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In Her Own Right: The Institute of Medicine's Guide to Women's Health Issues

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In Her Own Right

The Institute of Medicine's Guide to Women's Health Issues (1997)
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Right to life. Right to choice. Masectomy, lumpectomy. Vitamin therapy, hormone therapy, aromatherapy. Tabloids, op-eds, Phil, Sally, Oprah.

Yesterday, women confided in their doctors about health problems and received private, albeit sometimes paternalistic, attention. Today, women's health issues are headline material. Topics that once raised a blush now raise a blare of conflicting medical news and political advocacy.

Women welcome the new recognition of their health concerns. Now women are less often treated, as the old saw goes, as "a uterus with a person attached."

At the same time, they need help in sorting through the flood of reports on scientific studies, claims of success for new treatments, and just plain myths. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has responded to this need with In Her Own Right.

Throughout its 25-year history, the IOM has provided authoritative views on fast-moving developments in medicine—bringing accuracy, objectivity, and balance to the hottest controversies.

Talented science writer Beryl Lieff Benderly synthesizes this expertise into a readable overview of women's health.

Why do women live longer than men? Why do more women than men suffer vertebral fractures? Benderly highlights what we know about the health differences between men and women and the mysteries that remain to be solved.

With a frank, conversational approach, Benderly examines women's health across the life span:

  • Issues of female childhood, adolescence, and sexual maturity, including smoking, eating behavior, teen pregnancy, and more.
  • The host of issues surrounding the reproductive years; contraception, infertility, abortion, pregnancy and birth, AIDS, and mental health.
  • Postmenopausal life and issues of aging, as health choices made decades earlier come home to roost.

Benderly addresses women's experience with the nation's health care establishment and the controversy over the lack of female representation in the world of scientific research.

Much more than a how-to guide, In Her Own Right translates the finest scholarship on topics of women's health into terms that will help any woman ask the right questions and make the right choices. Covering the spectrum from traditional beliefs to cutting-edge research, this book presents the personal insights of leading investigators, along with clear explanations of breakthrough studies written in plain English.


Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine. 1997. In Her Own Right: The Institute of Medicine's Guide to Women's Health Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

240 pages | 6 x 9
  • Hardcover: 978-0-309-05327-3
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-17631-6

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