“I’m old-fashioned and square,” Dr. Ruth said more than once, as she and Dr. Lila Nachtigall were interviewed about Female Sexuality in the 21st Century by Rehema Ellis of NBC News at the Cosmopolitan Club in Manhattan this week. The event was a presentation of the Foundation for Women’s Wellness, an organization dedicated to raising support for medical research on leading women’s health issues. Despite Ruth Westheimer’s self-characterization, she and “Dr. Lila” were candid and informative about the current state of female sexuality.
Subjects that were addressed during the presentation and the question period included the dearth of women as a research variable, the curious fact that testosterone has not been approved by the FDA for women to improve libido, dry vagina, which Dr. Lila memorably announced as “my kind of emergency” (call her at any time of the day or night!), anal intercourse (the choice of some young women in order to preserve “virginity”), and current guidelines for PAP smears.
Ruth Westheimer and Lila Nachtigall bring decades of intelligence to this discussion, backed up, in Dr. Nachtigall’s experience, by massive research on various aspects of women’s health. There is a lot more to learn from these dynamic leaders.