The Dr. Ruth Page

Click to see a video (3.2MB) about Safer Sex.

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Introduction

Being a long time fan, I decided to put together this page dedicated to the venerable Dr. Ruth Westheimer. What could be more endearing than a Jewish grandmother who loves to talk explicitly about sex?

Here's an excerpt from her biography:

Karola Ruth Siegel, the only child of Irma and Julius Siegel, was born on June 4th, 1928 in Frankfurt, Germany. She was always small for her age and talkative from very early on, Karola's young childhood was happy and full. Age 5
At first, the events surrounding World War II didn't affect the young Karola. Then, on November 8, 1938, came Kristallnacht. Soon after, her mother and paternal grandmother sent her to a children's refugee camp in Switzerland. Karola stayed in Switzerland for over six years, and never saw her parents or grandparents again. After the war, Ruth and some of her friends emigrated to Israel. As was the custom with Jews entering their new state, she changed her name to Ruth, her middle name, while retaining the German-sounding Karola as her new middle name. Age 10
The future Dr. Ruth was first married in 1950, to David, a young man from the kibbutz. They moved to Paris where they lived for several years, until after their divorce in 1955. While in Paris, Dr. Ruth studied psychology at the Sorbonne. It was during her time in Paris that Dr. Ruth took advantage of a chance to go to America. Despite being only a year away from the completion of her degree at the Sorbonne, she set sail for the United States in 1956. In 1959, Ruth was awarded her master's in Sociology from the New School in New York.
Early in 1961, Ruth went skiing in the Catskills with friends and shared the ski lift with a diminutive friend of these friends, one Manfred Westheimer. A longtime matchmaker herself, Ruth called a friend immediately upon returning home and announced, "I found the guy that I'm going to marry." When her friend replied, "How can you say that? You just met him," Ruth simply said, "We'll just see." They were married on December 16, 1961. Wedding Photo
During this time, Ruth returned to school, and after much hard work, she received her Doctor of Education from Columbia University Teachers' College in New York, in June of 1970. (Ruth also studied at Cornell University with pioneering sex therapist Helen Singer Kaplan.) She describes her graduation ceremony as, "the closest thing to heaven I have ever experienced." Dr. Ruth was able to utilize her academic credentials to become a media personality and promote awareness of sexual issues.
After finishing her doctoral work, Dr. Ruth seized an opportunity to begin educating a wide audience about sex via the media. Starting with a local radio show in New York City, Dr. Ruth quickly became a well-known and respected public figure. Today
Ruth writes, "One day a letter came in from a local broadcasters' organization asking if one of us would be willing to address the community-affairs managers of all the radio stations in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area on the need for sex education. The meeting was at the St. Moritz Hotel in New York. I said to myself "Aha. I'm going to have all these important people at my disposal for fifteen minutes. They have to be quiet while I talk. I'm going to float a trial balloon." I talked about the need for sex education, I talked about unwanted pregnancies and all the other problems."
Dr. Ruth's boldness led to a a guest appearance on a local community-affairs radio program, which was a huge success. On May 5, 1980, the station's community-affairs director called to tell Ruth, "You can do anything you put your mind to. I have a proposal for you. We have fifteen minutes of free time on Sunday nights between midnight and twelve-fifteen. Do you want your own show?" Since that moment, Dr. Ruth has become a successful author and celebrity.


Fun Stuff!

Sound clips of Dr. Ruth saying some of our favorite words as only she can.

Compressed versions: Uncompressed versions:
A video clip (3.2 MB) of Dr. Ruth talking about "Safer Sex".

Feeling swollen?  Condomania's got you covered!
Sound clips of Dr. Ruth giving advice to people on her radio call in show Sexually Speaking:

John Hancock has a nice ring to it.
Some notes about these clips:
  • These are ".wav" files compressed in GSM format. The Windows Media Player can handle them. I'm not sure what decoders are available for other platforms.
  • The "static" is in the original recordings and is not an artifact of the compression algorithm.
  • These files were originally from Dr. Ruth's CD-ROM version of her Encyclopedia of Sex which, unfortunately, I believe is no longer available.


Books and Videos

Dr. Ruth Books, a selected list:

The complete list of Dr. Ruth's books from Amazon.com...

Other books about sex from Amazon.com...

Dr. Ruth Videos, a selected list:

Pump yourself up with a copy of the book.
Videos about sex, but which Dr. Ruth is NOT affiliated: Arousal, foreplay and orgasm!  Who could ask for more?


Links

Get into Dr. Ruth's official site.


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First Edition 2/27/99 -- Last Update: 4/8/99
Contact: chuck+@cs.cmu.edu


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