The Waves

Why the Law Cares About Your Sex

In Paisley Currah’s new book Sex Is As Sex Does, he asks: why do we classify people based on their sex.


Episode Notes

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate homepage editor Sol Werthan sits down with trans rights activist and author, Paisley Currah. They discuss Paisley’s new book, Sex Is As Sex Does and discuss why “male” and “female” are used as a legal and social classifier. And why, even for cis people who identify with the gender binary, that might not be the right way to go.

In Slate Plus, Sol and Paisley talk about the politicization of trans kids.

Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Shannon Palus, Daisy Rosario and Alicia Montgomery.

Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to


About the Show

Each week a pair of writers and guests talk through one news story we can’t stop thinking about, and unpack what gender has to do with it.

All episodes


  • Sol Werthan is an audience engagement editor at Slate.