The Mighty Phallus Has Fallen: Dr. Emily Willingham Puts Male Genitalia In Its Proper Place

As a culture, we are obsessed with penises. Our society often associates the phallus with social power and worth. And the pervasive focus on the phallus has a greater and potentially more negative impact on a plethora of issues, such as the self worth of women and men and gender equality, than many realize.

Today I am talking to an expert on all things penis.

Emily Willingham is the author of Phallacy: Life Lessons From the Animal Penis. Her writing has also been published in the New York Times, Scientific American, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and many others. She has a PhD in biological sciences and a BA in English literature, both from The University of Texas at Austin.

In Phallacy, Emily Willingham explores animal genitalia while also delving into the social and cultural significance of penises as symbols of power and identity. She challenges the notion that the penis makes the man and the fallacy sold to many of us is that the penis signals dominance and power.

In short: Emily Willingham thinks it’s time to put the human penis into perspective … for the sake of all of humanity.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

The roots of our culture’s unhealthy obsession with penises…02:25

How the human penis measures up to the animal kingdom…08:10

Why men are deathly afraid of losing their manhood…12:10

Why penises have been historically portrayed as more fascinating than vaginas…14:10

What the experts get wrong about female sexual desire…20:35

  • The narrative imposed on women is completely contradictory to how women are biologically wired
  • Book: The Pleasure Gap by Catherine Roland

How differing narratives on human sexuality inform public policy…21:25

  • Sexual politics and building gender roles around penises
  • Socioculturally and psychologically, we need an intentional language shift

How the social discussion around transgender roles contradict biology…23:35

  • Biology does not support binary gender roles

How the mighty phallus has fallen…25:00

  • Why we should focus on the brain, not the penis

How to shift the assumptions that a penis equals masculinity…27:40

How the discussion of size is detrimental to self-worth…30:45

Dr. Emily talks about her new book…32:55

  • Being published later this year: The Tailored Brain
  • Micro-dosing, Ketamine, pets and companionship
  • Uplifting others allows us to uplift ourselves as well

Emily’s practices…35:15


Dr. Emily Willingham’s website