San Diego during the 1930s and the Canal Zone in Panama

A Glimpse at Women’s Periods in the Roaring Twenties 

A 1927 study by famed efficiency expert Lillian Moller Gilbreth revealed how American women dealt with menstruation -- and how they wished they could.
Brothel by Joachim Beuckelaer, 1562

Regulating Sex Work in Medieval Europe

When sex work was considered a "necessary evil," legal brothels provided certain protections for the women who worked there.
A couple sitting on a bench and talking

How Does Couples Therapy Work?

Since the 1980s, more and more couples have sought therapy. Why is it so helpful to have that third person in the room?
Two children playing in the snow

The Snow Day as Modern Festival

An unexpected day off work and school can take on the trappings of a religious ritual.
From a 1935 ad for Cutex nail polish and lipstick

Cutex Hooked Americans on Manicures

How a company that started off selling cuticle remover convinced American woman to paint their nails.
A couple on a couch ignoring each other for their phones

Don’t Fear the Sex Recession

We shouldn't see changes in Americans’ sex lives as a single phenomenon with an overarching cause.
A Pedoscope made by the Pedoscope Company

When Shoes Were Fit with X-Rays

Fluoroscopes were used in shoe stores from the mid-1920s to 1950s in North America and Europe -- even though the radiation risks of x-rays were well-known.
A pile of pink and blue sponges

Finding the Value of Housework

Can housework be anything other than drudgery? Maybe part of the problem is that we consistently devalue unpaid work.
Barbie dolls

Should We Really Stress Out about What Kids Play With?

Today's parents may feel concerned about their kids' obsession with electronic games, but adults have always been suspicious of new kinds of playthings.
A hand holding a sandwich

Why Do Americans Eat Three Meals a Day?

A Curious Reader asks: What’s the origin of the familiar breakfast-lunch-dinner triad?