Then and Now

By Casey Lyons | Boston Magazine |

FOUR DECADES AGO, the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective published a revolutionary pamphlet titled Our Bodies, Ourselves. How much have things changed since then? Judy Norsigian, the group’s executive director, says less than you might think.

1971: Almost all OB-GYNs were men, which led to condescension, paternalism, and sexism in the exam room.
2011: Coziness with Big Pharma undermines prescribing practices — no matter the doc’s gender.

1971: Expectant fathers were barred from delivery rooms.
2011: Highly medicalized birthing industry leads to early deliveries (but fathers can watch!).

1971: Illegal procedures were extremely dangerous.
2011: Anti-abortion groups want to return to ’71.

Sex Ed in Schools
1971: Practically nonexistent.
2011: Abstinence-only programs in 30 states produce poorly educated students.

Pop Culture
1971: The glorification of unrealistic body types (see: Twiggy).
2011: The growing hypersexualization of very young girls (see: Toddlers & Tiaras).


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