235 episodes

In this podcast, now in it's fourth year, therapists Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad take a deep dive into the psychological and cultural forces impacting the social changes around "gender." Through interviews with researchers, doctors, therapists, parents, detransitioners, and others, Sasha and Stella's podcast is a "must listen" for anyone trying to navigate the current gender landscape. With their sharp analytical minds and deep compassionate hearts, Stella and Sasha have also become known throughout many parent networks as lighthouses in the midst of some very stormy seas. Previous guests include Helen Joyce, Jesse Singal, Leor Sapir, Kathleen Stock, Jamie Reed, Peter Boghossian and more.

www.widerlenspod.com

Gender: A Wider Lens Sasha Ayad and Stella O'Malley

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 650 Ratings

In this podcast, now in it's fourth year, therapists Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad take a deep dive into the psychological and cultural forces impacting the social changes around "gender." Through interviews with researchers, doctors, therapists, parents, detransitioners, and others, Sasha and Stella's podcast is a "must listen" for anyone trying to navigate the current gender landscape. With their sharp analytical minds and deep compassionate hearts, Stella and Sasha have also become known throughout many parent networks as lighthouses in the midst of some very stormy seas. Previous guests include Helen Joyce, Jesse Singal, Leor Sapir, Kathleen Stock, Jamie Reed, Peter Boghossian and more.

www.widerlenspod.com

    Premium: Is It Asexuality, or Is It Anti-Depressants? with Freya India

    Premium: Is It Asexuality, or Is It Anti-Depressants? with Freya India

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.widerlenspod.com

    In this bonus episode for premium subscribers, Freya India highlights the complex interplay between mental health treatment, marketing psychology, medication side effects, and sexual identity.
    "If you strip back some of this, marketing and look at actually what it is…what they're saying is women can't handle life without constant intervention and solutions and medication and products. And it's so patronizing."
    SSRIs, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, are a class of antidepressant medications commonly used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, and certain other mental health conditions. Reported side-effects of many SSRI’s and antidepressants include decreased libido and difficulty achieving orgasm. As western cultures observe a trending rise in asexuality among young women as well as a rapid increase in the widespread use SSRIs and other antidepressants for depression and anxiety, could there be link between post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) and the identification of some individuals as asexual? As these kinds of drugs are being so regularly prescribed, are patients being adequately warned about the potential for long-term sexual side-effects?
    Freya India wrote about this in her article, Are You Asexual Or On Antidepressants?: You deserve to know if your sexual identity is a side-effect.
    And are the mental health companies targeting women with patronizing marketing tactics implying that women need pharmaceutically induced wellness?

    • 3 min
    164 - Gen Z and the Agony of a Screen-based Life with Freya India

    164 - Gen Z and the Agony of a Screen-based Life with Freya India

    Stella and Sasha welcome writer and columnist Freya India to the show this week, offering deep insights about the impact of screens and technology on young people and practical advice for balanced living in the digital age. They explore Gen Z's relationship with Instagram and dating apps, the fixation on mental illness and identity, and the misleading notion that you can buy your authentic self.
    For links and resources relevant to this episode, access the full show notes at https://www.widerlenspod.com/p/episode-164  
    Buy Our Book – When Kids Say They’re Trans: A Guide for Thoughtful Parents at https://whenkidssaytheyretrans.com/  
    Join Our Listener Community to Access Exclusive Content at https://www.widerlenspod.com/  
    Support the Show at https://www.widerlenspod.com/p/support-the-show  
    Join the conversation on YouTube at www.youtube.com/@widerlenspod 
    For more information about Sasha’s & Stella’s parent coaching membership groups, visit:
    Sasha Ayad: https://sashaayad.com/parenting-coaching   
    Stella O’Malley: http://www.stellaomalley.com/parent-coaching 
    To learn more about our sponsors, visit:
    Therapy First at https://www.therapyfirst.org/ 
    Genspect at https://genspect.org/ 

    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.widerlenspod.com/subscribe 



    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.widerlenspod.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Premium: "Men Should Not Be Induced to Produce Something from Their Nipples, That Some People Want to Call Milk"

    Premium: "Men Should Not Be Induced to Produce Something from Their Nipples, That Some People Want to Call Milk"

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.widerlenspod.com

    “Chestfeeding”. A controversial term recently adopted from inside the critical social justice movement as inclusive language for discussing breastfeeding. But is it biologically plausible for men to induce lactation? Is it even milk? Is it safe? Natural mammalian lactation possesses evolutionary significance beyond basic sustenance and often provides broader biological functions in human development.
    In this bonus episode for premium subscribers, Heather Heying offers up an evolutionary perspective on breastfeeding and the value of breast milk, discussing the broader implications and functions of breast milk beyond just nutrition. The conversation also explores the parenting practices observed in hunter-gatherer cultures in comparison to the trend of over-parenting in more modern American households.

