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homosexuality

James Kirchick — Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington

Shermer and Kirchick discuss: archives and secret sources of secret histories • the cause of homophobia, and how and why homosexuality was thought of as a “contagious sexual aberrancy” • why there is no lesbian history of Washington • J. Edgar Hoover, Clyde Tolson and gay mythmaking • FDR and Sumner Welles • why at the height of the Cold War, it was safer to be a Communist than a homosexual • Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss • the McCarthy hearings and how the Lavender Menace became inextricably linked with the Red Menace • astronomer Franklin Kameny and the Mattachine Society • JFK and his tolerance of homosexuality • Richard Nixon’s notorious homophobia • Ronald Reagan’s conflicting attitudes toward homosexuality • George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and real progress in acceptance of homosexuality • the trans movement and its homophobic consequences.

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.

Amber Scorah — Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life

In this revealing conversation Amber Scorah opens the box into the psychology of religious belief to show how, exactly, religions and cults convince members that theirs is the one true religion. A coming of age story of a woman already in her thirties, this unforgettable memoir examines what it’s like to start one’s life over again with an entirely new identity.

eSkeptic for December 31, 2019

In Science Salon # 97 Michael Shermer speaks with former Jehovah’s Witness Amber Scorah about the psychology of religious belief and her new book Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life. PLUS Peter Kassan reviews Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans by Melanie Mitchell.

What is Sexual Orientation?

When it comes to understanding sexual orientation “nobody knows anything” is a pretty close assessment. In this column from Skeptic magazine 21.3, Carol Tavris explores various notions and definitions of sexual orientation.

eSkeptic for March 15, 2017

When it comes to understanding sexual orientation “nobody knows anything” is a pretty close assessment. In this week’s eSkeptic, Carol Tavris explores various notions and definitions of sexual orientation. This column was originally published in Skeptic magazine 21.3 (2016).

09-05-13

In this week’s eSkeptic, in the midst of the gay marriage controversy sweeping across the nation (as individual states are changing their constitutional minds about what constitutes marriage), we present an interesting article by Barrett Brown that demolishes the silly notion proffered by some conservatives that gay marriage decreases straight marriage rates.

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