Gender & Sexuality

When Do They Need a Fig Leaf?

Children like to strip down when the weather gets hot — but not everyone approves.

A University Recognizes a Third Gender: Neutral

Rocko Gieselman looked like any other undergraduate at the University of Vermont but perhaps a little prettier, with pale freckles dancing across porcelain skin and bright blue eyes amplifying a broad smile. Black bra straps poked out from a faded black tank top emblazoned with the logo of the indie band Rubblebucket; a silver necklace with an anchor dangled over ample décolletage.

A Gender-Neutral Glossary

SEX Classification as male or female or, rarely, intersex (not exclusively male or female). Sex is usually assigned based on external anatomy but is determined by characteristics like chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs.

Science and the Gender Gap

To get a sense of how women have progressed in science, take a quick tour of the physics department at the University of California, Berkeley. This is a storied place, the site of some of the most important discoveries in modern science--starting with Ernest Lawrence's invention of the cyclotron in 1931. A generation ago female faces were rare, and even today visitors walking through the first floor of LeConte Hall will see a full corridor of exhibits honoring the many distinguished physicists who made history here, virtually all of them white males.But climb up to the third floor and you'll see a different display.

Bad Girls Go Wild

When police arrived on the scene of a fatal stabbing last week in Brooklyn, N.Y., they were stunned by what they saw. The victim, an 11-year-old girl, lay crumpled on the floor, the front of her "Dora the Explorer" T shirt bloodied. The weapon, a steak knife, was in the kitchen sink. And the perpetrator, visibly upset and clinging to her mother, police say, was a little girl in a ponytail, only 9 years old.

Sex, Love and Nursing Homes

At 86, William Depippa is one hip dude. Sporting an earring and suspenders, he sparked the interest of Rosemary Gould, 62, a kindly grandmother who lived down the hall at the Barn Hill Care Center in Newton, N.J. In a six-month courtship--much of it spent on the porch talking bingo and gardening--they fell in love. "Nobody bothered," says Rosemary, who has diabetes and congestive heart failure, "to come see what we were doing."

Why Girls Will Be Girls

Last week a routine casemeeting turned into a teachable moment for California neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine and her eight medical residents. Briz-endine, who works at the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute in San Francisco, was listening to a resident run through a new patient's medical history. A successful, high-functioning working mother had come in complaining of short-term memory loss and persistent anxiety.

Out At The Prom

Allen Wolff readied himself for prom like millions of other teenage boys. On the afternoon of May 25, the 17-year-old from Syracuse, New York, showered and shaved, leaving intact a thin goatee, donned a rental tux and silver vest, then coated his normally spiky locks with a generous portion of hair gel.After escorting his date into the balloon-enhanced splendor of the Baker High School prom, he enjoyed a night that he later described as "absolutely amazing."

Thirty Years, Nine Lives

Like the feminist movement itself, Ms. magazine has spent the past 30 years struggling to survive in an often hostile environment. Next week, the magazine will face yet another test of its endurance. On Monday, its owner, Liberty Media for Women, is expected to announce that the non-profit Feminist Majority Foundation will take ownership of the magazine.

Mitchell Gold on the Bible and Gay Rights

For years, Mitchell Gold, a founder of the popular furniture company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, has been irritated by what he sees as fundamentalist Christians’ use of the Bible to justify withholding civil rights from gays. Scripture, Gold argues, was used in the past to defend slavery, prohibit interracial marriage and prevent women from voting.

Documentary: Priest and Predator

Deliver us from Evil," a gripping new documentary opening in theaters next week, profiles Father Oliver O'Grady, a convicted pedophile who spent 22 years molesting children in parishes throughout California, where he served as their priest. In the film, O'Grady describes his sexual attraction to boys and girls, and details how church authorities, including Roger Mahony, now head of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, moved him from parish to parish.

Choosing Virginity

Remaining a virgin until marriage is neither an easy nor a common choice in Latoya Huggins's part of Paterson, N.J. At least three of her friends became single mothers while they were still in high school, one by an older man who now wants nothing to do with the child.

Dating Sites Match Lovers Who Share Disease

Dating is awkward for Sandra Liz Aquino, 41. She's divorced and beautiful, but she's also HIV-positive. So last month, she signed up with Prescription4Love.com, a dating Web site for people with sexually transmitted diseases and other health conditions. The site, which launched last year, is becoming a go-to spot online where singletons who also happen to have diseases from hepatitis to herpes to irritable bowel syndrome can find love and companionship without having to worry about the big...

Shop Therapy for Guys

If we've learned anything from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," it's this: hetero men want to look good, too. The Fab Five can't be everywhere, but soon an entire category of magazines will exist to help men shop. Next month Conde Nast, home to GQ and Glamour, will unleash Cargo, a bimonthly guide to buying everything from socks to sports cars. In September, Fairchild, publisher of Women's Wear Daily and Details, will launch Vitals, a quarterly for shoppers who favor Prada over the Gap.