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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Reports & Publications

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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

  • January 3, 2012

     A new study from the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights (RFSL) concludes that breast implants are literally a life and death matter for transgender women who need the operation to "fit in as women in their...


  • December 9, 2011

    While all obese women are less satisfied with the weight-related quality of their lives than women of 'normal' weight, black women report a higher quality of life than white women of the same weight. In addition, black women appear to be more...


  • December 9, 2011

     Most women are vicious when confronted with other women they perceive as sexy, a recent University of Ottawa/McMaster study concluded, and of course, the press went to town with it. The kindest slant I can put on this is that editors thought...


  • November 28, 2011

    For SELF’s 11th ranking of America's best cities for women, the magazine gathered 7,000 bits of data from 100 metro areas and, with an assist from Bert Sperling of BestPlaces.net, sussed out the star sites. Then SELF talked to real-life role...


  • November 27, 2011
    A study published in the journal Aggressive Behavior confirms that most women aggress against sexual rivals.