been studied. Further, studies may be biased, and may fail to take into account gender, sex, race, disability, or other important criteria.
- Expert consensus: In areas where rigorous research hasn’t been conducted, or isn’t conclusive, the consensus of experts is often formalized in order to guide practice. Sometimes we need to use this content.
- Personal experiences: The lived experiences of women, girls, and gender-expansive people are important sources of knowledge for OBOS Today. We always take into account the needs, perspectives, and voices of women-qua-women.
- Contested: When an area of women’s health or sexuality is contested by experts, we aim to explain the different perspectives so readers can make up their own minds based on the strength of the arguments and who is making them. In these cases, especially, it’s important to be unbiased when presenting legitimate differences of opinion.
- Context: It is generally necessary to look at the context of women’s lives in order to understand a particular health or sexuality issue. Women’s individual experiences are powerfully shaped by such factors as intimate familial and social relationships, housing, neighborhoods and regions, work, environmental conditions, health care and criminal legal systems. Addressing and integrating these contexts are part of what makes OBOS Today different from other women’s health sites.
How often do you update the site?
Monthly! We add new resources to each of our subject areas once a month. Our team of experts is regularly curating resources on a variety of topics and reviewing older resources for updates.
I see that you have numerous resources on one topic. Why?
You’ll sometimes see that our experts have curated several resources on one topic. We offer these so you can see diverse perspectives, framings, or ideas. As part of our monthly updates, we will expand the number of topics. This will allow you to see more topics from a variety of perspectives. If there is a topic you’d like to see us cover, let us know here!
How is Our Bodies Ourselves Today funded?
We are committed to financial transparency as part of our public service ethos. All of our funding thus far has come from generous individual donors, along with a small number of private foundations. We also receive generous in-kind (non-cash) support from our home institution, Suffolk University. We will never accept funding from pharmaceutical companies or from organizations that do not align with our mission. To help keep Our Bodies Ourselves Today free for our users, you can make a donation here.
May I make a suggestion for a subject area I'd like to see on the site?
Yes! Send us a note on our Contact Us page.
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