In 1969, a group of women came together to talk about their bodies and their lives. Frustrated by how little they knew, they set out to learn more. In 1971, they published a 193-page course book on stapled newsprint titled Women and Their Bodies. The book was revolutionary for its frank talk about sexuality and relationships and its critique of the overwhelmingly male medical system.
From 1971 to 2011, “Our Bodies, Ourselves” was revised and updated eight times and two single topic books were published: “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause” and “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth.”
The Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS) organization also produced several Spanish language texts, and global women’s groups around the world adapted “Our Bodies, Ourselves” into many different languages. In addition, some of the founders collaborated on other books related to women’s health, including a book for teenagers and another about aging.
“Our Bodies, Ourselves” has long been referred to as the “women’s health bible” and has sold more than 4 million copies. Currently there are no plans for another print edition.
Learn more about each book:
Our Bodies, Ourselves (2011)
This edition — the most recent one — 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.
To find out more:
- Read the introduction
- View the table of contents and list of contributors by chapter
- Find out how 52 OBOS fans ended up on the cover
- Learn how a virtual conversation changed the relationships and sexuality chapters
- Praise for the 2011 edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves”
- Learn about the previous editions of “Our Bodies, Ourselves”