Sex and dating: Women no different than men?

An op-ed in last Sunday's New York Times challenged the idea that physiology and evolutionary psychology can explain the differences between men and women. Author Dan Slater took on three of the most prominent "differences" between the sexual behavior of men and women, beginning with promiscuity:  Take the question of promiscuity. Everyone has always assumed — andContinue reading “Sex and dating: Women no different than men?”

Oddest of strategies to condemn homosexuals: Wendell Berry

The culture mostly ignores the Kentucky-based writer and poet Wendell Berry, despite his vast eloquence, save on two subjects. (Or so he claims.) Undeniably he is heard regarding his distaste for computers, and his compassion for gay people who want to marry. The latter he phrases memorably in an interview with the Associated Baptist Press: Continue reading “Oddest of strategies to condemn homosexuals: Wendell Berry”

The Fair Barbarians: The “New Woman” Climbers of 1900

In Nature's Altars: Mountains, Gender, and American Environmentalism,Susan Shrepfer reveals how in the early 20th century the mountains became a sanctuary for what was briefly known as "The New Woman." Unfettered from womanly duties and heavy skirts, these women found a freedom distinct from their urban sisters, the flappers, and arguably more meaningful. Writes Schrepfer:Continue reading “The Fair Barbarians: The “New Woman” Climbers of 1900″

Humiliation planned for losing candidate: Romney set

The most astonishing book of the year to date around here is critic Wayne Koestenbaum's Humiliation, from 2011, a pained confessional essay about being brought low, about being crushed, about what the pain of embarrassment, shame, and mortification brings to a sufferer.     Tomorrow the media pillory that Koestenbaum describes so well will begin (it's alreadyContinue reading “Humiliation planned for losing candidate: Romney set”

The Sessions’ source material: “On seeing a sex surrogate”

The trailer for The Sessions could hardly be more charming. This looks to be in the vein of that classic kind of ironic indy flick — a painful story told in a funny way, like Election or Heathers or Little Miss Sunshine. Wonderfully, the source material for this lauded movie — a riveting memoir/essay piece by aContinue reading “The Sessions’ source material: “On seeing a sex surrogate””

Pussy Riot: a post-modern band imprisoned for attitude

Speaking of rebellious rockers…it's generally agreed, by both fans and skeptics, that rock and roll is all about attitude, so in these post-modern, post-truth times, it's only natural and proper that Pussy Riot, a Russian group that has never released a record, has become the biggest punk rock band in the world. More famous, withContinue reading “Pussy Riot: a post-modern band imprisoned for attitude”

Did Truman Capote set off the breast implant craze?

From George Plimpton's vastly engaging oral biography Truman Capote: In which various friends, enemies, acquaintances, and detractors recall his turbulent career.  In this interview, Maria Theresa Caen, married to the famous wit and columnist Herb Caen, recounts how in the 60's she and Herb took Truman Capote to the first legal topless bar in SanContinue reading “Did Truman Capote set off the breast implant craze?”

The Disruptors: The plastic invasion of your body

Think this is the most complex story I've ever tried to report, and one of the biggest. Hope to stay on it. From the VC Reporter: A revolutionary change overtook America beginning in the l960s, and it’s one that had nothing to do with the usual suspects — long hair, war, sex or rock and roll.Continue reading “The Disruptors: The plastic invasion of your body”

The sexiness of a stupid woman, according to science

In Slate, a science reporter specializing in sex, Jesse Bering, reports on a new study that finds that women who look drunk and/or stupid are especially attractive to straight men.   The study has problems — for one, a lack of a good control sample. For another, the hypothesis (that men find women who appearContinue reading “The sexiness of a stupid woman, according to science”

Global warming stresses bird marriages

Scientific American has been a surprisingly sexy magazine as of late, with Jesse Bering's classic ode to semen, and now a cheeky look at global warming and bird biology. The headline: Climate Change increases mate-swapping in birds A study by Carlos Botero et al in PLoS ONE reveals that, the mag says: . Birds typicallyContinue reading “Global warming stresses bird marriages”