Producer Alex Blumberg explains that he wanted to do this show because of his conflicted relationship with his own testosterone. He tells host Ira Glass that the reasons go back to a girl in his eighth-grade homeroom and the 1970s seminal feminist novel The Women's Room. We also hear from a man who stopped producing testosterone due to a medical treatment and found that his entire personality was altered.
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The interview with a man who lost his testosterone continues. He explains that life without testosterone is life without desire—desire for everything: food, conversation, even TV.
An interview with a transgender man, who started life as female and began taking testosterone injections several years ago. He explains how testosterone changed his views on nature vs. nurture for good.
The men and women on staff at This American Life decide to get their testosterone levels tested, to see who has the most and least, and to see if personality traits actually do match up with hormone levels. It turns out to be an exercise that in retrospect, we might not recommend to other close-knit groups of friends or co-workers.
What if a new Palestinian leader came on the scene who was neither part of the corrupt autocracy of the Palestinian Authority, nor part of fundamentalist, suicide-bombing Hamas? Nancy Updike follows around possible future Palestinian political candidate Mustafa Barghouti, a doctor who's well known for setting up clinics.
Host Ira Glass goes to a fake wedding at a home for Alzheimer's patients in Davenport, Iowa. Two high school kids who've never even kissed are the bride and groom.
The story from the prologue continues, with the groom who refused to be a groom, and the one person who'll probably remember the fake wedding, namely, the fake bride.
In any family, giving other people what they want becomes fantastically complicated, often because people tend to give others the things they'd like themselves. Curtis Sittenfeld explains how the drama plays out in her family, when it comes to her father's weight.
Alix Spiegel reports on the "Recovered Memory" movement. In the early 1990s people across America turned to experts in psychology for help...and many people were told that the source of their problems could be traced to traumatic events they could not even remember, to memories that had to be recovered through special techniques.
Host Ira Glass explains that when you name names, when you whistleblow, when you tell on someone, you often do it anonymously. We hear from one anonymous squealer, who was done wrong by her doctor—he messed up a procedure and then refused to fix it.
We hear from a mother and her son. By age seven, he'd had heart failure and been diagnosed as bipolar.
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) declared that homosexuality was not a disease simply by changing the 81-word definition of sexual deviance in its own reference manual. It was a change that attracted a lot of attention at the time, but the story of what led up to that change is one that we hear today, from reporter Alix Spiegel.
Alix Spiegel's story continues, with a man dressed in a Nixon mask called Dr. Anonymous, and a pivotal encounter in a Hawaiian bar.