Episodes

  • Cannibalism (with Bill Schutt)

    Why do humans have such an aversion to eating each other? How many cultures really practice cannibalism? And does cannibalism happen in the Western world anymore? (Yes. The answer is yes.)

    Today's guest is Bill Schutt, zoologist and research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. He's also the author of the book "Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History."

  • Penises (with Emily Willingham)

    How does the human penis measure up to the rest of the animal kingdom? What can the shape of the penis tell us about human mating? And what is up with society's obsession with the penis?

    Today's guest is Emily Willingham, science journalist and author of the book "Phallacy: Life Lessons from the Animal Penis."

  • Pornography (with Joshua Grubbs)

    What makes porn, porn? Why is a Playboy centerfold porn when the Venus de Milo isn't? How long have we been making porn? And importantly, is porn addictive?

    Today's guest is Dr. Joshua Grubbs, professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University.

  • Profanity (with Benjamin K. Bergen)

    What makes a word profane? Why are my swear words different from my parents'? If swearing is so bad, why do we do it? And what can a culture's swear words tell us about the things they hold taboo?

    Today's guest is Dr. Benjamin K. Bergen, professor of cognitive science at UC San Diego and author of the book "What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves."

  • Trailer

    Taboo Science is a podcast that answers the questions you’re not allowed to ask.