In the first edition of this guide (1977), Shapiro forecast promising new developments in contraception--none of which has panned out. In fact, he argues in this solid, practical update, contraceptive research has pretty much been at a standstill since then. Although he offers help to all age groups and situations, Shapiro has some particular concerns: ""Sexually active teenagers and women over thirty are two groups whose unique contraceptive needs continue to be neglected."" In the absence of improved contraceptive methods, education is a pressing need, he feels. ""Political and religious leaders in the United States appear to be obsessed with the unrealistic mission of promoting chastity and eradicating sexuality among youngsters rather than providing them with accurate contraceptive information before they become sexually active."" And for women in their 30s, whose contraceptive needs are quite distinct from other age groups, Shapiro thinks much current information is off base: ""Many women in this age group are avid readers in search of unbiased and accurate reading material. Unfortunately, many of the articles in popular women's magazines seem more interested in downplaying the many benefits of the Pill while promoting newer and less effective barrier methods such as the cervical cap, than in helping women assess their own unique situations."" Shapiro does in general argue for increased use of the Pill (he feels it's by far the safest, most effective method of birth control)--but stresses that the choice of contraceptive depends entirely on one's individual situation--and clearly mid completely sets out the current range of choice so readers can make their own educated choices. From medical methods (the Pill, IUDs, barrier methods); to natural control (rhythm, coitus interruptus); and surgical interventions (abortion, tubal ligation), Shapiro throughout is sound and up to date. A reliable update, then, with some real news on where we stand--and with some real help for making a choice.