« Making Sense with Sam Harris

#135 — Navigating Sex and Gender

2018-08-20 | 🔗

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Martie Haselton about sex and gender, the role of hormones in human psychology, “Darwinian feminism,” the unique hormonal experience of women, transgenderism, the Google Memo, and other topics.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
There are many things in the news: Pennsylvania, clergy, sex abuse bomb that went off this week. Report detailing the abuse of more than one thousand children by more than three hundred priests over the years this sort of thing is under reported, as we all know, and also sedulously covered up by the church, In fact, it's not much of an exaggeration to say that the catholic church is a machine. One of those primary functions has been to ensure who are the children get raped and that the world doesn't find out about it. Really is not an exaggeration, remind me of a article I wrote about ten years ago, when a similar scandal opened in Ireland, I wrote an article titled bring the Vatican to justice. They may have read this
on a much earlier podcast, but I'll just read the first two paragraphs here, because it's really all I have to say in the present case. And then it makes a point that I think it's all too rarely made. So here's what I wrote, I think in two thousand and nine or so I've paid too little attention to the sexual abuse scandal in the catholic Church to shoot Solargen Langres a fission so tiny a barrel. They seem to be no need to deride faith that is most vulnerable and self a based. Even in retrospect it is the easy to understand the impulse to avert ones eyes. Just imagine it hi's, mother and father, sending their beloved child to the church of one thousand hands for spiritual instruction. Only Have him raped and terrified into silence by threats of hell, then imagine. Run into 10s of thousands of children in our own time and.
Children beyond reckoning for over one thousand years, the spectacle of faith so utterly misplaced and so fully betrayed is simply too depressing to think about. But there was always more to this phenomenon that should have compelled my attention, Instead of the ludicrous ideology that made it possible, the catholic church, spent two millenia demonising human sexuality to a degree unmatched by any other institution declaring the most basic healthy, mature, consensual, behavior is taboo in D. This organization still opposes the use of contraception, preferring instead that the or as people on earth be blessed with the law. Just families in the shortest lives. If this hallowed an incorrigible stupidity, the churches can m generations of decent people to shame and hypocrisy, or the neolithic, fecundity poverty and death by AIDS. Add to this inhumanity the artifice of cloistered celibacy, and you now have an institution, one of the wealth
based on earth. The preference actually attracts pederast, pedophiles and sexual sadists into it's ranks, promotes them to positions of authority and grants them privileged access to children. Finally, consider that vast numbers of children will be born out of wedlock and their unwed mothers vilified wherever church teaching hold sway, leaving boys and girls by the thousands to be abandoned to church run orphanages only to be rape been terrorized by the clergy. English machinery set whirling through the ages by the opposing winds of shame and sadism. We mortals can finally glimpse. How, strangely perfect, are the ways of the Lord Open that article, but let's be clear about what's happening here. This isn't just the law of large numbers or you sample one hundred,
thousands or millions of people, and you find some thousands of them abusing children. There's something special about the catholic church. There's a specific machinery, her yes Don dogmatism and Nathan, ridiculous ideas and every detail. Matters like the belief in hell and and celibacy and the shame of out of wedlock. Birth other religious communities that have abused their kids and conceal the I'm so as not to bring embarrassment to the institutions scandals among the Orthodox Jews in New York in recent years, But no one has perfected. This horror show what the catholic church this is an institution that Teen Lee spends millions of dollars to protect individual Preece, who they know have raped children for decades, moving them from one parish to the next, where they can.
Again in hush money to victims and when these cases, wind up in court, doing everything they can to shame and discredit the children or the adults who were once those children. This is pure evil and the details are insane I'm going to a snippet from the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. This is a quote. Reese admission to assault in at least a dozen young boys. The bishop wrote to thank him, for quote all the good you have done for God's people, the Lord who see in private, will reward and quote confess to anal and oral rape of at least fifteen boys as young as seven ship later met with the abuser to commend him. As a quote person of candor and sincerity and to compliment him for quote the prow, Yes, he is made in controlling his quote. Addiction when the abuser was finally removed from the priesthood years later, the bishop to order them there's not to say why quote nothing
if need be noted and quote further down here in the report, the diocese candidly conceded that this quote is of our worst cases, end quote, but if source told no one about him, actually, we came across the statement in the file several other priests, then there was the file with a simple celebratory: notation quote that abuse case victim sued us. We won. There was the priest, for example, who raped a seven year old girl after she, her tonsils out. Is girls raped in her hospital room? Just picture the life of this person that, in the context of a faith so captivating that there was no recourse here, the family around girl, you get indoctrinated from birth into a cult, and this is a girl
daft with an inordinate number of pedophiles who gain access to your kids report or the priest who made a nine year old, give him oral sex and then rinsed out the boys mouth with holy water to purify him or the boy who try some juice. It is priest, house and woke up next morning bleeding from his rectum, unable to remember anything about the night before okay, so as much as I'll give you sorry to ambush do with that. But it's hot. Even for me to pay attention to this stuff and remember how horrible these details are. None of this should be surprised This is in the the dna of this organization. Had to sign a user agreement for the catholic church. This should be part of it somewhere in the fine print It should say the ideology of organization acts as a filter, attracting sexually confused,
then conflicted and conscienceless men, and we employ these people and hide their crimes, and we've done for over one thousand years now give us your kids hearing that the catholic church is raping. Children should surprising. As hearing that Google and Facebook are selling your data to third parties, it's intense to read about all this you're getting me just after I did that. Hence the top spin. Imagine if there were a fortune five hundred company raping and abusing children for his entire existence and systematically concealing it, What would we have done to that company and now consider what hasn't happened to the catholic church? Okay There's been many other things in the news, but
good to see people in the military coming out publicly in criticism of him. After make Raven wrote his letter and uh. It was the Sarah Jeong hiring at the New York Times. I think I'll talk about that with Jonathan Height who's coming up quick manager, Lanier's. Finally, coming up, I think it rescheduled so got some good podcasts on the horizon. In a break now for my discussion of funding podcast, but if you haven't heard it or remain to be yet convinced to support the show, you might give it a listen this on the basis of listener, support that this thing works. I'd like to explain why I don't run ads on the podcast and why decided instead to rely entirely on listener. Support
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You want to know what I really think and I don't create any incentives that could make it more difficult for me to simply tell you what I think. If I were taking a lot of money from the new Yorker, would I be free to say one of US writers had just publish something scandalously stupid, but the point is I don't. I have to think twice about whether something, I think is important to say, might upset a sponsor. And you don't want me to have to think about that either my goal. Podcast is to create a forum for honest conversation of a sort that scarcely exists anywhere else. I want to talk about the most pressing issues of our time with, Looking over my shoulder and worrying about who might be offended and there's no way. I could do that while depending on ads this with the challenge of how to fund the show, give us regularly pay three dollars for a cup of coffee and we don't twice about it,
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are making it possible to keep the podcast going. Add free, show, grows and interesting ways in the future. It will be because of regular contributions, even in small amounts from listeners like you, so thank okay, ok! Well! Today's guest is Mardi Hazleton worlds, leading researcher on how ovulatory cycles influence women's sexuality UCLA. At the institute society in Genetics, the former editor of the leading journal in the field, evolution in human behavior, general psychology lab at UCLA a great time talking to Marty. We talk about sex and gender and through with hormones in human psychology, something she calls dark men, feminism focus on the unique or experience women, but more. We in about
