This book has extensive, very readable information on women's biology. Sloane covers women's biology from birth to death. She exposes fads and debunks many myths. She knows the scientific literature and includes up-to-date information. This book is an excellent resource.
This book has the unique advantage of being written by a woman. Therefore, it doesn't take the sterile, uninterested stance biology books often taken. Dr. Sloane takes the time to list myths about female anatomy and biology and debunks them one by one. The book also has some helpful diagrams to illustrate the points Sloane hits. The only qualm I have is that the book doesn't have *enough* diagrams, and they are all in black-and-white, so some parts are indistinguishable from others while others are just plain confusing. The book is also highly technical, so a non-biology major will have to struggle with the text as written to understand the technical terminology. (I am a psychology major taking it as a natural science requirement, and I definitely struggle with the book!) All in all, I'd say the new edition is better especially if you have problems with science courses (more colorful; more pictures).
Biology of Women, 4th Edition, by Ethel Sloane. Sloane sets essential context for the book in its first chapter, discussing the issues with a male-oriented view of a woman's anatomy and physiology. She summarizes the increasing awareness of these issues during the latter third of the 20th century and some of the correctives women tried to put in place. Throughout the book, she addresses myths and misinformation that arise from a view of women as disordered males and centuries of guesswork by women whose questions were turned aside by "experts". Sloane is honest about this, but not strident in condemnation.
The book flows logically through general A & P, the reproductive system, and a woman's lifecycle. Pregnancy and birth are presented as normal physiologic events, not normally requiring management and intervention. Sloan does acknowledge that, at times, these normal functions do go awry, and disease and injury can cause significant problems that do require treatment.
Black & white photos and diagrams illustrate key points. The tone is natural, using simple vocabulary when appropriate and jargon when it is appropriate. The book includes a glossary. The book is well-referenced and the bibliography is solid.
The main problem with this book is that it is old. It lacks modern elements of textbook design, generous graphics, color drawings and photos, etc. A new edition was published in 2012; I do not have the new edition, but I assume that it improves the accessibility of the information.
However, women wanting to understand their bodies and prospective midwives wanting to get a head start on their studies will find this an excellent resource, with used copies available for less than a quarter. I recommend this book.