10 Things About Sigmund Freud You'll Wish You Hadn't Learned

December 3 is the 120th anniversary of Anna Freud's birth. What most people don't know is that the secrets she held threatened to shake the foundation of her father's legacy

Who Would Jesus Stone?

Classic nonviolence is far from passive. It is smartly aggressive. To get under their oppressors’ skin, civil rights and social reform leaders have had to be psychologically astute. (“What will get their goats them this time?”). And, apparently, thinking that way works. A growing body of research suggests that nonviolence is more effective than violence.

The Elephant in Sigmund Freud's Consulting Room

Imagine growing up gay in a household where your world-renowned father calls lesbianism a gateway to mental illness. And it is always, he said, caused by the father and curable by analysis. Now imagine that he analyzes you.

Men in Red

Men, listen up. You know those red power ties you wore a few years ago? They’re probably still at the back of your closet. They may work for you on Tinder ... only not in the way you expected.

Your Field Guide to the Femme Fatale

According to research psychologists from the U.K.’s University of Liverpool, narcissistic women are often sexually coercive. But rather than rape, they use emotionally manipulative tactics like threatening blackmail or vowing to harm themselves.

Is Spanking Bad for Children and Families?

Since 1997 studies have consistently shown that spanking doesn’t have much of a positive effect on behavior. Meanwhile, it can harm parent-child communication and can lead a child into patterns of anxiety and aggression. So why do so many of us do it? What "no harm" and "good for them in the long run" myths have we bought into?

Mean vs. Kind Humor

Are “affiliative” and “self-enhancing” forms of humor healthier than “aggressive” and “self-defeating” forms?

The Good and Bad News for Post-Menopausal Women

A four-year placebo-controlled study suggests that HRT doesn't slow cognitive decline. But there is good news for post-menopausal women who feel like they're "losing it."

Have We Discovered a Prime Reason Why Some Men Cheat?

Do men who feel "pink washed" by their wives' earning power try to reclaim their masculinity by catting around?

Pardon Me—Or Else!

Haters gonna hate. Forgivers gonna live longer.

Why Don't Women Leave Batterers?

When Ray Rice’s wife Janay publicly stood by her man, web chatter proclaimed her not a victim but a gold digger. But blows to the head like the one she suffered are typical of the abuse battered women take. Do brain injuries leave women too neurologically fragile to take back their lives?

Sexual Crimes and War

How ISIS State jihadists treat women may say more about Darwin than Islam.

The Colorful Modern History of Gay Conversion Therapy

Two linked stories, one of the hysteria epidemic in Europe in the late 1800s, and the other of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis of his own daughter, offer a history of and a few lessons about gay conversion therapy.

Is America Safer When Good Guys Have Guns?

Living in a country with a high rate of gun violence like America’s actually puts one at reduced risk of unarmed assault and of assaults with weapons that aren’t lethal. But that's only half the story.

Oprah, Carl Jung, and a Remarkable Essay about Sex and Death

Carl Jung wrote raphsodically about the entwined impulses towards sex and death. This idea was "borrowed" from Sabina Spielrein, his young, beautiful patient—with whom he had sex and who most emphatically refused to die.

Oedipus, Schmoedipus

Sigmund Freud was only human, and he made mistakes. My nine years of research into all matters Freud tells me that it was Freud himself who wanted to kill his father and sleep with his mother. Oedipus Rex didn't. So this year on Father's Day, let's celebrate what the real Oedipus felt for the dad who raised him.

What's Really Behind Slut Shaming

In a Midwest college dorm, nearly all the young women whispered the accusation "slut" about somebody. But what did they even mean by the term? The answer depended on social class.

How Do You Spell G-E-N-I-U-S

Geniuses at promiscuity ... math ... creativity ... sperm donation.... The list is a long one.

Tough Love for Dog Lovers

Testing dogs in the "Strange Situation" produces heartbreaking results.

It's Not Just Narcissists Who Want Plastic Surgery...

It's narcissists who are also perfectionists.

Clowning and IVF Success Rates

Can laughter make you pregnant. No, but Researchers in Israel find that laughter improves the success of in vitro fertilization. For families trying to conceive, we're anticipating a run on red rubber noses.

Improving Your Sex Appeal

14 science facts to help you up your sexy game—or not.

Some Like It Too Hot

Why do so many unfaithful men die doing what they love to do?

Did the Feet of Homo Erectus Stink, Too?

It’s funny; men supposedly love women’s feet, but women hate theirs. Millions are spent each year on pedicures. But as ambivalent as we humans are about them, feet hold the keys to mysteries of our evolutionary past.

Baby Talk

Are all human languages cut from the same cloth? A non-invasive experiment with newborns suggests that they are.

The Biology of Lying

Scientists test whether the "bonding hormone" encourages people to lie for the benefit of their group.

Has a Dinosaur Been Cloned?

A rumor is circulating that scientists at Liverpool's John Moore University have cloned a dinosaur. The story has not been verified. And the photo of the "dino" is looking a bit like that of...a kangaroo. But the rumor itself suggests important ethical questions—about de-extinction, dinosaurs, and humans.

The Incandescent Effect

Forget the "wisdom" about turning the lights down low to set a romantic mood. Ramping up the light makes everything (and everyone!) seem "hot."

Snakes of Futures Passed

Snakes and mammals share a long evolutionary history—so long that fear of snakes may pre-date fear of any other predator, and may therefore lie at a fundamental level of humans' visual processing system.

Good News for Arachnophobes

It sounds like a graduate student nightmare: the job of provoking attacks by black widow spiders. But the students survived, and another myth about black widows bit the dust.