Northern California Science Writers Association

Beyond the genital handshake: A conversation about the vagina and penis by authors Jen Gunter & Emily Willingham

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Zoom event (free)


Registration is closed

Beyond the genital handshake

A conversation about the vagina and penis by authors Jen Gunter & Emily Willingham

An ob-gyn and a Ph.D. biologist—and both also science writers—will take us beyond high school sex education class to reveal the wonders of and dispel the myths surrounding our favorite sex organs: the vagina and the penis.

Sometimes called Twitter’s resident gynecologist, Jen Gunter is a New York Times contributor and author of The Vagina Bible, a “comprehensive, pseudoscience-bashing discussion of all things vaginal and vulvar,” according to Publishers Weekly. “Gunter is arming readers with the science they need to fearlessly and unapologetically take charge of their bodies,” said a reviewer for the Toronto Star. Her new book, “The Menopause Manifesto” will be published May 25, 2021, and dismantles patriarchal views of menopause and provides women with the facts they need to take charge of their health and thrive through their menopause continuum.

Emily Willingham, a developmental biologist and journalist, approaches the penis from an evolutionary and sociocultural perspective in Phallacy: Life Lessons from the Animal Penis, published in 2020. While half the population sees the penis as a sign of dominance and power, Willingham disabuses us of that notion, wryly showing how nature has shaped the penis in many unusual ways to fit animal mating rituals. Amid all the aweexploding sperm packages, prehensile penises, pheromone warWillingham makes a big pointentertainingly, smartly, and expertly, according to Wired. Ultimately, she makes the case that the human penis is an implement for intimacy, not intimidation.”

We anticipate that their perspectives on these complementary organs will lead to a lively discussion, followed by many questions from the audience.

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