things like transgenderism and the Google memo and other controversial topics- important, not only ethically but politically We've been airing on the show, so without further delay. I bring you Marty, open. I am here with Marty Hazleton Marty thanks for coming on the podcast hi happy to be here. So uh describe what you do. I I should say at the top here will be discussing your book hormonal, the hidden Intel of hormones, but how that you have come to what about hormones and what is your particular academic perch? So, My so I mean I would call myself an interdisciplinary evolutionary scientist by which I mean you know some people would. Probably look at my work and say? Oh, that's evolutionary psychology. I know what that is, but I think of myself as being
little bit broader than what is typically assigned to to evolutionary psychology. If that makes sense, I'm it's so you know I I certain we have looked at phenomena that are well worn territory, an evolutionary psychology like mating relationships and so forth, but I've really also been interested in connecting the dots between been using the evolutionary or adaptive logic to uh stand why humans do the things that they do and perhaps to get new insights into those things and test new hypotheses and actually look then at behavior and see you know what people are doing and described that sometime in some detail, but I'm also interested in the mechanisms in between both the cycle, trickle mechanisms which I think, people who are interested in evolutionary psychology would recognize as straight up evolutionary psychology. But I've also do this work. Looking at horn
Moderat, yrs or hormonal mediators of the kinds of phenomena that we're interested in, and maybe this is to come to new degree for audience, I don't have. Please tell me that you want me to their nitty gritty people back up a little bit in terms of the technical detail, but I think it's sort of you know puts me in you know this field of biological, endocrinology or social endocrinology. Also behavioral ecologists. I referenced their work. I look at. I do a lot of comparative work in setting up my studies, so I look at the literature on on human primates and on female animals who experience estrus all the way across the spectrum. So some of our insights actually come from looking at rodents. You know humans clearly aren't rodents. Not all of them are right, except the rats, but
yeah so um, so the comparative work also figures into my approach. So I said: I want to sort of claim a broader base for understanding the particular social phenomena that I'm interested in which mostly had to do with intimate relationship. Well, it is a a fascinating and fraught intersection of discipline. You know and- and I I think, I'm going to lead you on to some of that dangerous territory. There are several taboos here, the is this taboo around viewing? The human mind in biological terms, at all, they are related taboo around acknowledging sex differences and mice, even in some quarters to acknowledge that biological sex is even a thing yeah so and- and this leads us to what I think you consider to be mistaken- knows things of feminism and and your book you write about something called darwinian feminism right. So let's just
pick a place to start here. I perhaps we should just start with concern around understanding the human mind in biological and evolutionary terms of it's. Not. I don't think anyone at this point thinks that the logic of solution substitute every interesting question about what it's like to be, Sir, what what it is to have a human mind, but how do you yeah biology and psychology at this point? You know, I think you can have to take it on a case by case basis for some things like things that are linked with reproduction, and this perhaps is why this is such well traverse territory, I'm in evolutionary approaches, social scientific approaches. You know so thinking about reproduction so close to the engine of natural selection and therefore how our minds in the minds of our dozens are non. Human cousins have been shaped. That seems very straightforward, that that would be now.
Not gonna, tell us everything. So we're not going to be able to derive from first principles everything that we want to understand about humans, and there are plenty of surprises so, and I can give some examples of some of those, but you but you're asking me a more general question, which is the intersection between psychology and biology I don't think that anybody who is kredible could save that it's all biology right, turtles, all the way down, because humans do th, things that are very uniquely human, and I think this is interesting both in response to as a potential response to your question, but also was one of the things that stripped us up and gaining access to information that, I think, is important. So humans are undeniably their own kind of special species right We can drive porsches, we can, you know, make lattes, we
can we speak multiple languages, we can read and write in those languages. We have a way of preserving cultural knowledge, overtime that has allowed us to technologically Lloyd, our our modern environment, our environment in general. To the extent that you just don't see with with other species, I'm so I think that seeing that, so that's just a really important thing to acknowledge and any competent treatment of evolution and human behavior will include a large component that explores how those things happen, how they make humans unique. How they have have make the animal models are the more purely biological models, inadequate as the full story of course, that the line between biology and culture is difficult to draw, because much of culture has to be viewed as a kind of extended phenotype, and you know we
volved for some 10s of thousands of years in the context of having linguistically based culture. Yes- and I think that there are some fascinating evolutionary psychological questions there. So we can ask the question: well what are the kinds of things that human humans bring when they are entering their social world. What are the kinds of things that they bring with them? That help them acquire these useful bits of culture? So things like This is some work that has was done at UCLA and continues to be done all sure it's gotten very popular? It's gotten very influential. I should say- and that is thinking about how we keenly observe different potential behavioral models and which models are motherhood, which of those models have behavior that it's most likely to be repeated because they show some signs of success right. So I think that there are some really fascinating, evolutionary
logical questions about what is the evolved machinery that we bring to this? Our social war that allows us to practice transmit benefit from technology. Let's focus now on sex and gender, because this is this is really where you spent most of your time. First, I think that day rinse between sex and gender may not even be clear to most people it. How do you define these terms? Yeah? Well, I think that there's there's some disagreement about just exactly how we should define the terms I'm so, I think of gender as being more of the sort of like continuous in masculinity and femininity, so you can occupy any. The number of different levels of relative femininity or relative masculinity, the things that we would recognize. So if we can
about masculine and feminine as what is gender typical, there is still a ton of variation windows, gender, typical central tendencies, and so I tend- and so I think is most appropriate to and it becomes very awkward, otherwise, it's most appropriate to refer to those things as gender. You know uh read a paper? It's been a few years now, but I believe it was about mate copying, mate, choice, copying and guppies, and the guppies paper were referred to as having gender, and I thought ok. This is definitely not well how I'm thinking of the appropriate definition of the word, but I think it what it points out. Yeah is that people are reluctant to use the word sex male female right. That's. Why say, there's something awkward, not even socially, but just some
typically are grammatically using sex in all of these sentences and sure that in the past I have used gender in many of these cases as a synonym for biological sex. Yes, and so I would tend to think of so biological sex, and I'm I talk about. Thank you to class an entire year long freshman cluster course the so called sex cluster. It's all about sex and gender, and in that class we dig deeply into issues, but one of the things that we do is we sort of arrive at some common definitions and sex and gender. The difference between sex and gender is one of those, and so
we tend to think about sex and the way that I think about it is it's more like understanding. What are those central tendencies of masculinity and femininity that we can identify as being sexually dimorphic characteristics of of human beings now course they're going to be exceptions right. There are their interest cases fascinating cases of Intersex, there's the question of sexual orientation, which takes people away from those gender typical categories, and so there's still plenty of variation bites, but I tend to be comfortable with using the word sex referring to biological sex. So if we're talking about at the chromosomal level, if we're talking about an average differences in hormones, although even there things can get a little squishy, but then I find I think sex is is really most appropriate, an and even somebody's identity, whether they I dent
