Friday Extra, Extra!

By Christine Cupaiuolo — September 29, 2006

Nature and Origins of Hysteria: The Scout Report, published by the Internet Scout Project at the University of Wisconsin, provides not only a good summary of the recent New York Times article “Is Hysteria Real? Brain Images Say Yes,” but couples it with half a dozen other links that provide a wealth of medical, historical and literary context. Included is an online exhibit from the National Library of Medicine that looks at early attempts to diagnose hysteria; the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive, rich with maps and first-hand accounts; and the T.S. Eliot’s poem “Hysteria.”

Every day is Latina day where I live“: Author Sandra Cisneros dissects the word “Hispanic” and cultural stereotypes in this interview with the Detroit Free Press.

New Documentary Aims to Make Women Disappear: In Britain’s new “Super-Skinny Me: The Race to Size Zero,” a group of female journalists will allow themselves to be filmed as they diet their way to a size 2 (that’s a 0 in U.S. size). Will it expose health risks, as a Channel 4 spokesperson claims, or simply encourage more crash-dieting? I’m with Jessica on this one.

Cost of Teen Pregnancy: Arizona, which has the fourth highest teen pregnancy rate in the country, was recently informed of the cost to taxpayers: $268 million a year, according to a study on the nationwide costs prepared by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Other states will get their totals in October.

“The annual costs include $48 million for public health care, $32 million for child welfare (foster care and other services), $88 million in lost tax revenue because of decreased earnings and spending and $43 million for incarceration costs of sons born to teen mothers,” reports the Arizona Republic, which followed up with an editorial urging a public policy response.

Now They Tell Us: A press release from Harvard’s Women’s Health Watch states: “In a randomized trial of stirrups versus no stirrups for routine gynecological exams, researchers found that women who were allowed to keep their feet on the examining table felt significantly more comfortable than those whose feet were placed in stirrups. The study also demonstrated that it’s possible to perform pelvic exams and obtain Pap smears — important screening tests for cervical cancer —without using stirrups.”

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