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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Resources

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

  • November 15, 2011
    In a country where sex education focuses primarily on avoiding pregnancy and preventing sexually transmitted diseases, most women believe that having a baby is inevitably easy. But that neglects the reality that infertility affects some 7.3...

  • November 14, 2011

    HealthyWomen’s 2011 WomenTALK survey sought to understand women’s feelings about sexual health, their sex lives and relationships.


  • November 12, 2011

    A new study attempts to explain exactly how that judgment works and why our perceptions of people rely on the amount of skin they show. It’s a question at the heart of contentious debates about everything from objectification in pornography to...


  • October 27, 2011

    Expectant mothers are more likely to die from murder or suicide than from several of the most common pregnancy-related medical problems, a U.S. study said.


  • October 24, 2011

    To most owners of the new iPhone, the voice-activated feature called Siri is more than a virtual "assistant" who can help schedule appointments, find a good nearby pizza or tell you if it's going to rain. Siri answers questions in a...