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

Gender Wrap

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on February 19, 2017 in One Among Many
The study of gender relations is difficult. The study of gender stereotypes is easier. Here are some results.

Controlling Your Partner Is Illegal, But Not in the U.S.

By Lisa Aronson Fontes Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Invisible Chains
Domestic violence victims in the U.S. have less protection than in some other countries. Laws in England now make controlling a partner illegal.

System Justification: Why People Buy Into Social Inequality

By Gordon Hodson Ph.D. on February 16, 2017 in Without Prejudice
We do not always act in the best interests of our self or our groups.

Controlling the Conduct of College Women in the 1960s

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Out of the Ooze
Rules regulating the freedoms of college women were absolutely draconian in 1962. In hindsight, the unabashed double standards of collegiate social regulations were jaw dropping.

Why Boys Really Need Boy Dolls

By Karlyn Crowley Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Woman Power
Boys deserve healthy masculinity and doll play will help get them there.

The Privilege of Not Understanding Privilege

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 13, 2017 in Feeling Our Way
I don’t want rich people to apologize for being born with money; I just want them to act like they know they didn’t earn it.

Three Relationship Tips, Courtesy of the Obamas

By Mark O'Connell L.C.S.W.- R. on February 13, 2017 in Quite Queerly
The exemplary relationship practices the Obamas shared with each other and the world, is a rare and valuable form of leadership that we benefitted from on a daily basis.

The Romance of Boycotting Valentine's Day

By Holly Parker, Ph.D. on February 12, 2017 in Your Future Self
And it’s precisely because romantic bonds are so meaningful and valuable that we’d do well to give Valentine’s Day the snub this year. Why?

Five Things You Should Know About Gender Trends on Campus

By Marcia Morris M.D. on February 12, 2017 in College Wellness
College aged adults are redefining what it means to be a man or a woman.

Women Who Stay Single or Get Divorced Are Healthiest

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on February 11, 2017 in Living Single
Women 50+ who got married got fatter, drank more, and had higher blood pressure than when they were single. Women who divorced got healthier than they were when they were married.
freestocks.org, used with permission

Men Understanding Women Understanding Men

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on February 10, 2017 in Talking About Men
Many romantic relationships flounder on minor misunderstandings, which can often escalate into full-scale crises. What can be done to diminish such misunderstandings?

What Sexism Research Says About the Rebuke of Senator Warren

Silencing Warren reflected sexism still pervasive in American politics.

Misandry AND Misogyny

By Anthony Synnott Ph.D. on February 09, 2017 in Rethinking Men
Both misogyny and misandry are back in the news again, not that they really ever left, but now they are highlighted.

What About Women with ADD?

By Melissa Orlov on February 08, 2017 in May I Have Your Attention
A recent review of the research on ADHD in women can help women, and the partners who love them, live better with ADHD.

The 3 Pathways to Empathy in Close Relationships

Most of us believe we're pretty good at reading the moods of our partners. New research shows how we can improve our pathways to empathy by separating truth from bias.

Constrained by Coupling: Your Friends Are Not Your Own

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on February 07, 2017 in Living Single
If you are coupled, it matters whether your partner likes your friends. What does that mean for the quality of single people’s friendships vs. coupled people’s?

Margaret Mead and the Great Samoan Nurture Hoax

Margaret Mead’s claim that nurture prevailed over nature in Samoan childhood and adolescence has been shown to be completely fictitious.

Men's Mental Health: A Silent Crisis

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on February 06, 2017 in Talking About Men
Numerous researchers state that there is a silent crisis in men’s mental health. Is this the case? What are the issues and what are the solutions to improve men's mental health?

Recognizing and Treating STDs

Do you have a mental illness or an STD?

Boys Will Be Boys—Even If Raised Believed to Be Girls

Boys born seeming to be girls and socialised as such revert to male after puberty in ~90% of cases, providing an acid test of nature versus nurture.
SpeedKingz/Shutterstock

Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?

Is the "Y" chromosome doomed?

Facts and Fictions About Men and Sex

By Madeleine A Fugère Ph.D. on February 02, 2017 in Dating and Mating
Do men and women really differ in their sexual desires? Many of our beliefs about men and sex are surprisingly tenuous.

Overcoming Women’s Hurdles in Science

By The Research Lab on February 02, 2017 in The Fundamentals
We need to keep more women, as well as people of color, engaged with science. By Shelley Payne, Ph.D.

Are Narcissists Nastier to Their Romantic Partners?

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on January 31, 2017 in Close Encounters
New research examines how narcissism affects the way couples interact with each other. It turns out that one partner’s narcissism may be especially problematic.

How Androgyny Works (Part 2)

By Audrey Nelson Ph.D. on January 30, 2017 in He Speaks, She Speaks
You have heard the saying, ―Our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness. This is a man’s job, we say, or that’s women’s work.
Ritch C Savin-Williams

More Bisexual Women? Think Again.

Decisions the authors made regarding sexuality as categorical rather than a continuum led to a misinterpretation of their data.

When Will Smart Girls Believe They're Smart?

By Jen Kim on January 30, 2017 in Valley Girl With a Brain
The war on women's intelligence starts earlier than we thought.

When Binary Thinking Is Involved, Polarization Follows

Don't allow a need for certainty where none exists hijack your rationality.
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Between Friends: Sexuality in Women's Friendships

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on January 26, 2017 in Off the Couch
A young female client once asked me,“If I like to look at other women does it mean I’m gay? Or bi?” What is the answer to that question?

Women and War

Even the Marines are recruiting women. What does this tell us about being war-like? Or about gender equality? And is it to be welcomed?