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November 30, 1994|ELIZABETH MEHREN

Women Worry About Work and Family

More than 250,000 American women responded to a survey conducted by the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor, and the No. 1 issue they cited was the difficulty in balancing work and family. More than half the women with preschoolers said affordable child care was a serious problem; 14% (and 33% of those earning less than $10,000 per year) said they had no sick leave. Sixty percent of respondents described stress as a serious problem.

The sampling was gathered with the help of 1,000 businesses, community organizations, labor unions and publications. It was followed up with a more scientific survey of 1,200 respondents.

Women in both samples said their priorities for change in the workplace were improved pay and health insurance.

Exploring Child Abuse

The Center for the Future of Children, a Los Altos-based research group funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, has devoted its most recent quarterly journal to the subject of sexual abuse of children.

Among recommendations: a consistent, specific definition for the term "child sexual abuse"; an aggressive effort by the federal government to compile comprehensive and reliable epidemiological information about the prevalence of child sexual abuse; more responsible record-keeping, including automatic expunging of reports that are deemed to be untrue.

The report also advocates improvements in the medical community's response to child sexual abuse, beginning with better training for doctors in identifying and reporting such incidents.

Better information is also needed, according to the journal, about recidivism among different types of child sexual abusers.

A Newer, More Correct Edition

The newest edition of Dr. Mark Crocker's "The Body Atlas" contains a corrected illustration--and a careful re-evaluation by a panel of scientific experts.

The revisions came after Oxford University Press recalled an earlier version of "The Body Atlas" in 1991, after discovering an illustration about diabetes that showed a needle carrying insulin being directly injected into a vein.

Insulin cannot be injected directly into a vein without serious harm. Instead, it is administered into pinched-up areas of fatty tissue in the upper arms, thighs and stomach.

Oxford University Press, an old and distinguished house, had never recalled a book after it had been printed. But because "The Body Atlas" is intended for 8- to 11-year-old readers, and because most diabetics learn to inject themselves with insulin at a very young age, "even the smallest chance of a child--or anyone, for that matter--being misled by the illustration was too great a chance to take," an Oxford University Press representative said.

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