Understanding Gender

In the old days, it was simple: Men hunted and women raised the 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

Understanding Transgender Reality

In February, at the annual International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) symposium, I was honored to hear Ryan Sallans, an international speaker, transgender man and author of the book Second Son, speak.

BattleKasting a Path to Literacy

How do you motivate kids to want to read a book? Extend a storyworld into other platforms, such as the mobile game BattleKasters to create multiple entry points into the story. Alane Adams set out targeting reading literacy, but she has created a training ground for essential 21st century literacies integrating reading, gaming and constructing transmedia narratives.

Are You a Survivor of Sexual Assault and Afraid of Flying?

12 Air travel tips for sexual assault survivors who are afraid of flying

Don't Just Be a Man; Be a Good Man

We can help boys to live happier, healthier lives by helping them to preserve their integrity and relationships.

Let´s Go to the Movies

By Ana Nogales on March 26, 2015 in Family Secrets
Movies have the ability to change our attitude, how we think and feel, and even our values.

The New Improved BMI

BMI categories underestimate the presumed health consequences of lower weights and overestimate the presumed health consequences of higher weights.

A Tipping Point: We've Finally Noticed Boys' Struggles

For several years now a bipartisan group, which includes experts in the area of boys’ issues and fatherhood—and many of these are women, some of whom strongly identify as feminists—has been pushing for a White House Council on Boys and Men which would parallel the one that President Obama established for women and girls shortly after he took office in 2009.

Anorexia Affects More Men Than Previously Thought

Anorexia and bulimia are traditionally seen as “female problems” but recent studies show that approximately one third of people with anorexia and about one half of those with bulimia are men.

Should You Make Choices for Your Kids?

Parents need to be concerned about the choices their kids make. The quality of your presence and support as your child explores and sorts through the options establishes the basis for his and her confident and solid decision-making when he and she are on their own.

Emotional Intelligence: Do Women Have an Edge?

Remember emotional intelligence can be learned; while it may be a part of women's "conditioning," many men have or can learn these behaviors.

How Clinical Psychology Programs Get Wussified

Aren’t therapists supposed to be able to stomach strong emotion, confront conflict, keep calm, and carry on?

Who Needs Marriage?

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Time Out
Diversity, inequality and social change are an important context in which to view the decline in marriage and other changes in American family life.

Are You a Traumatized Woman?

By Rosemary K.M. Sword on March 24, 2015 in The Time Cure
When we peruse the landscape of our world half the women we see have experienced a life-altering traumatic event, perhaps a natural disaster like a tornado, or a human-made disaster such as a car accident. And 1 in 3 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. But this number is probably much higher because these are only reported cases.

Do As I Say: Be Oppositional!

Oppositional behavior by children would seem to run counter to arguments in my previous posts that family members often do what they think their families want them to, even at great personal sacrifice. But oppositionality can be more apparent than real. People often act that way to accomodate what they perceive their parents to want and need from them.

To Prevent Sexual Violence, Campuses Turn to Bystanders

By A Guest Blogger on March 23, 2015 in Brainstorm
To combat attacks on college-aged women, researchers are developing programs to teach incoming students to be better bystanders.

Why Creatives Succumb to Bedtime Procrastination

By Jeffrey Davis M.A. on March 23, 2015 in Tracking Wonder
No external boss means we must self-monitor sleep habits.

Talking Like It’s 1984

By David Ludden Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in Talking Apes
While gender-neutral language won’t eliminate gender-biased thought crimes, its intentional use does help us keep in mind that non-biased behavior is now the norm in our society.

Ethical (and Effective) Letters for Job Seekers

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in How To Do Life
Job-seekers' letters are much more likely to be helpful if they are more human, honest and devoid of job-seeker jargon than the typical such letter. And your letter is much more likely to meet those criteria if you write it yourself, even if it's less well-written than if you hire a resume writer.

Slut vs. Stud: Monica Lewinsky and the Shaming of Girls

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on March 22, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
Monica Lewinsky is creating another cultural moment - her recent TED talk has garnered over 500,000 views in a few days, and rightly calls for a culture of compassion to combat cyberbullying and shaming. The soon-to-be-released film The Sisterhood of Night also explores shaming and cyberbullying in the lives of teen girls. Here are some thoughts on both.

Coming Out as Polyamorous, Part II

This blog explores strategies for coming out to families, friends, and kids about being polyamorous.

5 Tips for Transforming Stage Fright into Stage Delight

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on March 21, 2015 in Wander Woman
Instead of trying to be calm, you can use your nervous energy for positive results. Here are two tips for counteracting your negative self-talk with positive nervousness before you go on stage and three tips to keep you engaging and likable while you are speaking:

Can We Talk?

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on March 21, 2015 in Love, Inc
Speech was never free. It always had costs. But this commonsense has mixed with a moral panic to allow hate speech and discriminatory speech to thrive even as offensive speech is silenced. Can we talk?

The End of Stigma

Brazil's campaign to tackle mental health discrimination.

Are There Downsides to Having a Woman President?

With Hillary Clinton's all-but-certain to run for president, one of the world's leading experts on gender and leadership examines whether her gender will make a difference.

Sexism in Mental Health Practice

Misogyny in the mental health system warrants special attention during Women's History Month.

Who is the Real Jodi Arias?

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on March 19, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
Despite all the hype, Jodi Arias is neither a monster nor is she a fallen angel. She is a convicted felon who has taken on criminal celebrity status and cultivated a massive public following due to her appearance, demeanor, and the severity of her crime, which all have been spun and stylized into a caricature by the news media.

Why Are Emotionally Unavailable Men So Damn Desirable?

The allure of emotionally unavailable men is undeniable to many. Women caught up in their charms often spend inordinate time, energy, and internal resources working to get their special attention. Here are 5 reasons why unavailable men carry such value.

Misdiagnosis of Men With Borderline Personality Disorder

By Randi Kreger on March 17, 2015 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
Like women with BPD, men may come from troubled pasts and unstable relationships. At age 3, borderline football star Brandon Marshall witnessed his father nearly beat his mother to death—for the first time. He also lived with his father's drug use and vicious assaults toward women.

Clarifying Racism: Selma Lord, Selma

So for those who wonder why Psychology Today is publishing blogs about racism, the answer is straightforward.

Science and the Online Dating Profile

Online dating is the new singles bar, one in which your words won't be drowned out by the music. But which words should you use? There is some scientific evidence about relatively more effective ways to turn an online contact into a real huggable moment.