Taboo Science

Ashley Hamer

Taboo Science is a podcast that answers the questions you're not allowed to ask. It's hosted by Ashley Hamer, a science writer and podcaster. Every episode dives into a different societal taboo to understand the science that makes it tick, the reasons we don't talk about it, and the impact that has on society at large. Why don't we eat people? Why are my swear words different than my parents'? And what makes porn, porn? It's science class if science class had one of those anonymous question boxes. It's Taboo Science.

Introducing: Taboo Science
Trailer 2 min 37 sec

All Episodes

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 Dr. Jeanne Bovet, senior lecturer at Northumbria University in Newcastle. https://www.jeannebovet.com/   See citations and a transcript for this episode: https://www.tabooscience.show/s2e12-butts/   Subscribe to the newsletter: https://www.tabooscience.show/newsletter/     Follow Taboo Science: https://twitter.com/tabooscience   https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/     Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Sep 23

1 hr 37 min

It affects 1 billion people worldwide, so why is disability considered a niche issue? How can we make life easier for people with disabilities? And what does any of this have to do with As Seen on TV products? Featuring Emily Ladau, disability rights activist and author of the new book, “Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally.” Pick it up here: https://amzn.to/3heTUKF   See citations and a transcript for this episode: https://www.tabooscience.show/s2e11-disability/   Subscribe to the newsletter: https://www.tabooscience.show/newsletter/     Follow Taboo Science: https://twitter.com/tabooscience   https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/     Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Sep 9

31 min 9 sec

What is depression, really? Do antidepressants actually work? And how can ketamine and psilocybin possibly help?   Featuring Gerard Sanacora, director of the Yale Depression Research Program and Co-director of the Yale Interventional Psychiatry Service.   See citations for this episode: https://www.tabooscience.show/s2e10-depression/   Subscribe to the BRAND NEW newsletter! https://www.tabooscience.show/newsletter/   Follow Taboo Science: https://twitter.com/tabooscience https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/   Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Aug 26

29 min 16 sec

Why do we remove our body hair? Why do humans have less hair than our primate cousins? And why was Darwin obsessed with beards?   Featuring Rebecca Herzig, author of "Plucked: A History of Hair Removal." Pick it up here: https://amzn.to/3Csj819   See citations for this episode: https://www.tabooscience.show/s2e9-body-hair/   Subscribe to the BRAND NEW newsletter! https://www.tabooscience.show/newsletter/   Follow Taboo Science: https://twitter.com/tabooscience https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/   Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Aug 12

34 min 49 sec

They're complex, mysterious, and easy to blame for everything from unexplained symptoms to seemingly superhuman abilities. Find out how we discovered hormones, what they do inside of us, and who's really controlling who.   Featuring Randi Hutter Epstein author of "Aroused, the History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything." Pick it up here: https://amzn.to/3f93P3l    See citations for this episode: https://www.tabooscience.show/s2e8-hormones/    Follow Taboo Science: https://twitter.com/tabooscience https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/   Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Jul 29

39 min 47 sec

Are kids really learning critical race theory in class? What IS critical race theory, anyway? And why is it so uncomfortable to talk about race? Featuring Janel George, associate professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and founding director of the Racial Equity in Education Policy Clinic.   Click here to see citations for this episode!   Follow Taboo Science on Twitter and Instagram. Visit tabooscience.show for more. Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Jul 15

37 min 45 sec

Why is it impolite to talk about money? Why are many of us uncomfortable with our own money habits? And how do we change things? Featuring Ted Klontz, Ph.D., director of the Financial Psychology Institute and associate professor of Practice and Financial Psychology at Creighton University.   See citations for this episode: https://www.tabooscience.show/s2e6-money/   Follow Taboo Science: https://twitter.com/tabooscience https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/ Visit tabooscience.show for more. Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Jul 1

35 min 24 sec

Why don't we have head transplants? Why would someone need one? And how much of you is in your head — and how much is everywhere else? Featuring Dr. Brandy Schillace, author of the book “Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher: A Monkey's Head, the Pope's Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul.” Pick it up here: https://amzn.to/2TniY91   See citations for this episode: https://www.tabooscience.show/s2e5-head-transplants/   Follow Taboo Science: https://twitter.com/tabooscience https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/ Visit tabooscience.show for more. Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Jun 17

39 min 48 sec

How long have STIs been around? Why don't we have anything higher-tech than the condom? And when did we stop saying "STD," anyway? Featuring Ina Park, MD, associate professor at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine and author of the book "Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in the Science, History, and Surprising Secrets of STDs." Pick it up here: https://amzn.to/3uGrs8h   See citations for this episode: https://www.tabooscience.show/s2e4-stis/   Follow Taboo Science: https://twitter.com/tabooscience https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/ Visit tabooscience.show for more. Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Jun 3

38 min 41 sec

Snot and pee and earwax, oh my! Why are we so full of gross substances? What do our fluids do for us? And is there really a chemical to catch people peeing in the pool? Featuring Erika Engelhaupt, a science writer and editor and author of the new book “Gory Details: Adventures from the Dark Side of Science." Find it here: https://amzn.to/3eUFxdw   See citations for this episode: https://www.tabooscience.show/s2e3-bodilyfluilds   Follow Taboo Science: https://twitter.com/tabooscience https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/ Visit tabooscience.show for more. Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

