Culture

  • Attraction to Monsters (with Ella Gallego)

    Beauty and the Beast. Twilight. The Shape of Water. What do these stories have in common? Humans and monsters getting down and dirty. This episode explores the surprising psychology behind "monsterf*ckers" — people attracted to creatures like vampires, werewolves, and tentacled beasts. Hear from researcher Ella Gallego about her study on monstrous desire, which reveals how and why women and LGBTQ+ people are particularly entranced by these inhuman love interests. We’ll trace the history of monster erotica through the medieval church’s preoccupation with demon sex, the horny throughline of vampire movies, and the incredibly surprising history of tentacle porn. Bare your neck and put on your hottest swamp bikini: it’s time to discover the connection between monsters, sex, and our deepest desires.

  • IQ / Intelligence (with Dr. Steven Piantadosi)

    The IQ test is supposed to be a measure of human intelligence. But is it? Today, we're joined by UC Berkeley professor Dr. Steven Piantadosi to understand why the diversity of human intellect can't be captured by a single number. We'll explore the history of IQ, from its innocent beginnings in French schools to its dark role in the eugenics movement. We'll understand why IQ testing is fallible, thanks to rising scores, the effects of motivation, and cultural bias, and learn about a test in the 1970s that was designed to flip that bias upside down. Go full galaxy brain and tune in to hear why IQ isn't all it's cracked up to be.

  • Heterosexuality (with Dr. Hanne Blank Boyd)

    Heterosexuality isn't what you think it is. In this episode, historian Hanne Blank Boyd flips the script on how we view sexual orientation, showing how the concept of "heterosexuality" has only existed for around 150 years. Hanne traces how modern capitalism led "heterosexual" to emerge as a term for normal, moral sexuality, allowing the middle class to prove their respectability. Even now, assuming heterosexuality as the default norm skews scientific research on sexuality. Being straight isn't as simple as being attracted to the opposite sex — it's all encompassing and ever changing. Tune in to find out why.

  • Race (with Agustín Fuentes, Ph.D.)

    Get ready to rethink everything you know about race. With the help of anthropologist Agustín Fuentes, this episode debunks the idea that race exists within our biology. We're unraveling racist stereotypes, explaining why race is nothing like dog breeds, delving into the devastating effects of race in health and medicine, and explaining why your 23andMe results aren't what you think. This episode isn't just about debunking misconceptions - it's about highlighting our shared humanity.

  • Nudity (with Ruth Barcan, Ph.D.)

    What do the Pioneer 10 plaque and communal bathhouses of Renaissance Europe have in common? Today we're stripping down the complicated concept of nudity with Dr. Ruth Barcan, honorary associate professor at the University of Sydney in Australia. We'll explore the meanings, reactions, and laws surrounding nudity, from how art influenced our perception of nudity to the complex legalities of female toplessness in the US. Oh yeah, and we're getting deep into the nudism movement, which has an origin story you'll be telling people about at parties.

  • Butts (with Dr. Jeanne Bovet)

    Why do we have such big butts? Why does society admire women's butts more than men's? And what does race have to do with all this?

    Featuring Jeanne Bovet, senior lecturer at Northumbria University in Newcastle.

  • Disability (with Emily Ladau)

    It affects 1 billion people worldwide, so why is disability considered a niche issue? How can we make life easier for people with disabilities? And what does any of this have to do with As Seen on TV products?

    Featuring Emily Ladau, disability rights activist and author of the new book, “Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally.”

  • Critical Race Theory (with Janel George)

    Are kids really learning critical race theory in class? What IS critical race theory, anyway? And why is it so uncomfortable to talk about race?

    Featuring Janel George, associate professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and founding director of the Racial Equity in Education Policy Clinic.

  • Money (with Ted Klontz, Ph.D.)

    Why is it impolite to talk about money? Why are many of us uncomfortable with our own money habits? And how do we change things?

    Featuring Ted Klontz, Ph.D., director of the Financial Psychology Institute and associate professor of Practice and Financial Psychology at Creighton University.

  • Ageism (with Dr. Hannah Swift)

    It's one of the most experienced forms of discrimination. It's also one of the most accepted. Here's how to fight it.

    Featuring Dr. Hannah Swift, a senior lecturer in Social and Organizational Psychology at the University of Kent in the UK.