pie, is male or female. I would often be comfortable using the word sex there as well. Now that were fully in the wilderness, let's just to find some more of these terms so intersects, and Trans Gender Non Binary, give me the Latin, so intersects people are born with a phenotype, it is neither clearly male nor female in some important way, and so the the classic case, I suppose, would be looking at babies who are born with Natalia that are neither clearly male nor female. So they have an intersex condition there. A chromosomal abnormality here we're just talking about amounts of testosterone or not it has. It has lots of potential triggers so humans when we are born, we are sort of what you know, sort of a female default to our phenotype and then with the
appropriate and hormone actions. You'll see sex differentiation, you'll see sex. Different differences emerge between male in females in utero and and well beyond, of course, and so at any of those levels. Something could be different in during development, so, whether it be at the you know whether your xx or xy and some xx individuals will appear to be male in their phenotype. You know, so there are so there the genetic predictors, but then there are other things It could happen down the line that involve hormone levels and potentially also some environmental determinants environmental trauma. That's the easiest case. Somebody who has matched general surgery and is that changed from male to female, or vice versa, would also potentially have an intersex identity falling
category of Intersex. What's really interesting, I think- and I think really pushes the boundaries of political correctness is to ask the question. Well, we know, what's typical. Usually a male is attracted to a female of females attracted to a male. What about these very numerous voluminous cases of people who are I'm attracted to members of the same sex or maybe our have by sexual attraction, or maybe they just change their attractions over time? Do we think about that as a sort of intersex condition, even though everything else about them might be very gender typical? So let me just before I wait into that so non binary. Yes, right is a statement about a person's self perceived gender waiting. Yes, yes, and so this may be people who have an intersex condition or
just want to not be in the gender binary. They are more comfortable being in between perhaps not having people anything about the biological foundations of of their sex at some level. So these are people who will identify openly as queer often those people are have same sex attractions and so part of queer identity will be breaking out of that binary. With respect to you know who one is attracted to there's just there are lots of flavors in the in the you know. The sex quality rainbow, so to speak for humans and we're discovering even more of them as we move along. So that's so that's queer or non binary. Then there are, of course, all of the different boxes that you might be able to check on a questionnaire about your sexual orientation.
Yeah. The boxes are proliferating. Somebody I saw on Twitter a few months back, took a picture of the beginning, I think, was like the l, the LSAT or some other standardized, That's where they were asked to check their their gender and something like you know, twelve boxes right. That doesn't surprise me. Yeah, and maybe there need to be twelve boxes so that everybody's preference is a teknowledge Dan respected. You know, I know that it's it's bothersome to people who are you know who really prefer binaries in boxes and want to categorize the world in that way, and so we've made make people uncomfortable. I think when we acknowledge that there are these variations, but I think it's really important to do. I'm just you know as a scientist who studies these topics that have real human relevant. So these students come into my class and maybe maybe questioning there
gender identity, they may be asked have a lot of questions about different in some way from others that they have noticed, and you know one things that I I'm really proud of my time here at UCLA is talking about them and giving students the language to do both to ask some questions about themselves, but also to you know, sir, have their conscience ness raised about these gender issues in our everyday society? Well, I wasn't actually planning to start here, but now that we've opened Pandora's box, let's just stay with these more esoteric questions before we get into basic differences between men and women, so just to give it back to the time bomb it sound like you armed for us. Is it a plausable thesis that homosexuality should
the thought of in terms of intersex- is that what you just suggested? Well that were really pushing the boundaries. When we ask that question and no doubt people will get quite irritated with me for having raised it, but I think that, if what if what we mean by sex, is gender typicality? Gender equality is not hard for us to quantify so what on average? What are the What what are men like on average? What are women like? We respect the fact, of course, that you know in mining that that there's a lot of variation, but as soon as recognize that an a visual is not fitting in to that. Binary are not even really getting close to the on average male. Or female in there in certain aspects of their phenotype, then I think we ask the question will do
want to consider that to be an intersex case. I wouldn't say condition necessarily medicalize. Is that a little bit too much? You know so as soon as we apply start being principled and our application of these definitions, and I and I think it leads us to these questions, which rightly, and that made people quite uncomfortable well, then what would you do with all the other ambiguities of human sexuality or the variax yeah. So you have things that are, I guess traditionally classed as paraphilia or something that's. It's definitely not standard. If someone boot fetish- or we have something- that's you know not especially well subscribed- does that throw a error into any kind of paradigm where you would want to just think in terms of this sing continuum well, I think that we might think about those cases as just different and so they're they're, all kinds of idiosyncracies that apply.
Two individual humans, so you know whether you, like somebody with blue eyes versus uh, play with brown eyes idiosyncratic is that we have, and I would put some of those paraphilias in that idiosyncratic preference bin. We know what the origin of those things are. No, I don't think we do. I don't think we anybody will tell us that they have got at the lock on the explanation for foot fetishes you know can so I would. I wouldn't think that those cases would challenge thinking about sex as that, on average difference or as you
What is gender typical for male and female? Those are just idiot syncratic variations in the same way that you know different peoples noses are different shaped and so on. The only the only other sort of category just so that we reasonably comprehensive would be. You started to ask about Trans people, and you know often, and so, and that talk about controversy. I don't know if you a party to the controversy that MIKE Bailey stepped into in his book, the man who would be queen came out. No, no people are very sensitive about these identity issues and trans identity is very much a central identity issue, so how people are understanding your experience of the world if they're telling you well You know my guess, is that what you really have is sort of some sort of a paraphilia as opposed to no know. We are totally
free can agree that you are. You know you, you are uncomfortable in a man's body because somewhere in there there is a female fee well gendered substance right or you know the reverse, for you know people who transition from women to men Is it far more common to transition from man? into woman and woman to man. I don't know that I don't know all of the statistics on that, but when we run our transgender panel, which is always just incredibly fascinating, to hear these people's stories- and you know how they've over some pretty substantial adversity to get where they are and to you know, become comfortable in their skin and in most cases we
tip, tend to have more female, I'm sorry male to female cases, and so maybe those people are just more out about their trans orientation or maybe they are. Numerous right, what's obviously they're at their political questions here there are psychological questions, their biological questions. There are health, related questions. Let's take the v, especially pressing case of hr. Held, that is, is transgender or declaring him or herself to be and really seems to be. I'm reasonably close to this one person who, where it's you know you know, I have known that girl. Now, since she was maybe five and there was just any idea that some
construct or construct or the imposition of any kind of outside dogmatism to this little person's identity is just total nonstarter. I mean this is a clearly biologically driven phenomenon of a a biological boy who is wanting to transition to being a girl, and these choices haven't arrived yet, but it's point, you I'm sure someone will be offering puberty blockers or some some way of making this trans an easier if the if this transition is in fact going to stick. But you know I under and from your book that some have a good number. Even a majority of cases of of transgender children grow out of their their identity crisis, and there is a bit dated simply become gay. So how do you this just seems like an especially fraught air? yeah. How do you think about this?