May 20

36 min 17 sec

Why do we tease each other about getting old? Why don't you see 70-year-olds partying with 20-year-olds? What age is "old," anyway? Featuring Dr. Hannah Swift, a senior lecturer in Social and Organizational Psychology at the University of Kent in the UK. See citations for this episode: https://www.tabooscience.show/s2e2-ageism/   Follow Taboo Science: https://twitter.com/tabooscience https://www.facebook.com/tabooscience https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/ Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

May 6

39 min 27 sec

Why do we treat some animals as food and others as family? Is animal agriculture really as bad as vegans say it is? And if I want to change things, is veganism my only option? Featuring Melanie Joy, social psychologist, founding president of the NGO Beyond Carnism, and author of "Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows." Click here to see citations for this episode! Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more. Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.  

Apr 22

33 min

What was the original purpose of marriage? What's up with all those wedding traditions? And what makes a marriage last? Featuring Stephanie Coontz, researcher and author of Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage.   Click here to see citations for this episode!   Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Mar 25

40 min

How will most of us die? How do our expectations of death go wrong? How can we all have a good death? Featuring Jennie Dear, author of “What Does It Feel Like to Die?: Inspiring New Insights into the Experience of Dying."   Click here to see citations for this episode!   Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Mar 11

38 min 9 sec

Why do we keep early pregnancy a secret? How long have we been giving birth in hospitals? And why is childbirth so painful? Today's guest is Tina Cassidy, author of the book “Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born.”   Click here to see citations for this episode!   Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Feb 25

35 min 3 sec

Is honesty really the best policy? What's the difference between a good lie and a bad lie? And how much do we lie to ourselves?   Today's guest is Judi Ketteler, author of the book “Would I Lie to You?: The Amazing Power of Being Honest in a World That Lies.” You can download a preview of the book right here.   Click here to see citations for this episode!   Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Feb 11

33 min 40 sec

Where does necrophilia come from? What makes people desecrate corpses? And do you have to be a serial killer to have a death fetish? Today's guests are Dr. Victoria Hartmann, a clinical psychology researcher and executive director of the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas, and neuroscientist and science communicator Dr. Jens Foell.   Click here to see citations for this episode!   Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

E

Jan 28

31 min 43 sec

It's the #1 cause of breakup and divorce. What if we're approaching infidelity all wrong? Today's guest is Dr. Lucia O'Sullivan, a social psychologist and professor in the department of psychology at the University of New Brunswick in Canada.   Click here to see citations for this episode!   Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Jan 14

38 min 14 sec

Why do we know so little about female anatomy? Why are so many of women's reproductive organs named after dudes? And hold up, the clitoris looks like THAT?! Today's guest is Rachel E. Gross, an award-winning science journalist who's writing a book about the female reproductive system.   Click here to see citations for this episode!   You can follow and review Taboo Science on Podchaser right here.   Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Dec 2020

39 min 6 sec

Why are we so grossed out by acne? What is it that makes popping pimples so satisfying? And why doesn't acne go away after adolescence? Today's guest is Dr. Alexa Shipman, a consultant dermatologist for the NHS in the United Kingdom.   Click here to see citations for this episode!   Taboo Science made Discover Pods' list of the Best Podcasts of 2020! Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Dec 2020

27 min 19 sec

What do we get wrong about weight? Where did BMI even come from? And is there really an obesity "epidemic"? Today's guest is Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Medical Director of Ottawa's Bariatric Medical Institute who's known as Canada's most outspoken obesity expert. He's also the author of "The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work."   Click here to see citations for this episode!   Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.  

Dec 2020

40 min

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."   Bill Schutt is also the author of the nonfiction book "Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures" and the adventure novel "Hells Gate" (among many others).   Click here to see citations for this episode!   Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more.   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Nov 2020

33 min 54 sec

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." Click here to see citations for this episode! Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show. Visit tabooscience.show for more. Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

Nov 2020

30 min 12 sec

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. Click here to see citations for this episode! Follow Taboo Science on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show Visit tabooscience.show for more Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music. Quotations read by Jonathan Pritchard of the podcast Mind Reader University.  

Oct 2020

31 min 27 sec

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." Click here to see citations for this episode! Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts Follow and review on Podchaser Suggest a taboo topic via ashley@tabooscience.show Visit tabooscience.show for more   Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.  

Oct 2020

22 min 52 sec

Taboo Science is a podcast that answers the questions you're not allowed to ask. It's hosted by Ashley Hamer, a science writer and podcaster. Every episode dives into a different societal taboo to understand the science that makes it tick, the reasons we don't talk about it, and the impact that has on society at large. Why don't we eat people? Why are my swear words different than my parents'? And what makes porn, porn? It's science class if science class had one of those anonymous question boxes. It's Taboo Science. First episode coming soon.  More information at https://www.tabooscience.show/ Follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Sep 2020

2 min 37 sec