Double Dose: Life Expectancy Hits Record High; Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory; Politics, Media and “Baby Mamas”; Strawberry Shortcake’s Slimming Makeover; John McCain’s Record on Women’s Health …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Life Expectancy Hits Record High: “Americans’ life expectancy reached a record high of 78.1 years in 2006, with disparities among ethnic groups and between the sexes generally narrowing, according to government data,” .

The overall U.S. life expectancy of 78.1 years was up 0.3 years from 2005. Life expectancy for women was 80.7 years, and for men, 75.4 years. The disparity between the sexes — 5.3 years — has been declining since it peaked at about eight years in 1979.

White women had the longest life expectancy, at 81 years, followed by black women (76.9 years), white men (76 years) and black men (70 years). The gap between men and women is markedly greater in blacks (6.9 years) than in whites (five years).

Plus: Read our previous look at declining life expectancy rates for women in some regions of the United States.

Women Scientists Contribute to New Book on Motherhood: “,” is a newly published collection of essays about science and motherhood, written by 34 women scientists. There’s also a , designed to serve as an ongoing forum for discussion, organization and hopefully change. Via .

This is What We Have to Look Forward to: An on-screen description during a Fox News segment on conservative attacks on Michelle Obama : “Outraged Liberals: Stop Picking on Obama’s Baby Mama.” In the Understatement of the Month, Fox News conceded that a producer “exercised poor judgment.” See Pam’s House Blend for and read links.

Plus: The women behind have launched to keep track of the media coverage.

Strawberry Shortcake’s Slimming Makeover: Because can never be too thin or too young …

Prevalence of Hysterectomies Questioned: “One in three women has a hysterectomy before her 60th birthday. Yet treatment for life-threatening illnesses — uterine and ovarian cancers — accounts for only 10% of the procedures,” , in this look at the frequency of hysterectomies and the health implications.

Shooting Holes in Protective Gun Bans: : Landmark laws passed in the 1990s aimed at keeping guns from abusers have fallen short of their mark, say law enforcement personnel and advocates. Marie Tessier’s story on protective gun bans is the latest in the WeN series on “Dangerous Trends, Innovative Responses.”

“It seems like a great idea, to take guns away from batterers,” says Merril Cousin, executive director of the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Seattle. “It’s read complicated than it sounds, because it depends on finding out that a firearm is involved, it often requires a court order, and then you have to get the order enforced.”

Guns are used to kill most victims of intimate partner homicides, though the proportion has been falling, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

In recent years, about 1,200 women have died annually in intimate partner homicides, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. About a third of female homicide victims in the United States are killed by a partner or former partner. Women ages 25 to 49 are at higher risk, as are African American women and Native American women.

Help Write the History of the Pill: Feminist historian is seeking men and women who would be willing to talk about their experiences with the PIll, as well as people who work in fields that relate to its use and availability.

“The Pill is often considered one of the most important innovations of the twentieth century. As I investigate this claim for a new book set for release on the 50th anniversary of the Pill’s FDA approval (Basic Books, 2010) I’m looking to include the voices and stories of real people. I hope yours will be one of them. I’m eager to hear from men as well as women, of all ages and backgrounds,” writes May in her author’s query.

Speaking of Birth Control …: The question of the day is, “How well do you know John McCain’s views on women’s health?” It’s time . Planned Parenthood is launching next week (June 14 – June 20) to help spread the word about not only against abortion, but also against funding for family planning, comprehensive sex education and for birth control. Check out this video from Planned Parenthood:


  1. Margie says:

    Kudos to Elaine May. I think that the pill is one of the greatest inventions. I find myself blessing Margaret Sanger on a regular basis.

  2. I’d also like to thank Elaine Tyler May for this project, as well as piggyback on this post to advertise my survey for a project on the history of emergency contraception. You can link to the survey from my blog, or go directly to this URL:

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