So on one hand we might say well, if this person is genuinely I'm comfortable with the gender that they are practicing their gender that they are signed, then wouldn't the nice thing to do when the thing to do that would help this person live a productive life. Give an you know enable them to block whatever hormones might be affecting their. You know because if you don't block those hormones during puberty they're a reversible consequences, those they have your reversible effect on the phenotype and so there's. I think a reasonable argument to be made there right, but then, on the other hand, and here's why I think that the debate has gotten is gotten very intelligent. On the other hand, a lot of these kids who boys, who dress up in girls, clothing, let's just say, we. You know you are by doing things like give them
hormone blockers. You are putting them on a path toward having a more female like phenotype, that is it reversible. So wouldn't it make more sense. According to this argument, this isn't an argument that I'm necessarily making, but according to this, are you would make more sense just to this person energy, as somebody who has many boy attributes up before making those transitions. So you know, like I said it's it's because it's so it's it's tough, because there are irreversible effects of those hormones as we move through puberty and so forth, but I'm. But if you are one of these kids who was treated with hormone blockers and then later on in your life, you were
decide. Well, you know. I really just think how was the game man I'm then that's! That's the tough case right. That's that's the thing that that by people who are making these arguments are concerned about, or are they both the tough case? Maybe it's irreversible? Whatever you do or don't do yeah, I suppose you're right, so you just so basically you're making a probability judgment whether this is very likely to be a child who's going to grow out of it and become gay or or someone who knows is actually sure she's in the wrong body or he's in my body right, and so I guess, then the it would be an this would is. This is what, if it were me personally being involved one of these decisions, maybe involving my own children, just want to know. You know how much do we think of five year olds? Gender identity is, is the sort of final state of affairs do they know? I mean certainly that that they would be different and that
it would have a biological foundation as you, the eggs in the example that you gave from your friends, I'm that you know seems like something we absolutely must first act, but does that mean that it is a medical emergency and needs to be taken care of right now or do we wait a little while and see how the kid feels in the years to come? Ok, so, let's retrace our steps and just get down to the basic difference between men and women now. This is amazing that this is a controversial area, but give me the big picture issue, now, just acknowledging that there are biological differences between men and women that very likely an insert and well established cases have psychological consequences what is the difficulty around admitting this?
Well, I see that the one of the key things is that, as soon as we start talking about biological foundations, people are going to like the late help. Public, for example, might as are certain members of the lay public. Might have a tendency to think. Oh, ok, biological explanation, I'm going to think about this categorically. If this person's behavior, let's say their ability to achieve in the workplace, if You know if there's some potential way of understanding some of those things that drive those people to be particularly good in those professions or just to merely want to be in those sorts of professions. As soon we acknowledge that there is a biological foundation, then that means that you know we should confine women or can only think of women, as you know, studying the girlish stereotypes at you know that they should be. You know in the maternal role and if they try to achieve, they will somehow get smashed up against the glass ceiling, and I
that is a lot of what people are concerned about and that's a lot of what has. Delayed our understanding of some of the biological foundations of behavior, and I can certainly speak about that with respect to women hormones since it's something that I write about fairly extensively in the book yeah. So obviously, there's been some very prominent cases of acknowledging or speculating about critical differences, tween men and women that that might explain, differential success or differ. Representation in various fields and the two that come to mind for me or along long time ago. President of Harvard gave a speech where he, if memory serves, he said, I think quite uncontroversial e, that the based on the literature as it existed. Then's still exists. He was suggesting that there's there is more variance in the kind of
to have ability. I think it was talking about engineering and stem, let's throw generic man nothing there as well, he was talking about the consequences, variance in the distribution for quantitative ability for men than for women, which would give you fatter tails at both ends, and so, when you're talking about the the percent of the one percent inability much greater representation of men there than women, and that and that alone could explain why. You see this crazy difference in certain fields, and you know so he was just thrown from the ramparts and then we have the James Damore memo at Google, where he's spec related, mostly about not differential ability but diff interest among women and men for certain kinds of jobs, in this case computer programming, and
he was fired for having on Google's account trafficked in some damaging gender or stereo types. Whereas most people looked at his memo. Thought that he had Essentia Lee written a fair, the accurate summary of the state of the literature so
How do you view the sit ins? Okay? Well, I guess they're there to things that I'd like to two points. I'd like to make. I'm one is that I think that a lot of the controversy that ensued for in these particular cases and and others is a result of the misconception that as soon as you have a biological explanation, that means that there are no other factors at play, and so we've courses such social scientists. We know that it's always an interaction. There's you know there. You can have the action, any action biology with that environmental inputs, and certainly everything is occurring within a social context and also that our social context is going to be affected by our evolved biology. So it's always both I'm I when I have given talks. Sometimes at conferences have gotten some push back on understanding the relationship between women's hormones and a whole variety of things there may preference
is, but also some of their preferences, their economic behavior and so forth, and people have gotten really upset about this and even said things like you know, will you people are just going to believe that it's all biology? If you're going out there and saying that I said well, then that may we are not doing our job as competent? You know we should get our ph dis revoked if we can't explain or that, if we don't take the time to explain that it's got to be back with right, so we can't just and- and that can't be the guiding factor that makes us do this kind of research or avoid doing this kind of research. I'm because we're gonna miss out on way too many important questions, and I do want to. I do want to come back to that issue, because I think that that's an and part of the darwinian Feminism stamps that I take. But the other thing that I want to stay in this is more on. The technical side is that it is absolutely true that, as soon as we start looking at something that is on a verb,
the difference between men and women, let's take a a really fairly large sex difference, and that is physical and the tendency to engage in physical aggression. That's if that is considered to be by most standards a fairly large difference, I'm but there's still a ton, a variation there's you know, there's a mean for men, the mean for women, or you can look at boys and girls doing rough and tumble play on the on the playground, I'm and then you can out, but you can also see that there will be some girls who will be above the mean the boy mean in there will be some boys who will be below the girl mean in terms of their aggressive behaviors. But if you look at the extremes, I think this is totally valid point. If you look at the extremes- and you look at aggressive behavior, for example amongst men, you get out to the tails and there is little to no representation for women there. And so then you can ask yourself the question. Well, what
