Scenes from ‘Grease 2’ that may have garnered laughs in the 1980s are cringe-worthy by today’s standards. Paramount Pictures

Film

Brett Kavanaugh goes to the movies

'Grease 2' – which, according to Kavanaugh's calendar, he saw on June 16, 1982 – is an example of the brand of entitled masculinity that appeared in the era's teen flicks.
Some believe the color pink can calm unruly inmates. Others say it’s a form of humiliation. Mohd KhairilX/Shutterstock.com

Design

Can pink really pacify?

Famously feminized by the Nazis – and later used in prison cells to limit aggression in inmates – the color pink toes a shaky line between social psychology and gender stereotyping.
Do we have any reason to believe that each new generation of white people will be more open-minded and tolerant than previous ones? Elvira Koneva

Race

Are today’s white kids less racist than their grandparents?

Over the course of two years, a sociologist studied a group of affluent, white kids to see how they made sense of sensitive racial issues like privilege, unequal opportunity and police violence.
Nervous about how southern television viewers would react, NBC executives closely monitored the filming of the kiss between Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner. U.S. Air Force

Television

TV’s first interracial kiss launched a lifelong career in activism

The career arc of Nichelle Nichols – the first black woman to have a continuing co-starring role on TV – shows how diverse casting can have as much of an impact off the screen as it does on it.
Self-knowledge rarely comes packaged in a single coherent narrative. Yet this is the expectation we have of the children in our lives. Billion Photos

Gender

For the parents of gender-nonconforming kids, a new approach to care

The signs might be there. But parents and clinicians will still wonder if there's some foolproof way to determine whether their children are actually trans. There isn't one – and that's okay.
The lies most people tell on dating apps do serve a purpose. Dado Photos

Relationships

The lies we tell on dating apps to find love

Researchers analyzed troves of messages sent between matches and found that the fibs people tell are usually rational ones that serve a purpose.
After the Manafort and Cohen news dropped, many wondered how Trump would respond. By the following morning, a messaging strategy seemed to coalesce. Nick Lehr/The Conversation via Reuters and AP Photo

Language

Michael Cohen’s guilty plea? ‘Nothing to see here’

Trump's surrogates have deployed tried and true rhetorical techniques to defend the president.
SAT reading scores in 2016 were the lowest they’ve ever been. Aha-Soft/Shutterstock.com

Lifestyle

Why it matters that teens are reading less

In 1980, 60 percent of 12th graders said they read a book, newspaper or magazine every day for pleasure. By 2016, only 16 percent did.
Aretha Franklin performs at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in 1989. AP Photo/Mario Suriani

Music

How Aretha Franklin found her voice

When record executives tried to mold Franklin's sound to their liking, her career sputtered. Then legendary producer Jerry Wexler came along. His approach? Stay out of her way.

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