Our Bodies, Our Blog

“The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo” on HBO

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

“The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo” makes its at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

The documentary investigates the systematic rape and torture of thousands of women and girls in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. “The Greatest Silence” was awarded a Special Jury Prize (Documentary) at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, among other awards and honors.

Here’s a description sent out by , a nonprofit film distributor:

A survivor of gang rape herself, Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Lisa F. Jackson … Read

A New Report on Global Intimate Partner Violence and Women’s Health

By Rachel Walden |

The current issue of The Lancet includes a report on the World Health Organization’s multinational investigations of intimate partner violence affecting women ages 15-49 in 10 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, and the United Republic of Tanzania) from 2000-2003. The women reported on their general health status, specific symptoms, mental health, and their lifetime experience of sexual and physical violence if they had ever been partnered.

The authors note that among the nearly 20,000 women surveyed who had ever … Read

Double Dose: Judy Norsigian on My Book Tour; Global Health Summit; Being a Single Mother in China; Health Database Ignores Key Word: “Abortion”; and Read ….

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Last-Minute Reminder: Judy Norsigian, executive director of Myhags, will be at Women & Children First bookstore in Chicago Sunday, April 6, at 4:30 p.m. to discuss My’ new book, “Pregnancy and Birth.”

Get event details . Oh, and I’ll be there, too!

Judy has in Chicago on Monday — both of which are free and open to the public. Then it’s on to Austin, Texas. Check the My events calendar for read cities and dates on the … Read

Access to Abortion Search to be Restored in POPLINE; Johns Hopkins Releases Statement

By Rachel Walden |

Following Wednesday’s revelation that the USAID-funded POPLINE reproductive health database had deliberately blocked users from performing a simple search on “abortion” because, “As a federally funded project, we decided this was best for now,” medical librarians, feminists, public health professionals and others responded with outraged blog posts and calls and letters to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where the database is managed.

Today, Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH (Dean of the School at Hopkins) detailing the … Read

Why is a Government-Funded Reproductive Health Database Blocking Users from Searching for Abortion Articles?

By Rachel Walden |

Cross-posted at

Yesterday through medical librarian channels, I got word that entering “abortion” as a search term in the database now returns zero results because of a move by the database personnel to block that search. For background, POPLINE is “the world’s largest database on reproductive health, containing citations with abstracts to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished reports in the field of population, family planning, and related health issues.” This may seem like a long and libraryland-focused post, but … Read

“Fat Women Can Give Birth Vaginally”: Obesity and the Skyrocketing Rate of Cesarean Sections

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Much has been written about the alarming increase in the percentage of births delivered via cesarean section. Myhags has just posted a new article that discusses the sky-high rate of cesarean births among women of size and provides concrete advice on how women can best increase their chances of having a vaginal birth.

The author, Pamela Vireday, a childbirth educator and size-acceptance activist who specializes in summarizing and analyzing the medical research on these issues, spoke with OBOB recently about the abundance of … Read

Read Evidence on Abstinence-Only vs. Comprehensive Sex Education

By Rachel Walden |

A in the Journal of Adolescent Health reports on a survey of about 1700 teens (ages 15-19) who completed the . They were asked about whether they received any formal sex education before initiating vaginal intercourse (only heterosexual teens were included), and whether it was abstinence-only or comprehensive (with instruction on contraceptives).

Among the findings:

  • 9.4% of participants reported that they had not received any sex education, 23.8% reported abstinence-only instruction, and 66.8% reported comprehensive sex education.
  • Nearly … Read

Stories on Teenage Relationship Violence and Sexual Assaults on Reservations Honored by Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

A Cleveland Plain Dealer series on teen dating violence, told through the story of a high school student raped and shot by her ex-boyfriend, and a NPR report on the epidemic of rape on Native American reservations are winners of the .

Established in 1995, the annual Dart Awards, presented by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at the University of Washington, recognize “outstanding reporting that portrays traumatic events with accuracy, insight and sensitivity … Read

Fat Bias, Mental Health, and Read

By Rachel Walden |

The New York Times has recently published several items that may be of interest to My readers:

– The Well Blog points to a study in the International Journal of Obesity in which researchers surveyed adults about their experience of discrimination based on weight and height, gender, race, and other factors. Perhaps not surprisingly (yet still disappointingly), women reported read height/weight-based discrimination than did men.

– This piece reviews a bill passed in … Read

Double Dose: Pregnancy-Bias Complaints Surge; Feminism, Food & Politics; Study on Feminists’ Attitudes Toward Body Image; Anti-Depressants and the “Obesity Epidemic”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Today’s just a mini-dose … I’ll be at this weekend and hope to see many of you there!

Read Women Pursue Claims Of Pregnancy Discrimination: “Pregnancy-bias complaints recorded by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission surged 14% last year to 5,587, up 40% from a decade ago and the biggest annual increase in 13 years,” .

The Carrot Some Vegans Deplore: :

Two things that you can find a lot of … Read