What I might be. What might I be seeing when I look out at the world as a scientist that this could potentially, for which this is relevant, and so things like the really cases of male on male aggression, so homicide, for example. Women are doing this. Girls are not doing happily so so this point about respecting the fact that there is variation, there's differences between men and women, yes, but all so being mindful of the implications for extreme in case of aggression, extreme passive, I down at the female and and ward in that you know that and that end of the distribution that is mostly fame, females or extreme forms of aggression. It's perhaps a distinction without much of a difference, but in the case of some of these variables, as in the one sided by Larry Summers, this can be true,
even if the means are the same. So even if me, in quantitative ability is the same between men and women. If there's more vague ends in one distribution, you can have a very different looking tail on either end and with something like a fashion or upper body strength. You know them things are probably nowhere near one another and India. We would expect even more difference at the tails. Yes, so the more firing is more recent Did you read his memo? Did you pay attention to this? I have not. I have not studied on that one, as as I, as I should be I was around as the Larry Summers situation was, was exploding and there were some implications yeah. If you were talking about it, a lot here at UCLA on campus. So do I? What I have on it, I think that I think that so Alice Dreger, who you might
talk to about her book Galileo's middle finger. Now I had a I I've heard of her, but I I actually have never cross she's she's, really incredibly smart, so she advocates for for those of us who do controversial research when our university has a public press release, or when does paper is just going to hit the shelves that we also do sort of like an faq. In a frequently asked questions or in her the way she put it very cleverly when she was giving a conference talk on this stuff was here's what I didn't mean. So you know so what she's saying is that we really have to stick up for ourselves when we are getting into this controversial territory and we need to get out there ahead of it. We can't be in defensive mode saying. Well, I didn't. I didn't mean that I didn't mean
that only you know women should occupy positions of power. I didn't mean that only women should be physics, professors and math professors, but instead going out there ahead of time and saying what the crucial met messages ours in in order to prevent any of this controversy from occurring. So I think, in both of these cases, those guys would have probably benefited from doing something along those lines, or at least recognizing that, although these are important issues for us to understand and discuss as social scientists or scientist more broadly, including those things in political speeches, probably is not, is not it's just not the right venue an is probably it's going to cause you a lot more trouble than the issue to service. I don't know, maybe maybe it maybe that's a little too harsh on my part. The the issue deserves a lot of attention, of course, but I think that you'd have to be careful. Biology is not necessarily going to.
Gave itself with respect to our our political consider, so I mean, for instance, let's say, I mean I'm just making this up, but I can't imagine this is too far from what is true, let's just say that the percentage of human beings who sexually molest children is is manor inordinately represented in that category over women. I don't I don't know what it is that you, if you do happily fill in the blank for me, I don't. I don't know that statistic myself right, but let's just say that you know if we, if we had the full data set of you know mail, female nannies who molest the chill in their charge. You know, let's say it's. Ninety percent men- if that were true-
and if that were a ba overriding concern of someone who is hiring a nanny, you could see people just by default. Saying: listen! I'm I'm just not gonna roll the dice with a male nanny. I don't care how nice this guy seems in the interview. It's just you know I'll place. My that with the next woman who comes to the door we'll find out those sorts of things about various aspects of human, nature and it is a check and to have an honest conversation when you, when you stumble on those facts, because you know a bit of it? Obviously the The male nanny lobby is not especially large, but this something that we are will continually fall to end. The messenger will be shot more often than not in the current environment by simply declaring what the the data seem to be. Yes, I think that is that that is most definitely a risk. In my case. I've definitely landed in the middle of some controversies concerning women's hormones and their behavior,
so I've been there. I know I know what it's like to have. People use all sorts of tactics that I, in my view, independent, but you know in some some cases they represent genuine concerns. I'm and those are concerns that I share, but there are others where I think that people just are really uncomfortable with biological explanations for behavior, because they're concerned about you know the stereotypes being automatically applied, so the hormonal women can she should should she be in the White House, you know, should we give her access to the red button? You know an well Trump cared. You of that particular quibble. First for the rest of your career, I mean if the fact that we could openly worry about having someone erratic and driven by forces, we don't understand in the biology of the brain in the oval
because I think we have the the most erotic woman will ever have they're. Currently, you know you have to ask yourself the question and and indeed what I've done when I've talked about these issues, you know so there there's a stereo type of the hormonal woman and then there's the reality of the hormonal women. We should maybe get back to that yeah as part of our conversation, but then there's the issue of you know. Well, even if the stereo type work to be true, does that? Should that be disqualifying two women of being in these positions of political power? There's a double standard here and how we think about hormones, and perhaps we should will just jump into a conversation about hormones now, but men are obviously they're not driven by a twenty eight day cycle. With respect testosterone, but it's not to find a man who has some form of testosterone, boys, name that saddling records yeah I mean so my counterpoint to those sorts of concerns, as is usually
well. Men have hormone cycles too, and you have to ask yourself: you know when you're talking about access the red button in the White House. Well, who put the red button there in the first place and so I'm not saying that it means that men are less well suited for political office than women are. But I completely agree with you that there is a double standard so recognizing that hormones affect women's behaviors seems to have much different political implications, and has certainly been used against women throughout the history of our exploration of understanding, women and hormones. Where is the same thing doesn't apply to man I'm, and so there was that a paper that was published in psychological science. Premier psychological journal that ship purported to show that
women on high fertility days of cycle. So that's the day of ovulation and the few days before that, the time when a woman might potentially become pregnant, that her political preferences were different at that phase of her cycle then, and a non fertile phase of their of her cycle and specifically that women who are in the fertile phase of their cycle tended to tilt a little bit more. This is in twenty twelve in the midst of the election Obama Romney election, send it to tilt little bit more toward preference for Obama. Right, where is the reverse, was true for women in low fertility phase of their cycle, and there were some complications about the results. So it's not quite as straightforward, as I just put it to you, yeah. I think it's flipped from what I expected it would be. I thought that during the high fertility phase will it would be more attracted to the strong jawed Romney. Is that not the case? Oh? No? No, that was well, so they preferred morrow
comma, like features interesting, but it was also partly dependent on their relationship status. That was particularly true if women were single, so you could think of that from this general approach that we've taken in my lab of women sex reality being turned on, that they are potentially interested in certain kinds of male qualities that at least in ancestral circumstances would have transmitted good jeans to their offspring or or given out their offspring, attributes that made them more likely to be able to survive and so forth. That you know I mean. Maybe there could be a debate about who's, hunk here Obama or Romney, but I think that that people were in general thinking that that he was the more sexually interested figured research. I guess I'd run. It was a little bit older at that. At that point, and I you know, definitely definitely wasn't getting the press for being a sexy guy, so and the reason I wanted to raise this- I don't know whether those findings will replicate. I don't particularly have a strong view
