Health, Reproductive Rights & Sexuality

Unattainable and idealized images of women’s and girls’ bodies are visible in every aspect of advertising and mass communication. Women and girls are bombarded constantly with messages that treat them as objects of sexual fantasy and exploitation or that demean them. Popular culture promotes unrealistic standards of beauty and makes women – particularly young women – susceptible to distorted body images, low self-esteem and psychological and eating disorders. The multi-billion dollar cosmetic surgery industry poses increased health risks for women, including life-long disfigurement. Researchers in our network are documenting negative messaging while encouraging a healthy representation of female beauty in which intellect, creativity and character trump thinness and physical perfection.

Re:Gender Resources

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Blog Posts

Do you have ideas on how to transform our body-hating culture into one of size acceptance and body love?  Submit them today!  As part of...
July 27, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-BairdAs I began collecting background research for National Parent’s Day and the vast diversity of families...
By Kyla Bender-BairdI have to admit, when I was a kid, I was convinced that I would be the first woman President of the United States. ...
The National Council for Research on Women harnesses the resources of its network to ensure fully informed debate, policies, and practices to build a...
February 10, 2009 posted by admin My first memory in life is of my mom holding me up as a human shield to try get my dad to stop beating her—...

News

  • June 1, 2011
    In an article published in the June 2011 issue of the American Sociological Review, researchers report that that unwed mothers face poorer health at midlife than do women who have children after marriage.

  • June 1, 2011

    Researchers find that people with a "normal" body mass index (BMI) report a higher quality of life than their overweight or obese peers, with the exception of African-Americans, where overweight respondents reported higher quality of life...


  • May 23, 2011

    A study finds that being overweight can adversly impact a woman's salary or chances of employment, though it does not have the same effect on men.


  • June 4, 2010

    Fox News: Data from a study in the American Journal of Preventitive Medicine shows that only a third of young women have received the human papillomavirus (HPV)vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer. Over 70% of the girls in the study were white,...


  • June 1, 2010

    From Fox News:  A Cleveland doctor has developed a vaccine that may prevent breast cancers from forming and could halt the rate of growth of existing tumors.  The vaccine could be administered to women over 40, and works by causing the...