Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Women's Issues.
Douching Linked to Higher Risk of Vaginal Infections
Why Women Berate Each Other
Why Women's Libido Wanes
Women Leaders for the 21st Century 2007
How does the U.S. rank on women's issues?
Inside the minds of women who have sex with boys
But first, a poem by Maya Angelou called Pnenomenal Woman.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please
And to a man
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees
Then they swarm around me
A hive of honey bees.
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth
The swing of my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
It's in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair
The palm of my hand
The need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Women Leaders for the 21st Century
Why Women's Libido Wanes
But a new study suggests that it's not necessarily reduced testosterone that cause women to lose that loving feeling, but fluctuations in levels.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania followed 333 women between ages 35 and 47 for four years, measuring their hormone levels every six to nine months.
They found that women who reported decreased libido typically had testosterone levels similar to those of women with sustained desire. However, women who showed the greatest variation in hormone levels were three times more likely to be sexually disinterested. The researchers presented their findings Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Although commonly considered a "male hormone," women also produce small amounts of testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands to help maintain muscle strength, as well as contribute to sex drive. Prior to the onset of menopause, levels naturally begin to wane -- along with sexual desire in an estimated 45% of those perimenopausal women. After natural or surgical menopause, testosterone production drops even more.
Fluctuation can occur for several reasons, including the time of day.
"We do know that testosterone levels tend to be higher in the morning and lower in the evening," notes Michael P. Born, MD, professor of gynecology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.
Taking oral estrogen medications, like those used in hormone replacement therapy, may also have an impact. Hormone therapy can cause a decrease in the amount of testosterone, Born says.
Testosterone may "drastically drop to levels that could be manifested into a decrease in desire," says sexual health expert Lana Holstein, MD, of the University of Arizona School of Medicine. She is also director of Women's Health at Canyon Ranch Health Resort and the author of the book How to Have Magnificent Sex: The Seven Dimensions of a Vital Sexual Connection.
"This is why when we give a woman estrogen for vaginal dryness or hot flashes, it can cure those symptoms, but often leaves her with a lack of desire," she tells WebMD. "Not only does menopause lower testosterone levels, but the treatments for it affects levels of ... testosterone."
Still, both experts note that testosterone is only one factor among many that can influence a waning sex drive. "Stress, depression, and use of SSRIs [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of antidepressants that includes Prozac and Zoloft] are very big factors," says Born.
Other factors include vaginal dryness, depression, and children living at home.
"Obviously, testosterone is important, but even women who may not
necessarily feel sexual can still enjoy sex," Holstein tells WebMD.
"Once they get started, everything is fine and they enjoy the sexual
experience. The key is to pay attention in how you set up your
lifestyle so you can provide situations for sexual
Source: Sid Kirchheimer, my.webmd.com/content/article/1738.55768
Douching Linked to Higher Risk of Vaginal
Researchers say it's the largest study to date on the effects of douching on vaginal health. It appears in the October issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The study involved 1,200 women at high risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and found that douching increased the risk of a common infection known as bacterial vaginosis (BV). Women who had douched within the last month were 40% more likely to have the infection, and the risk of infection doubled if the woman had douched within the last week.
Although previous research has also linked douching to an increased risk of HIV and other STDs and cervical cancer, researchers say douching is a remarkably common practice in the U.S. About 40% of the women in the study reported douching at least once a month.
Most women in the study said they douched for symptoms, such as odor, or for hygienic reasons. Both reasons for douching were associated with a higher risk of bacterial vaginosis. The infection is caused by excessive amounts of a certain type of bacteria that crowd out other, healthier types of bacteria normally found in the vagina.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include a grayish-white discharge and fishy odor, but up to 50% of the women with bacterial vaginosis don't have any symptoms. Most non-pregnant women with the infection do not require treatment, but bacterial vaginosis can cause complications in pregnant women.
Researchers say douching increases the risk of infection by altering the normal bacterial balance in the vagina. Nearly 90% of the women in the study used two major store brands of douches, and the study found both brands had similar effects on the vaginal flora.
Study author Roberta B. Ness, MD, MPH, of the University of
Pittsburgh, and colleagues, says that bacterial vaginosis has also
been linked to acquisition of HIV, preterm birth, and pelvic
inflammatory disease, which means the study's findings add to growing
concerns about the adverse health effects of douching.
Source: Jennifer Warner, my.webmd.com/content/article/1840.57971
Why Women Berate Each
does the U.S. rank on women's issues?
the minds of women who have sex with boys
Laura Lynn Cross, 36, charged with sexual battery in Ohio after giving birth to her former students child, joins the growing number of women accused or convicted of having sex with adolescents. About two weeks ago, a Georgia woman, Angelene McAnulty, 25, was charged with having sex with a 15-year-old boy. Last week, Lee Annette Williams, 50, of North Carolina, was charged with statutory rape of a former student when the now-22-year-old man was 14.
What is going on in the minds of these women?
First, there is the obvious: In order for an adult to manipulate an adolescent to have sex, that adult has to have little regard for free will. The adolescent in such a scenario relatively new to sexual encounters and potentially worried about the consequences of saying no would be ill-equipped to refuse the advances of his teacher.
What sort of women have so little regard for the autonomy of others? Generally, they are women whose own boundaries were shattered in childhood or adolescence. It is cliché, but also true, that sexual offenders were most often victims themselves (whether of sexual misconduct or physical violence or significant emotional violence).
As I have said before, theres no original evil left in the world; everyone is just recycling pain now.
If some of the most intense dramas in a persons life have been ones of being overtaken, the notion of heartlessly wielding power or, conversely, yielding to it again can be a nearly irresistible dynamic.
Women who sexually abuse boys may also have less control over their actions due to illnesses like bipolar disorder or impulse control disorder, sometimes coupled with substance abuse.
But there is also a cultural problem here: I would venture that a significant percentage of Americans still believe that a 15-year-old boy who has sex with his teacher is a conqueror, not a victim. And women who are now 25 or 36 or 50 years old were certainly raised in a culture that promoted that view.
I have heard men joke very recently about how much they wish young, pretty female teachers of theirs had abused them. Of course, they have no idea what the emotional fallout could, in fact, have been.
Five years ago, I criticized actor Adam Sandler for his starring role in a comedy called Thats My Boy, which celebrated sex between a 13-year-old and his pretty teacher and grossed almost $37 million at the box office.
Sandler never apologized. Hes still a megastar. Imagine what kind of career he would have now if his film had been a laugh fest about a 13-year-old girl whose male teacher rapes her, repeatedly.
Part of the trouble in getting people to recognize the very real damage done to adolescents and young teens who have sex with adult women is that males have to be sexually stimulated for intercourse to occur. In these cases, they must penetrate their assailants. Too many people interpret that to mean that the male in the scenario must be partly responsible for what happens.
It isnt so. A naive person with an appetite can be tempted
to eat poisonous food. A young, innocent, thirsty person will drink
tainted water. Sexual appetites are just as commanding. The poison
conveyed by an adult female authority figure who manipulates an
adolescent or young teen into an aroused state is just as toxic.