Human Behavior

Men Behaving Badly: David Buss on the Ancient Origins of Sexual Harassment

IN MARCH, FACING MULTIPLE COMPLAINTS of sexual harassment, New York’s three-term Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, issued an apology. “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable,” he said. “I never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone pain.”

“One of the pioneers of evolutionary psychology, David Buss lays out a theory of sexual conflict between men and women involving a co-evolutionary arms race.”

From the Summer 2021 issue of California.

Death, Life, and The Right to Draw Your Own Line

DEBORA ENDED HER LIFE on a clear spring night in a Japanese hotel in San Francisco. She had sent her farewells to a few of us—close friends and her sister’s family—and left final instructions on the table beside the bed. Just after midnight, she drank two small bottles of the barbiturate, Nembutal, washed down the bitter taste with fruit juice, fastened a plastic bag over her head, and lay down on the bed to die. She knew it would be quick.

From the Summer 2021 issue of California.

The Myth of the Asian Woman

“Why and how is it,” writes Laura Hyun Yi Kang in her 2020 book Traffic in Asian Women, “so many Asian women continue to suffer in the same coeval space of so much publicity, knowledge production, and activism?”

We All Waste Food. One Researcher Wants to Know Why and How We Can Waste Less.

One July morning in 2016, in the predawn quiet of a Nashville suburb, Laura Moreno and her team of assistants looked more like investigators on a clandestine raid than scientists. With goggles, gloves, and coordinated efficiency, they removed garbage bags from every bin on the block, just barely beating the garbage truck to the spoils. They spent the next several weeks in an unventilated facility where they sorted and tallied everything from unpeeled bananas and sprouting russet potatoes to half-eaten take-out and sealed boxes of cereal.

A Social Media Celebrity Talks Leaving Twitter, Finding Joy

Friends have called me “Twitter famous,” but you’ve probably never heard of me. One night in 2015 I fell down an internet rabbit hole. It started with a list of violent acts against women and stopped  when I read a graphic description of violence against a woman who said the wrong name during sex. I sort of lost it. My thumbs couldn’t keep up with my brain as I tweeted on my phone.

From the Winter 2020 issue of California.

Transitioning with Grace: Coming Out in Academia

For Grace Lavery, coming out as a trans woman was nerve-racking at first. A professor in Berkeley’s Department of English, she was afraid of how her colleagues and students would react. As she explains, a certain amount of criticism comes with the territory of being in academia, adding that, “in my profession, there’s always some degree of anxiety.”

From the Fall 2020 issue of California.

Will Distance Learning Make Education Inequality Worse?

Ever since Bay Area school districts announced they would begin the fall 2020 school year with distance learning due to the still-increasing rate of COVID-19 infection across the region, parents have been scrambling to figure out how to manage their children’s schooling.

Coronavirus Has Changed the Game for Alumni Travelers

In January of 2014, a woman in her 80s, who sometimes used a cane to walk, stood on a platform hundreds of feet up in the canopy of a Costa Rican forest, getting ready to leap into the sky.

“Nobody thought it was a good idea,” says Darek DeFreece, who was president of the Cal Alumni Association at the time. CAA was leading the trip through its Cal Discoveries Travel program. “I went and talked to her, and she said, ‘Look, I’ve got one more chance to do this in my life, and I want to go.’”

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