Page 15


women from the project.” In fact, 20 years passed before they felt they had a big enough budget to include women. In other words, for two decades these male “scientists” ignored the sex that does most of the aging. Women live longer than men \(about seven years longer, on avderly population. A men-only study of aging, Nechas and Foley write, is about as scientifically nutty as “studying Alzheimer’s disease in twenty-year-olds.” If aging women are neglected in research, they are also neglected in care. Women over 65 are at highest risk for breast cancer but the least likely to have doctors who recommend mammograms. Studies have found that over-65 women were most vulnerable to ovarian cancer and far less likely than women in other age groups to receive aggressive chemotherapy. Urinary incontinence “afflicts 10 million Americans, most of them elderly women, and costs the nation an estimated $10 billion a year,” and yet, write our authors, until 1992 the medical establishment looked upon it merely as an embarrassment, not as a treatable disease. Similar stupidities attended osteoporosis, the crippling, disfiguring bone-thinning disease that afflicts 20 million American “An estimated 50,000 people die every year as a result of complications of osteoporosis, which is more than die of breast cancer or AIDS.” And yet, “like incontinence, until fairly recently osteoporosis was not considered a disease. Instead, it was looked upon as a normal and unalterable part of aging and doctors couldn’t cure aging.” A milestone that all women will inevitably pass is menopause, but male-dominated medical science has been so uninterested in it that “there is no baseline information on the normal experience of menopause. No one even knows how many women experience hot flashes, believed to be the most common symptom of menopause….This information gap becomes especially acute when a woman is faced with the question of how to treat her menopause, which is far more than hot flashes and dry vaginal tissue.” Does the use of estrogen protect aging women from heart disease and osteoporosis while increasing their risks of developing uterine and breast cancer? Medical researchers have done little to lift the confusion over that awful question. As for the drug progestin, which is touted as a counterbalance to the possibly harmful effects of estrogen, medical scientists have left women in the dark once again. “There have been no studies done on the risk and benefits of long-term use of progestin,” but neither that ignorance nor the fact that the FDA has never approved progestin for treating post-menopausal symptoms has kept doctors from widely prescribing the drug. Using women as guinea pigs has, after all, the endorsement of history. The Old Boy network operates most shamefully among psychiatrists, a significant number of whom, according to Nechas and Foley, take advantage of their mentally troubled women patients to lure them into sexual liaisons. The American Psychiatric Association, instead of trying to get rid of their bad apples, has done its best to cover up these unethical conquests. One reads this book and wonders if the medical fraternity has come very far from the 19th century attitude of the physician, quoted in Unequal Treatment, who argued that women were valuable only as reproductive machines: ‘Woman is a pair of ovaries with a human being attached, whereas man is a human being furnished with a pair of testes.” In their final chapter, Nechas and Foley suggest that the best way for women to change that attitude and to become visible is, at the legislative level, to seize men by their furnishings and twist. CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS CLASSIFIED RATES: Minimum ten words. One time, 50 cents per word; three times, 45 cents per word; six times, 40 cents per word; 12 times, 35 cents per word; 25 times, 30 cents per word. Telephone and box numbers count as two words, abbreviations and zip codes as one. Payment must accompany order for all classified ads. Deadline is three weeks before cover date. Address orders and inquiries to Advertising Director, The Texas Observer, 307 West -0746. MERCHANDISE OINK! IF YOU LOVE RUSH. Bumpersticker that says it all. 2 for $5. Hard Response, P.O. Box 845-T, Seabrook, TX 77586. WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 458-3738. TEXAS AIDS NETWORK dedicated to improving HIV/AIDS policy and funding in Texas. Individual membership $25, P.O. Box 2395, Austin, TX LESBIAN/GAY DEMOCRATS of Texas Our Voice in the Party. Membership $15, P.O. Box 190933, Dallas, 75219. SICK OF KILLING? Join the Amnesty International Campaign Against the WORK FOR OPEN, responsible government in Texas. Join Common Cause/Texas, 1615 Guadalupe, #204, TEXAS TENANTS’ UNION. Membership $18/year, $10/six months, $30 or more/sponsor. Receive handbook on tenants’ rights, newsletter, and more. 5405 East Grand, Dallas, D\( 75223. CENTRAL TEXAS CHAPTER of the ACLU invites you to our noon Forum, the last Friday of every month, at Watt’s, Hancock Center, Austin. For LIBERTARIAN PARTY Liberal on personal freedoms, but conservative in NATIONAL WRITERS UNION. We give working writers a fighting chance. Collective bargaining. Grievance procedures. Health insurance. Journalists, authors, poets, commercial writers. Forming Austin local. Noelle McAfee, 450-0705; Bill Adler, 443-8961. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Join The Texas Civil Rights Project, 227 Congress #340, Austin, Texas 78701. $20/year. Volunteers also needed. Contact Jim Harrington or Fara Sloan. BOOKLETS PROOF JESUS FICTIONAL! $5 Abelard, Box 5652-C, Kent, WA LOW-COST MICROCOMPUTER AS-SISTANCE: Tape to diskette conversion, statistical analysis, help with setting up special projects, custom programming, needs assessment. Gary Lundquest, Austin, Texas 78703. PHOTOGRAPHY Reality is us. 20 years for the Texas Observer and he will take a few for you. Alan Pogue, 1701 Guadalupe, Austin, Texas MARY NELL MATHIS, CPA, 20 years experience in tax, litigation support, and other analyses. 400 West 15th, YELLOW DREAM MACHINE, computer bulletin board system. Telephone subject matter. PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP in the humanities. Dr. Reed Harp, the harbor, Port Aransas, Texas 749-7029. WEIRD NEWS AFICIONADOS: The wildest, funniest, most bizarre news items are found in “Strange, But True News” newsletter. Dozens of weird news items per issue. Sample copy $2. Write to: SBTN, 7522 Campbell Road, Suite 113, Room 162, Dallas, Texas 75248. REAL ESTATE HOUSEBUYERS The Consumer’s Agent. Our allegiance is to the residential buyer. 201 Jefferson Square, LOOKING FOR THAT COUNTRY PLACE? Call Gary Dugger with Randy Hutto & Company. 512/894-0228 \(ofFour bedrooms, three baths, gameroom, ag exemption on 30 acres at 9027 Sycamore Creek in Dripping Springs. SERVICES PUBLICATIONS 20 …TUNE 3, 1994