on whether there meaningful and so I'm not going to, and I would even place bets on whether the finds all right thanks to replicate. But here's the thing- that's really fascinating. I'm the blogosphere CNN published a paper saying others of paper coming outside logical science. This these are in generally in general, the findings, so they published an article. I should say- and it was you know there- there was an immediate backlash. So people said things like CNN thinks crazy, ladies, but with their vaginas. This was in the blogosphere. Cnn thinks crazy, lady filled with air and as CNN you know, this is exactly the nightmare of women rampaging through the polls of voting for men by the strength of their chin and so forth. But you didn't answer. Cnn actually did
is journalistically nearly unthinkable an they retracted the story they took it down. Well course it was. The cat was out of the bag, and people were able to read the story, but they retracted the story because of this backlash in the feminist, blogosphere and elsewhere in scientific. Papers that were reporting on this in general, but there was no equivalent when there was a paper that was published that showed that Stronger men, so men were higher in testosterone, have a more militant have more militant set of political preferences, then men who are less strong, okay, so that's an sample of men's hormones affecting their political preferences, but nowhere in the blogosphere did we see something saying you know: men are going to the polls to vote with their penises right right. So that's just, I think, a really nice example of
double standard there right well, you've, given me two titles that I might use for this podcast, I'm not sure which one I'm going to take so why do men not vote with their penises? So let's just talk about this hormones in J for a second, because I think a lot people. Imagine that we have a scaped the influence of horror, to some degree or this? These are not especially important. It's like there's just background noise for humanity in general. What are some common misunderstandings in this area yeah. So when I got involved in this research area about twenty years ago, the general thinking was well humans. They they look different from a lot of species that have what's called so so called classic estrus. So female hamster won't, engage in mating behavior at all, in less she's in Estrus, in fact, will be quite violent with any male who tries to approach her, and so there their sexuality is turned on and limited to the
the that narrow window of fertility within the cycle and that's true for a variety of other species as well. Where is if you look at other species, other primate species in particular, and humans to make the point in a direct way he appeared to have- and this is the language that have been was years- we're appeared to be quote emancipated from hormonal control. Why was that? Because we have an extreme version of extended sexuality, so humans will basically engage in sex behavior. At any time, at least with respect to fertility within the cycle, so sexuality is occurring throughout twenty eight day on average cycle for women, it occurs when a woman is using hormonal contraceptives, whether she is not sexuality. It occurs. Stewart you know after a woman becomes pregnant, but has not yet given birth to a child at Christmas Post Partum period, it occurs after all.
Reproduction four woman has ceased entirely in menopause, and so it looked like aid case for understanding sexuality in ways that was basically independent from Montel influence, and that was the the situation when I walked into this research. But I just didn't think that that seemed very plausible, because the few fertile went days of the cycle right, the day of ovulation few days before that that is when their sexual desire making that a woman engages in has really big consequences could be the time and when she's choosing the the ultimate Father biological Father for her offspring. So I wanted to push this push back on this a little bit. But absolutely the backdrop was humans. Have you know don't experience these forms of hormonal control and actually the way I put. It is but hormonal nudges? So it's not so much control, but rather that you know
our feeling a little bit differently. I'm one day the cycle as compared to next or in one consort of hormonal state as compared to another I'm and we can, then you know, choose to act on those desires, are preferences or not so that they're not just but there's not strict one to one hormonal behavior, all hormonal behavioral. Control circuit there. So what are some of the so women? One of our first findings was that if they were involved in relationships that began to notice men other than their long term partners- and that was particularly true if they told us that the partners that they were involved with their long term partner, Is you know a really nice guy, but maybe not the sexiest guy around then We begin to notice other men and that those were some of our first findings and we were just asking women to rip. Test everyday on their attractions to their own part
here's to other men in a variety of other things that might potentially change across the cycle, and that was one of the ones that we found one. That was very interesting for me to speak about it conferences, men often got squirmy in their chairs. When I was describing the findings that you know, women who, whose evaluating their partners sexual attractiveness- and we see this pattern if those partners are relatively low and sexual attractiveness- I can see a lot of men discreetly trying to figure out where, in their calendar, their significant others are frustrated. So so that's one set of finding women also appeared to be more social, so they and the finding in in this area and one that, I think, is a really pioneering finding looked at women's steps on the pad on it, and it showed that on fertile days, the cycle,
basically got outta house more. They were locomoting more so that then this has a has a interesting parallel to what we see in Non women's Anna and rodents in particular, they run in their wheels more on fertile days that cycle, so that was that's sort of potentially goes in the category of trivia. But I think it's it's got some broader implications. One is that it potentially tells us something about women's mate search effort that there are opening their eyes that they're considering what their alternatives, maybe an and they may or they may not act on those attractions on those high fertility days is and then the other is to as soon as people, came aware, that females were messy. In this way they were running in their wheels more on fertile days of the cycle. They in the human case are doing steps on their predominate and they
a variety of other other hormone behavior relationships that were documented. So people said you know what the female case is just too messy. Let study males to the. Illusion of females will get you males can be viewed as the default anyway, if we're talking about Bio, medical research or maybe, if we were talking about something like sexuality, males can be viewed as as the default, and so we don't need study those messy females and now, of course, there have been it's been big fashion and New NIH guidelines that require that females be studied in Paris with males they're just to be clear Marty, because he wasn't, I don't think, was totally clear. You were talking literally about rats in their in their wheels. Yes, so it's, I think men people understand that in medicine and have been treated as the default human, I think, to the great disadvantage of women's health, but that's in true in animal models like road. Yes, that's true,
so and and it's a it's a real problem. So there are cases that make it clear like the case of heart disease. Studying heart disease in men doesn't give you you know, not everything that you've learned in that case will apply to women to women's detriment. So so I think that that's really crucial, but if we also look at things like sexuality and well being. If we're leaving female society were leaving humans aside, then we're missing out on all kinds of important information. I guess one other thing that I was intending to insert there is that even at the cell you level, so we know that the heart disease cases fairly clear cut one. But even if you look at things at the bios she at the cellular level in males versus females, things are different, so we certainly can't be comfortable with regarding males as the default any level yeah. I think that in the heart disease case, I would need to check these figures, but I think it's something like in forty percent of men. The first sign of heart disease is death and I think that's
