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Dr. Kathryn Clancy is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is co-director of the Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology with Dr. Rebecca Stumpf. Dr. Clancy’s work is focused on understanding how lifestyle factors like exercise, diet and stress impact ovarian and uterine functioning.

Dr. Clancy is also involved in the science writing and outreach community. She blogs at Context and Variation on the Scientific American Blog Network, where she shares the latest research on women’s health and human behavior, science education, and issues for women in science. Dr. Clancy has been invited to speak at universities across the country about academic science blogging, issues for women in science, and her own research. You can follow her on Twitter as @KateClancy, on her Facebook page, or email her with questions. Dr. Clancy welcomes questions she can address on her blog as well as public speaking queries.


  1. Hello Dr. Clancy,
    I read the SA article with interest. I especially like the phrase” The story depends on who performs it. and who tells it”. I appreciate the story you tell about perceptions of menstruation thru history.
    The most food-fot-thought book that I ever read on menstruation is Judy Grahn’s “Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation shaped Civilization”. Not scientific…i.e., not observable, not
    testable…but certainly thought-provoking. If you haven’t read it…I recommend it!
    Georgeann Johnson

  2. Caroline Evarts says:

    Dear Kate,

    Just read your post on rape and that whole debacle. Thanks for that – we need people like you speaking up. Thank you very, very much. Please let my gratitude pull you past any negativity that may come your way.

    Which brings me to why I wanted to contact you. Some of things you said, about how you feel powerless despite many of the things you do, disturbed me. You did not get specific, which fit well with what you were writing, but I wanted to give you some information you may not have.

    I have a compulsion to inform anyone who will listen that there is a wonderful program for teaching quick, easy and EFFECTIVE, true self defense to women. It is taught by women for women and in a 20 hour Basics Class you are given the tools to defend yourself against a single un-armed attacker. I can go on and on, but I will only add that this course changed my life, and I have since watched it change many, many other lives. I know women who are alive today because of this course. (And children as well). It is amazing. I learned many other things in the class too, that help me in daily life – but I will let the literature tell you about that. (It’s all true!)

    Please check out IMPACT Personal Safety. The Los Angeles chapter is one I know well & personally recommend, but there are chapters around the country. I am affiliated with the Santa Fe Chapter and we are non-profit. Lisa, who runs the on in LA does it out of a sense of mission. She is amazing, I am am grateful I was able to meet her.

    Please do check it out. I think you will be glad to know about this program. If you want, I’m happy to talk about it, as a student, as an assistant, as a former BOD, and as a mother.

    Thank you and I hope you will look into IMPACT.


  3. megan says:

    I love your blog… do you have blogs that you follow?

  4. Judy Baron says:

    I enjoy your writing. Never thought I could be interested in menstruation; these were not areas of interest for me.Wonder if oxytocin levels play a role in aging.
    Am just a retired master level biologist and radiographer
    Judy B

  5. Margaret Gibbs says:

    Dr. Clancy,
    Great response in SA to “studies” claiming men are responsible for menopause in women. Following that same line of thinking, what about the most obvious reason for menopause: women self-selected for menopause so they could have a life beyond childbearing? The added benefit is that they can have a romp with men of any age without worrying about pregnancy!

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