Browsing All Posts filed under »biology«

Ain’t I a Woman?

March 19, 2013

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Well, no, actually– not even 30% of one. But you sure are making history. That’s my gut reaction after being asked by BBC Radio to participate in a broadcast reacting to a news story published on the BBC website today. Tagline: Rocky Horror Show writer Richard O’Brien thinks of himself as 70% male and 30% […]

Really Richard

February 17, 2013

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That’s the verdict of researchers at the University of Leicester who late last year, in a targeted research project, recovered skeletal remains they suspected could be those of Richard III, King of England from 1483 to 1485. I saved the link to the original story in the New York Times back in late September 2012, […]

Sex, Gender, and the Olympics

July 30, 2012

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I could almost feel sorry for the International Olympics Committee. Almost. But then I think about the lives that have been damaged by their insistence on sorting out who “really” is female, and who is not. Beginning in 1968 the International Olympics Committee required individuals seeking to compete in women’s events to prove “their femininity […]

“So I could be easeful”: Celebrate and Support New Scholars

May 4, 2012

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The Chronicle of Higher Education is a tabloid that few outside the academy will have heard of, and fewer insider the academy actually read than might be indicated by its ubiquity in campus administrative offices. It becomes relevant to many new or nearing completion PhDs because it contains employment ads. While the image conjured up […]

“The Materiality of Everyday Life”: Commentary

April 29, 2012

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Back from the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, this year held in Memphis. I had been invited to be one of two discussants for a session organized by Cynthia Robin, professor anthropology at Northwestern University, and Lisa Overholtzer, finishing her PhD dissertation there. For me, the pleasure of seeing these colleagues, and […]

Honoring Janus, looking backward and forward

January 2, 2012

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Happy New Year! Ever wonder why January 1 is observed as New Year’s Day in the Gregorian calendar? I went on a journey to find a rationale for this unusual choice; biased by years of studying ancient Mesoamerica, I found it odd that with the winter solstice so close, the year began at an apparently […]

Where the Girls Are, Roman Edition

November 12, 2011

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Once upon a time, the kinds of things we could know about ancient populations were highly generalized. Now, through the work of people like Kristina Killgrove, that is changing– and you can be part of making it happen. I couldn’t be more happy. A while ago (a loong while ago) I started writing a blog […]

Bone deep: sex and the skeleton

August 27, 2011

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I have been waiting to see how long it would take the mainstream press to make the obvious joke about news the New York Times recently reported,  that a protein called osteocalcin, which is produced by bone-forming cells called osteoblasts, binds to a specific receptor on cells of the testes. Male mice that were unable […]

Dead babies still are bad evidence for a Roman brothel

August 9, 2011

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Last year I asked the rhetorical question “Are dead babies good evidence for a Roman brothel?” My post rehearsed a number of reasons to be skeptical of the widely reported story about a Roman British site being described as a brothel. Centrally, I objected to the claim that Roman women had “little or no access […]

Body Histories: “Expressive muscles” and women’s fatigue

July 8, 2011

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“Any doctor who saw how even experienced female athletes collapsed and were lying on the ground after the race could not support this kind of athletic competition for women.” Norwegian historian Kerstin Bornholdt cites this statement, by a German doctor, H. Franzmeyer, reacting to what he saw as the unsuitable participation by women in the […]

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