Understanding Gender

In the old days, it seemed simple: Men hunted and women bore and raised kids. Then we moved out of caves, invented gender studies, and learned a thing or two about genetics. Now nothing is clear cut. While social and biological analyses of gender offend some, they have freed others to finally feel comfortable in their own skin. Whether you're gay or straight, transgender or cisgender, or just curious about why men and women treat each other the way they do, there's something in here for you.

Recent posts on Gender

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What Sexual Harrassment Does to All of Us

By Elizabeth Young on December 10, 2017 in Adaptations
That’s a weird sentence, so I’m going to repeat it for emphasis.  I am privileged: I have never been threatened, assaulted, or raped. 

Santa Must be a Woman

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on December 10, 2017 in Nurturing Resilience
If we look at the science of gift-giving and expectations for who does what over the holidays, then Santa has to be a woman. Men just aren't up for the task.

The Emotional Aftermath of Speaking Out

By Mariana Plata on December 07, 2017 in The Gen Y Psy
Who are the "Silence Breakers" and why is their work so important? Speaking out your truth can be an emotional rollercoaster.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

By Madelon Sprengnether on December 06, 2017 in Minding Memory
Many good men I know find it hard to believe that sexual harassment is as prevalent as it appears to be. Why are they so incredulous?

How Sex Is Connected To Marital Satisfaction

Taking the time to connect with your partner can lead to better – and more frequent – sex.

What's Truly Hot: Desire and Consent

Six years ago a woman accused me of rape.

The Dark Side of Outing Men’s Sexual Misdeeds

The vast majority of men I deal with in therapy say, “If she doesn’t want it, it totally turns me off.”

Can Better Body Awareness Improve Your Workout?

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on December 03, 2017 in Fit Femininity
Are you working out to feel the burn? You might need to adjust your attitude to avoid muscle damage.

5 Ways Intimate Partner Violence Research Informs #MeToo

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on December 03, 2017 in ExperiMentations
High-profile cases raise awareness of gender-based sexual violence. Research on perpetrators of domestic violence tells us what we may need to do to prevent future aggression.

Mandatory Implicit Bias Training Is a Bad Idea

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on December 02, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
Mandatory implicit bias training is all the rage. And seriously counterproductive.

Why Women Can't Afford to Overlook Sleep Apnea

90 percent of women with sleep apnea go undiagnosed. A new toolkit from the Society for Women's Health Research aims to help women and doctors recognize this sleep disorder.

Are Women Harsher in Judging Single Women Than Single Men?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on November 30, 2017 in Living Single
Are women especially judgmental and mean about single women, as the “catty women” caricature would suggest? Scientific studies provide a consistent answer.

Pumping Liquid Gold: Why Policies Emphasize Milk Over Mom

Much U.S. policy facilitates breast milk pumping instead of enabling breastfeeding directly. Redefining breastfeeding affects mothers and potentially the benefits of breastfeeding.

How Companies Can Help Prevent Sexual Harassment

By Victor Lipman on November 29, 2017 in Mind of the Manager
Here's one tangible step all organizations can take: Build zero-tolerance harassment-related language into every manager's performance objectives.

Male Sexual Misconduct and the Testosterone Curse

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on November 29, 2017 in Evolution of the Self
In assessing present-day perpetrators, it's important to consider testosterone—the "ethics-free" chemical of desire—as being the organic culprit of their objectification of women.

Overcoming the Misuse of Male Privilege and Power

By Carol A. Lambert, MSW on November 29, 2017 in Mind Games
We are witnessing the powerful influence of women as they speak out about sexual assaults and harassment in the workplace.

#MeToo: Insights From Psychological Theory and Research

The psychological and physical impact of sexual harassment on its victims is damaging and often long-lasting. #MeToo has rekindled questions about why and when it occurs.

Toxic Femininity: Machiavellian Mary in the Workplace

Machiavellian Mary is “mean business.” Her authoritarian style poisons the working environment by lowering morale, causing employee strife, and damaging productivity.

“We Will Replace You”

Yes, men’s sex drive can be a problem. So do we replace men who are major contributors to society with women in order to avoid potential problems around male sexuality?

Guyland 2017: Women Working in a Man's World

Her grandiosity is not enough to cover her shame and the fantasy that she will be regarded as a princess does not truly mitigate the fact that she works like a chambermaid.

Online Games, Harassment, and Sexism

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on November 26, 2017 in Pop Psych
Examining the reaction of men to male and female player voices in Halo 3

Gender Equality and Gratitude: How Women at MIT Persevered

By Rita Watson MPH on November 26, 2017 in With Love and Gratitude
Women have long faced workplace challenges, but through perseverance, working together, and gratitude positive change can result.
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The Seven Most Asked Questions About Gender Communication

By Audrey Nelson Ph.D. on November 26, 2017 in He Speaks, She Speaks
Unless we understand the code of the opposite sex, it makes it difficult to communicate fully with our family, friends, and colleagues.

5 Tips for Being a Good Ally

By Jennifer O’Brien Ph.D. on November 24, 2017 in All Things LGBTQ
Want to know how to be as supportive as possible for people in the LGBTQ community?

Improving Your Chances on Tinder

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on November 22, 2017 in Love, Digitally
Females are three times more likely to send Tinder messages compared with males.

Describing Sexual Assault in a Language Men Can Understand

By Melissa Burkley Ph.D. on November 21, 2017 in The Social Thinker
Female victims' sexual assault stories often fail to resonate with men. But Terry Crews describes his experience in terms with which men can empathize.

Who Is Distracted by a Girl Wearing Skintight Leggings?

By Leonard Sax M.D., Ph.D. on November 20, 2017 in Sax on Sex
Who is distracted by a teenage girl wearing skintight leggings? Maybe the girl is.

Cognitive Dissonance and the Franken Sexual Misconduct Case

By Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. on November 18, 2017 in Presence of Mind
Democrats and feminists must honestly grapple with the uncomfortable feelings generated by the Franken case.

Me Too and Misogyny

By Josephine Ensign DrPH on November 18, 2017 in Catching Homelessness
If you are tired of the current focus on gender-based violence, think again and consider the underlying misogyny affecting us all.

Will Celebrity Groper Stories Lead to a Silent Backlash?

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on November 18, 2017 in BrainSnacks
Will men in power react defensively to the media obsession with sexual misconduct by adopting the "Billy Graham rule" in dealing with the women in their environments?