Episodes

  • Menstruation (with Dr. Kate Clancy)

    Menstruation is so much more than a useless byproduct of the reproductive cycle — it's a dang biological miracle. With the help of Dr. Kate Clancy, a professor at the University of Illinois and author of Period: The Real Story of Menstruation, this episode dives deep into the misconceptions, stigmas, and hidden truths about menstruation. Uncover the true purpose of periods, debunk the idea of a 'normal' period, and explore how environmental factors and personal experiences can impact menstrual cycles. We touch on premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PCOS, and endometriosis, along with the stigma associated with menstrual blood and why efforts to give menstrual products to girls in the global South are misguided. Also, retrograde menstruation. You've been warned.

  • Makeup (with Ilise S. Carter)

    It's both a method of empowerment and a tool of control — but it sure is pretty! Today's episode delves into how makeup reflects and perpetuates society's conflicting views on femininity, with the help of historian Ilise S. Carter, author of The Red Menace: How Lipstick Changed the Face of American History. From its historical roots, like ancient Egyptian eyeliner and the opulent courtiers of Louis XIV, to the modern-day pressures women, POCs, and gender-nonconforming people face to adhere to impossible ideals, we uncover the dark side of makeup's impact. Hope you've got your no-makeup makeup on, 'cause this is one cute selfie we will not delete later.

  • 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.

  • Breastfeeding (with Bridget McGann & Sascha Mayer)

    Did you know lactation is older than the dinosaurs? Latch onto the mysteries of breastfeeding with help from lactation scientist Bridget McGann and Mamava co-founder Sascha Mayer in today's episode, which delves into the incredible components of breastmilk, the way that feeding itself influences a baby's development, the debate between breastfeeding versus formula feeding, and why workplace support for pumping can be the single thing that keeps a mother breastfeeding. Plus: why have we seen so many boobs in bikinis and so few boobs feeding babies?

  • Poop (with Bryn Nelson, Ph.D.)

    Grab your squatty potty and put your squeamishness aside: we're going elbow-deep into human waste with science journalist and author Bryn Nelson. This episode digs into the microbiome, probiotics, and fecal transplants. It uncovers the surprising benefits and uses of human waste, from healing autoimmune conditions to fertilizing crops, and even the ancient practice of collecting and selling 'night soil'. Also: how many synonyms for poop can Ashley stomach? Find out.

  • Asexuality (with Canton Winer & Sarah Costello)

    This week, we challenge the common perceptions of attraction and explore the complexities of asexuality. Sociology PhD candidate Canton Weiner shares invaluable insights from his research while Sarah Costello, co-host of the podcast "Sounds Fake, But Okay," opens up about her personal experience as a romantic asexual. We examine the split attraction model and shed light on various types of attraction, delve into the history of asexuality with pioneers like Magnus Hirschfeld and Alfred Kinsey, and discover how the rise of the internet has shaped the asexual community. This episode challenges misconceptions, explores the intersection of asexuality and other identities like race and gender, and highlights the need for increased understanding and acceptance within the LGBT community.

  • Addiction (with Judy Grisel, Ph.D.)

    Today we're diving into the world of addiction and drug use with Judy Grisel, a behavioral neuroscientist who's been down the road of addiction herself. We'll cover why humans are so drawn to altering our consciousness with chemicals, how addictive drugs affect our brains, and some common misconceptions about drug use. Plus, we'll explore the factors that contribute to addiction, like age, genetics, and even random chance.

  • 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.