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.

Betty, Briefs, and Buying

Ten years of studies have shown that men respond to sexual imagery by buying more. The same ten years of research have shown that women don’t. New work by a team in Belgium suggests that, for women, researchers have been focusing on the wrong sort of stimulation. Watch out, Mr. Charmin!

Sacrifice in Relationships: Do You Go That Extra Mile?

We want our romantic partners to be willing to compromise. But when they make sacrifices, do we want to hear them wail and kvetch? Apparently we do—or at least we want to hear their authentic emotional expressions.

Retail Therapy: Is Shopping the Best Medicine?

Compulsive shopping has acquired a fancy medical name, and by some is considered a bona fide psychological disorder. But is all "retail therapy" by definition compulsive? And when it's not, can it actually boost mood and feelings of self control?

Romantic Commitment: The Gift That Keeps You Giving

Millions of years of human evolution and about thirty years of formal inquiry have shown that breaking up is hard to do. A new study may show why, why that is true.

How Scary is Operant Conditioning? (Happy Halloween!)

How scary is operant conditioning? How scary can it be? Happy Halloween—"from" B. F. Skinner!

The Second-Hand Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

Someday, if a friend has the surgery, you may be able to lose weight without going under the knife.

Job Search Tip: Don't Drink at the Interview!

Quick. What should you do if, at a job recruitment dinner, you're offered wine? Have one drink just to seem sophisticated? Or ask for a soda and risk seeming like a dolt?

No Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System?

A study by scientists from seven prestigious universities demonstrates no evidence of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system—and the media ignore the story. Is this evidence of liberal bias? Or of journalists who just don't know how to begin the approach to a finding so inflammatory?

The Perils and Payoffs of Celebrity Status

Received wisdom is that people with high socioeconomic status enjoy better health and longer lives. This research looks at the ultimate status-holders—Emmy winners, election winners, and baseball Hall-of-Famers—to see whether and how the glow of high status pays off.

Lessons from America's First School Massacre

In 1927, Americans took comfort imagining that a space alien or evolutionary throwback was responsible for the unimaginable act. This week many are blaming the events in Newtown on Asperger’s syndrome or on some missed psychiatric disorder.