like sixty percent in women yeah. Sounds like a real inequality. Doesn't it not understanding that As far as the nudges, our concerns over here we're talking about differences in male behavior. Around ovulation call you had a you did a very clever but slightly icky stuff. They called the cell phone study, yes I you know, I didn't get involved in this area to go due to stir up controversy, but I seem to keep. I am seem to have a knack for stepping into it anyway and said this is one I've with my colleague and good friend, Deborah at Lieberman, who studies kinship and how humans identify their close kin. So she's done some of these really cool studies in the kibbutz. Is that showed
you know boys and girls when they were raised together and they otherwise would be perfectly appropriate mates, or like no way idk. I feel like he's my brother. I can't you know. I can't marry him. So she's in very interested in kinda tection an kinship, and she you know Marty. There is a phenomenon in the you know. I think it it think it was horses and some other related species. Where females will actively avoid their Malkin on fertile days of the cycle, and I was like whoa, that's fascinating, So we decided nights. I said, that's fascinating and that is a pretty subtle hypothesis to I'm. So I think that would be worth testing just to you know see whether it's supported and therefore can sort of bolster interest in this area
which it didn't. It really doesn't care helping. The paper doesn't get cited very awful lot of takers. For that. Only because of the ick factor made you made you so the fact that cellphone wrecker There are about a month long, so that was convenient and we just looked at calling patterns. Did they all their mail, so they were calling most of the women in the study were calling both their father's and their mothers using separate cell phone numbers for mom's and dad's? So we had this nice clean comparison. We could say ok when her, is she calling her dad equally is often across these days of the cycle. Calling her mom equally is often across days of the cycle, and then also you know, when their pair Call them. You know how long is the latency there before she hangs up and found was that women on fertile days of the cycle, they called their father's left less often, and indeed they did hang up more quickly when their father's called them with
a different pattern for discussions with moms, and so that was consistent with the avoid kin on fertile days of the cycle hypothesis, we didn't know what to expect for interactions with moms and what, and indeed what we found was a pattern. That was the reverse the pattern with dad's women tended to talk if anything a little bit more to their moms on fertile days, the cycle and we pug a little bit about what that might reflect, and one of the things that we found in doing some follow up. Analysis was that women who are particularly close to there others were the ones who are increasing their calling on fertile days the cycle, so it suggests that you know there's something going on in these women's social lives. That's warranting a discussion with close either. In this case our moms said the it factor. So if it's not obvious why this is Vicky, I one way of understanding this is that females are avoiding interacting with male. Why would you need to uh
avoid interacting with a male kinda and less that can member might be interested in meeting with you. So that's the icky thing right. There is a potentially palatable alternative explanation to that, and that would be that women, because there you know more mating oriented because they might be more interested in some of these bad boys qualities on fertile days. The cycle they are avoiding a paternal control and we can't rule that out as an alternative explanation. Thank you for asking herself unsteady. I was. I thought that it was just gonna, be like one of those citation classics, but I think that the x factor is getting in the way they are. No doubt the cupboards data is fascinating. To is just This is an established fact that if kids are Essentia Lee raised as siblings, even though they have no genetic relation, the x factor is if they are yes, there. Is it as robust as for actual siblings,
the question you might need to have Deb Lieberman on your podcast for all of the details, but you know it's sort. Uncanny an and I don't know if you grew up with anybody who was that close to you yeah, but I you know how to close male friend if you listen podcast, maybe he'll hear about this, but you know his mother and my mother were best buddies and we lived all in the same housing condo complex and he would have have perfectly good candidate for a boyfriend, and I just always had this very strong feeling like now. You know something name is not quite right, maybe even else funny you know alright well, we won't take him on social media when we release it hope, not, I'm sure, he's perfectly good mate for somebody. I guess I guess I got into a little bit of a self disclosing mode, as I was writing the book, which was not initially what I plan to do, but
part of the story right. So a woman doing this research- and my insights are sometimes you know- are reflected in the research ultimately did so. I knew that there is variation and my experiences of the world. Mice. Simple simply, you know my desire to be social, I'm, and so I wanted to ask the question. Well, you know: is that just random variation is that just you know consistent with the myth of the fickle female and I don't think either one of those seemed like it would apply, and so some so there are some personal stories and in some cases they were linked currently in a fairly direct way. With some
things we ultimately learn yeah. I don't consider myself to be the ultimate end of one, and indeed there are lots of things that we we observed in the lab that I, which is completely came out of left field for me, so this guy, I'm differential Association with moms and dads. You know I can see where I where the hypothesis came from, but it was certainly nothing that I would have observed in my everyday life. Had I not been telling to do the scientific study not to make your life more difficult. But can you lead us through the thicket of PMS? What is reality of pms, and should we even think about it? Yes, well, so one of the things that the real thing- and you know, and there's decades of research documenting that
least, a substantial minority of women experience discomfort on the few days leading up to menstrual onset and then they feel usually feel some relief of those. So it could be things like your ability, I'm cramping a physical symptoms like cramping and so forth. I'm and you know a fairly substantial number of women experience these things, but one of the first set said there been papers that have cropped up as some of these cycle. You know hormone and behaviors phenomena are reported in the literature there are. Are these waves of questioning, which is good, that's good for a healthy science, and then you respond to the questions that are raised, but one of the first thing that people think that people challenged this is before I'd come on on the scene and on any of this research
Was it just questioning whether PMS were a real thing? I'm and I think that that is quite fascinating, because there it there's robust evidence that it is a real thing if it doesn't characterize every single woman, but I think that it also reflects this concern that people had as soon as we say that PMS or her model. Variations are affecting women's behavior, we're going to cause women trouble if they try to achieve, but does it exist? Yes, do we know everything we want to know about it? No there it does appear to be related to protest from levels, so protests from levels go up fairly precipitously after the tone. After the time of ovulation within cycle, and all of these get them talking about normally cycling women, not when they're on the pill and so pedestrian goes up, but then it it dips down fairly rapidly prior to menstrual onset, and so there's some thinking that maybe it's
progesterone withdrawal that women are experiencing when they when they go through these symptoms, then another question that is quite fascinating is well. Should we thing But this is just being an EPO phenomenon, so it's not a biological adaptation or something that we can make biological sense of. Alternatively, might some of the behaviors, that women are engaging and tell us something about their mating strategy? So, if woman is having regular sex with her partner and she doesn't become pregnant? kind of information is that going to send to our you know, mating adaptations that in the Billy would help to guide us toward fertile partners with him we, but but have offspring, or at least an ancestor conditions would have done that. So could it be that