    • 6 min
    163 - Trans Ideology is a Restriction of Freedom, Not an Expansion of It, with Heather Heying

    163 - Trans Ideology is a Restriction of Freedom, Not an Expansion of It, with Heather Heying

    Evolutionary biology, gender dynamics, societal norms, chemicals, technology…there is no denying the intricate interplay between biological, psychological, technological and cultural factors in shaping human behavior and identity. Sasha and Stella welcome guest, Heather Heying to the show for a grounding conversation exploring the complexity of human behavior, the inevitability of making mistakes, the anxieties and fears prevalent among the younger generation, and the importance of understanding risk thresholds in navigating life's uncertainties.
    For links and resources relevant to this episode, access the full show notes at https://www.widerlenspod.com/p/episode-163
    Buy Our Book – When Kids Say They’re Trans: A Guide for Thoughtful Parents at https://whenkidssaytheyretrans.com/ 
    Join Our Listener Community to Access Exclusive Content at https://www.widerlenspod.com/ 
    Support the Show at https://www.widerlenspod.com/p/support-the-show 
    Join the conversation on YouTube at www.youtube.com/@widerlenspod
    For more information about Sasha’s & Stella’s parent coaching membership groups, visit:
    Sasha Ayad: https://sashaayad.com/parenting-coaching  
    Stella O’Malley: http://www.stellaomalley.com/parent-coaching
    To learn more about our sponsors, visit:
    Therapy First at https://www.therapyfirst.org/ (formerly GETA)
    Genspect at https://genspect.org/


    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.widerlenspod.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Premium: Are Teens Replacing Friends with Therapists?

    Premium: Are Teens Replacing Friends with Therapists?

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.widerlenspod.com

    In the past decade, it seems a cultural shift toward individualism has created a reluctance among friend groups to share personal struggles, often reserving them for therapy instead. It is important to acknowledge that there exists a delicate paradox in promoting the value of friendships as a source of support while also recognizing that not all issues can be effectively managed solely through peer relationships and do in fact require professional intervention. However, the current climate tends to magnify every subtle emotional fluctuation, hindering resilience and stability in young people. And lo and behold, there is a growing body of reports suggesting that the hyper-focus on mental health may inadvertently contribute to distress and loneliness rather than alleviating it.
    All of us parents, we're kind of going, ‘I think I should say, get a grip and go back and do your homework’. But the world is telling me I should work with this. And we end up indulging it. And so these kids are constantly fed that this is appropriate. And the kid ends up in a very self-indulgent place around it. And they're not the better for it. They're more brittle. They're they're less strong. They're less resilient. And they could have done with some humor and some ‘you'll be okay, you can figure this out’.
    It's important to recognize that even difficult emotions serve a purpose and should be respected. Understanding the normal fluctuations in emotional states and appreciating the potential functions of a wide range of emotional experiences is key. True wellness isn't solely about the absence of distress but involves achieving a balanced approach to coping and self-regulation amidst the highs, the lows and everywhere in between. This entails taking responsibility for one's own well-being and exploring various management strategies beyond therapy alone.
    In this bonus episode for premium subscribers, Sasha and Stella critique the culture of over-reliance on therapy and offer alternative approaches for parents, such as encouraging self-reliance and exploring various resources beyond traditional therapy. They highlight the need for parents to take a lighter touch and consider broader solutions for their children's well-being.
    Let's take off the gender glasses altogether. And let's think much broader about the needs of this young person.
    Watch the full length episode exploring the over-treatment of young people here:
    To listen to our premium content in your favorite podcast app click here for Substack instructions on setting up a private feed.

    • 3 min
    162 - The Over-treatment of Young People

    162 - The Over-treatment of Young People

    This episode covers a lot of ground, emphasizing the complexities of therapy, the necessity for critical examination of conventional wisdom, and the importance of nurturing authentic relationships both inside the family and social circles (but more specifically, outside of the clinical setting).
    For links and resources relevant to this episode, access the full show notes at  https://www.widerlenspod.com/p/episode-162 

    Buy Our Book – When Kids Say They’re Trans: A Guide for Thoughtful Parents at https://whenkidssaytheyretrans.com/ 
    Join Our Listener Community to Access Exclusive Content at https://www.widerlenspod.com/ 
    Support the Show at https://www.widerlenspod.com/p/support-the-show 
    Join the conversation on YouTube at www.youtube.com/@widerlenspod
    For more information about Sasha’s & Stella’s parent coaching membership groups, visit:
    Sasha Ayad: https://sashaayad.com/parenting-coaching  
    Stella O’Malley: http://www.stellaomalley.com/parent-coaching

    To learn more about our sponsors, visit:
    Therapy First at https://www.therapyfirst.org/ (formerly GETA)
    Genspect at https://genspect.org/


    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.widerlenspod.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
650 Ratings

650 Ratings

loverofallspecimens ,

Thank you

I don’t feel so alone and I wish I found you earlier. I am reminded by your podcasts of finding my authoritative and authentic voice in parenting my young adult gender non conforming daughter from a distance. I love her so much.

WritingCandidly ,

An Invaluable Resource on Gender - A True Public Good

These two psychotherapists have taken their own questions - which are really all of our questions - and taken them up in this podcast, respectfully and boldly. The scientists, academics, and other knowledgeable and notable guests they have on the show are more informative and, taken as a collection, more comprehensive than anything in the mainstream media. They always look at the many vantage points of a topic - not surprising because that is what professional therapists *do*. When you do good work, you become a leader. These two women are now *the* great leaders in the dialogue on [western] gender concepts.

:::::::::…..::::::::: ,

Please return to making all content free and accessible

I’ve appreciated the fairly-balanced nature of this podcast, even if the hosts at times seem overly hetero-/upper-middle-class in their perspectives. What’s most disappointing though is the recent turn toward monetizing content. If you’re truly trying to help people understand the importance of these issues, why on earth hide any content behind a paywall? Not keeping this a free, educational resource for ALL who need it, not just for people who can afford it, makes me question the motives of those involved.

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