The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


gender identity

A Transgender Controversy

In this important analysis of the medical issues involving trans people, Dr. Harriet Hall reviews what medical science knows about puberty blockers, vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, rapid onset gender dysphoria, detransitioners, and why “watchful waiting” is probably the best strategy at the moment given the considerable uncertainties.

Frans De Waal on Sex and Gender Across the Primate Spectrum

What is gender? How different are men and women? Are differences due to biological sex or to culture? How do they compare with what is known about our fellow primates? Do apes also culturally learn their sex roles or is “gender” uniquely human? Michael Shermer and Frans de Waal discuss sexual orientation, gender identity, and the limitations of the gender binary, exceptions to which are also found in other primates.

Cathy Young — The Russian Riddle Wrapped in a Ukrainian Mystery Inside an American Enigma

Michael Shermer speaks with Cathy Young, a cultural studies fellow at the Cato Institute. She writes on a wide variety of cultural and political issues, including gender issues (equal opportunity in the workplace, sexual harassment policy, sexual assault and domestic violence law, child custody, etc.), freedom of speech and intellectual tolerance, diversity, education, and perspectives on American history, as well as Russia and U.S.-Russian relations.

Trans Science: A review of Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters

Detail of cover of Irreversible Damage, by Abigail Shrier

A review by Dr. Harriet Hall of Abigail Shrier’s 2020 book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters was originally published on Science-Based Medicine’s website and later removed and put under review by SBM’s Editors “due to concerns expressed over its scientific accuracy and completeness.” Skeptic is publishing here because, if skepticism means anything, there are no sacred cows, no political sensitivities of topics to prohibit open discussion and review, no censorship of ideas that don’t toe a political line.

Bari Weiss & Bion Bartning on Their New Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism

Shermer, Weiss, and Bartning discuss: why we need FAIR when we have the ACLU, the SPLC, etc. • Richard Dawkins canceled by the AHA • hate speech as violence • how Liberal and Conservative attitudes have shifted • private vs. public speech • government censorship vs. cancel culture • social media companies: platforms or publishers? • anti-Semitism • QAnon • conspiracies • why free speech is foundational to other rights, and more…

eSkeptic for May 22, 2021

In episode 183 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael speaks with Bari Weiss and Bion Bartning about their new Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR).

Helen Pluckrose — Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender, and Identity — and Why This Harms Everybody

In episode 163 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Helen Pluckrose about her book (co-authored with James Lindsay) Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody.

eSkeptic for March 9, 2021

Skeptic Magazine 26.1: Cosmic Beginning is Available Now! Instantly Download the Digital Edition or Pre-order the Print Edition Today. PLUS: In episode 163 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Helen Pluckrose about her book (co-authored with James Lindsay) Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender, and Identity — and Why This Harms Everybody.

Kevin Dutton — Black-and-White Thinking: The Burden of a Binary Brain in a Complex World

Michael Shermer and Kevin Dutton discuss: black-and-white thinking in: physics, biology, psychology, politics, economics, society • categories and why we need them • when does a hill become a mountain? • How many grains of sand makes a heap? • from quantitative scaling to qualitative categories • How can there be dozens of genders if there are just males and females? abortion • stereotypes • tribalism, xenophobia, & racism • the difference between a cult, a sect, and a religion • mental disorders: are we all a little crazy?, and consciousness.

eSkeptic January 19, 2021

In episode 153 Dr. Michael Shermer speaks with University of Oxford research psychologist Dr. Kevin Dutton about his new book Black-and-White Thinking: The Burden of a Binary Brain in a Complex World.

eSkeptic for August 25, 2020

In Science Salon # 130, Michael Shermer speaks with Debra Soh — a neuroscientist who specializes in gender, sex, and sexual orientation — about her new book: The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths About Sex and Identity in Our Society.

Debra Soh — The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths About Sex and Identity in Our Society

In Science Salon # 130, Michael Shermer speaks with Debra Soh — a neuroscientist who specializes in gender, sex, and sexual orientation — about her new book: The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths About Sex and Identity in Our Society.

Douglas Murray — The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, and Identity

In Science Salon # 87 Michael Shermer speaks with Douglas Murray about his new book The Madness of Crowds on sexuality, gender, technology and race playing out in our workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity politics and intersectionality.

eSkeptic for October 15, 2019

In Science Salon # 87 Michael Shermer speaks with Douglas Murray about his new book The Madness of Crowds on sexuality, gender, technology and race playing out in our workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity politics and intersectionality.

eSkeptic for September 26, 2018

Have Archetype—Will Travel by Michael Shermer attempts to explain the startling phenomenon of Jordan Peterson; not the man’s ideas so much as his message and following, which has grown astronomically in the past two years, from obscure Canadian professor of psychology to international man of mystery: mysterious to nearly everyone, that is, on exactly what it is he believes.

Have Archetype — Will Travel: The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon

Michael Shermer attempts to explain the startling phenomenon of Jordan Peterson; not the man’s ideas so much as his message and following, which has grown astronomically in the past two years, from obscure Canadian professor of psychology to international man of mystery: mysterious to nearly everyone, that is, on exactly what it is he believes.

eSkeptic for December 7, 2016

The latest issue of Skeptic magazine (21.4), available digitally right now, examines deceptions in cancer treatment and marketing; mysterious “alien” skulls; clown panics; anti-aging claims; defining “spirituality;” memory training; computer simulations; Salem Witch trials; mammoth mysteries; and more…

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Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

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Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

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The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

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Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

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The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

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Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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