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

Do Women Need to Play Golf to Succeed in the Corporate World

Golf has become a metaphor for membership dues, and some women simply don’t want to pay the dues.

Love and Exile: Decoding the Many Rules of the Girl Code

By Jen Kim on April 24, 2017 in Valley Girl With a Brain
What do women want from their female friendships? Decoding the rules of the Girl Code.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Single People

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 24, 2017 in Living Single
Happiness, relationships, money, sex, solitude, children, singlism, workplace issues, sickness and health, and more: If you have questions about single life, here are some answers

Report From NYC Satellite March for Science

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on April 23, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
The Satellite March for Science was 99% about Science, Not "Social Justice"

Did Trump’s Election Make Men More Aggressive?

Research is finding that overtly sexist, aggressive attitudes and behavior towards women appears to be increasing post-election.

How Many Wars on the Human Psyche and Body Can We Fight?

Does language shape behavior? Does the language of war create more warlike strategies in unexpected arenas that really have nothing to do with war?

6 Myths About Women and Addiction

While biology and circumstances affect who is at risk for addiction in both sexes, gender can shape how trauma, loss and family influence that risk.

Friends in High Places From Aristotle's View

By Geoffrey Greif Ph.D. on April 18, 2017 in Buddy System
How does President Trump make and maintain friendships? He seems pretty typical.

Why I am Marching in the March for Science

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on April 17, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
Two reasons to march in The March for Science.

What Gifts Do the Sexes Buy for Each Other? It Depends!

What types of gifts to men and women give each other? Well, it depends on who is doing the giving!

What Is Madness?

By Sheila Kohler on April 17, 2017 in Dreaming for Freud
Madness has also been a useful tool for autocratic governments in countries like Germany during the Nazi period, South Africa under apartheid, or the Soviet Union.

Are Romantic Relationships Good for Your Self-Esteem?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 16, 2017 in Living Single
What is the link between self-esteem and romantic relationships? A 3-year study of more than 9,000 people offers some surprising answers as well as some obvious ones.

When Do Nice Guys Finish First?

When does the dating advantage go to the nice guy?

My Baby’s Birthmark Was My Fault

For doctors, lasers are interesting. Patients who blame themselves for what the lasers will be used for are not.

Why Title IX Matters, Regardless of Politics

Sexual harassment and assault are common, harm youth in schools, and should be explicitly prohibited by Title IX – regardless of your politics.

Ladies, Want Your Man to Pay More Attention to You?

By Steve Albrecht DBA on April 09, 2017 in The Act of Violence
Ladies, men need more praise than you think.

Big Little Truth: When Women Get Along On Screen We All Win

HBO's "Big Little Lies" showed women being compassionate toward one another, even as their world conspired to make them enemies.

World Health Day: Unmasking Male Depression

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on April 07, 2017 in Talking About Men
Surveys indicate that men have low rates of depression. As such, a common impression is that depression is generally a woman's disease. But is it?

60 Sex-Relevant Terms You May Not Know – and Why You Should

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 06, 2017 in Living Single
Here are 60 terms related to sex, relationships, sexual orientations, and gender identities, many of which are new or unfamiliar. More than vocabulary is at stake.

The One Male Behavior That Irritates Women the Most

A man who presumes he knows more than the women around him can, without realizing it, engage in this one behavior sure to annoy his female companions. New research shows why.

Where Beauty Reigns and Belle Is Still Reined In...

By Dara Greenwood Ph.D. on March 31, 2017 in Mirror, Mirror
No amount of subtle feminist tweaking can rescue Disney's new Beauty and the Beast from the troubled tale it has always been.

Coercive Control in Intimate Relationships

By Carol A. Lambert, MSW on March 31, 2017 in Mind Games
A culture that generally empowers men more than women can make women more vulnerable to a controlling partner.

Why are Females Prone to Mass Hysteria?

By Robert Bartholomew Ph.D. on March 31, 2017 in It's Catching
Mass hysteria is an overwhelmingly female condition. But why?

The Psychology of Feminist Role Models in BBC's "The Fall"

By Jean Kim M.D. on March 30, 2017 in Culture Shrink
Detective Stella Gibson in the BBC-Netflix series "The Fall" helps illuminate the tough balancing act careerwomen face in earning credibility

Is There Feminine Muscularity?

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on March 29, 2017 in Fit Femininity
Is sculpting a muscular body feminine? There are several options for women to display visible muscularity.

Something Is Happening Here

Perhaps the biggest reason for my optimism about the movement on behalf of boys (and men) is the backlash against it.

Women and the Good Ole Boys Club

Women are a long way from reaching parity with men in the executive suites and boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies.

Seriously, It Is Not Easy

By Anthony Synnott Ph.D. on March 27, 2017 in Rethinking Men
Sex used to be relatively simple. How did it all change? And why?

Gender Differences: Equality Versus Similarity

Some feminists deny that true gender differences in behavior exist: they mistake similarity with equality, and neglect an important source of individuality.

Problematic Low Sexual Desire in Men?

Many men don't want to admit if they experience low sexual desire. So what do we really know about men's experiences?