You know this is setting off some sort of a little alarm and people's heads women's heads that if they are having sex- and here comes their menstrual onset again menstrual period again, that may be. This is not the right partner, at least with respect to those reproductive outcomes again, so we're we're treading on what will be considered stereotypes, but my interpretation, what you just said is that there's, some evolutionary logic by which a woman could be made. Disagree double with respect to her mate, if she's not gotten pregnant by him in a short time frame right. Well, you know- and I think that if that were the explanation, that we see a lot more break ups and we actually do
people stay with their partners for a long time, even if those relationships are not producing offspring. I think that's actually one of the great evolutionary mysteries for people who are interested in our mating psychology to try to uh yes, but what I am saying is that there is this hypothesis that that is out there that you know dump the infertile boyfriends hypothesis. I should say that that hypothesis should be attributed to leader because Medias she has speculating about this decades before, and I just thought it was such a fast any idea for what otherwise appears to be pretty puzzling phenomenon or set of phenomena those occurring with PM. So you mentioned the pill here. So how does the pill interact with our thinking about human sexuality and and the second to give women I mean this is this- is a major lever that has been pulled in human? Most of our studies
include only women not using the pill so that we are able to capture variations in their hormones that presumably underlie some of the phenomenon of interest, their mating, psychology and so forth. But there are is a separate issue altogether, and so that's just the issue of you know who participate who'd. We have participate in our studies versus who do we need to set aside because they are hormone cycles, are going to be different in some way, but then there's this other question of well. Are there detrimental effects of using hormonal contraception? And if so, what are they and people got
very excited about this idea, I suppose, would be one way of putting it without they're really being much evidence in favor of the hypothesis. So the idea I'm was that some of the sense mechanisms that that help us potentially help us sniff out the right kind of made up and meet with him. We will pay for it all. I'm I'm skipping over a lot of the details here, but that those Frances or those women's preference for those odors owner's signatures was gone or potentially reverse. If women were using harm contraception, so people got you know very concerned about this. There was a blog post that nearly made one of my female graduate students. Terror out. All of her hair called how the pill can ruin your life. Is it just a bit of a premature conclusion that you know the pill which is done so much for women in their professional success and just controlling the reproductive destinies
that this flimsy evidence would be regarded as suggesting women to go off the pill, for example? So we've done some studies subsequent to that and what we find is very measured evidence some evidence that women refer the body odors of men with dissimilar regulating genes MHC genes, but it really looks like it's not quite as much of a general phenomenon as was reported before, so we find it more in some ethnic groups than in others. Another implication of this hypothesis about women's choices being affected by their hormonal birth control status is that women who start dating their partners when they are on the pill and then subsequently go off of the pill that they should somehow be more. They should somehow feel less attracted to their partners, and in fact that is not what we found. If anything it. The effect went a little bit in the reverse, such though
women who started dating their partners when they were on the pill, had more MHC gene dissimilar partners. So that's uh. Story. That's unfolding Ann will continue to unfold. I think there are super fascinating questions there on women and that's going to factor in here too of so, there was a study that was published. Just re only in norwegian study looked at the types of pill formulations that way and we're using and various aspects of their sexuality, and what the study showed was that pill formulations that were a little bit more estrus like in the sense that they had higher levels of estrogen synthetic estrogens compared progestins that those women seem to be more attracted to partners and in particular
their own partners, if their partners were the more sexually attractive type, whereas other pill, formulations that are higher in progesterone relative to estrogen, and so that is the hormone profile that is associated with the latter. Half of the cycle in which this phenomenon of extended sexuality occurs that those women are really sort of their seeking sex with their part if their partners are the sort of good investing type and in particular, if they're interested in having their partners invest more in them in their relationship, so there might be some alarm bells that are ringing a little bit with respect to those relationships. The imp question is that you could imagine if these findings turn out to be robust and replicate, you could imagine a conversation that a woman would have with her doctor about the different pill formulations and whether they're more estrogen like or estrus, mimicking or more extended extended rowdy mimicking, I'm or whether she prefer
to go with a non hormonal contraceptive option altogether, but without the information about the different pill formulations and we're in it or infancy, of understanding that women are not going to be able to have that as a conversation with their doctors yeah, but you can imagine what a crazy conversation would be. So what would be the logic? Just take the the married case so like the pill formulation, make fidelity within that relationship less likely. I think that the first question you have to ask yourself is: what is a woman trying to achieve in her life, so she trying to achieve having a harmonious relationship with her spouse and creating the kind of environment in which they can raise children together in a harmonious way, then that might dictate one set of choices so looking at them at the more extensive, extended sexuality types of pills, whereas
a woman who's really just not wanting to miss out on these estrus phenomena. The estrous were set sexuality gets turned on, and it's very is more concerned with exciting sexuality and exciting sex life than alternatives that she might make a different decision. So I say we. The first question is Tom: what is her motivation and then I wouldn't presume that you know be there would be a one size fits all solution. That's one of the things that has caused some concern when I teach about this material when I write about it. When I give lectures about it, is you know our women missing out on so there's another increase on high fertility days of the cycle in how attractive women are found to be by others, and so women might want that little boost. On high fertility days of the cycle, or maybe they don't. Maybe they just want to go about their business and you know, keep trudging on well. This is
a fascinating area of exploration, and it's just it's great too get this tour. I realize we went through it at quite a clip, but there is much more information in your book, which is doubly fascinating. Thank you. Where can people find out why doing online is there? Is there a social media handle you want to put out there or yes at Hazelton? Ha s e l t o n on Twitter, so people can find me there. I you know the book is available. My understanding is, it's still fairly widely available, and so I hope people might be interested checking that out and print and sending me feedback to it's just so nice to get you know to hear from people that they read the book and that they appreciated it or sometimes that they've found out points to quibble with I'm I'm equally interested in hearing this things. Where do you mostly hear that on twitter or by email I get emails? I hear it on twitter sometimes it'll be at conferences. People pulled me aside,
but it's just really nice and a lot of times. It's people hype. I just had no idea they were out there and- and that's I suppose, that's mostly I'm twitter, but there are comments on the news, our articles that have been written about the book as well, where I'm seeing some of the response great. Well really, it's been a lot of fun Marty and I look forward to the next time. Yes, thank you really appreciate if you find, podcast valuable. There are many ways you can support it. You can review it on Itunes or Stitcher or wherever you happen to listen to it. You can share on social media with your friends, you can talk about it or discuss it on your own podcast or you can support it directly and you do this by subscribing through my website at SAM Harris, DOT, org and there find subscriber only content which includes my ass anything episodes. You also get access advance tickets to my live events as well as streaming video of some of these events, and you also get to hear the bonus questions from any of these interviews
Transcript generated on 2019-10-05.