The Healthland Podcast: The Casey Craze, Autism and Tween TV

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This week we debate why America has gone precisely nuts over the Casey Anthony verdict. Also, we talk about new findings on the causes of autism. And we try to figure out how TV shapes tween values. Click the play button to listen.

Belinda Luscombe, editor-at-large of TIME, hosts this week’s podcast. Healthland editor Sora Song and TIME senior writer John Cloud join the conversation.

Here are some links to the topics we discuss:

Alice Park wrote two excellent stories this week (here and here) on how environmental factors, like having multiple births or using antidepressants during pregnancy, may contribute to autism risk even more than genes.

John defended the Casey Anthony verdict and criticized ridiculous coverage in USA Today.

Belinda wrote about a new UCLA study on how the values expressed in TV shows popular with kids ages 9 to 12 have changed.

And in our Field Notes segment, Sora talked about Maia Szalavitz’s provocative story on penis length and finger size. Belinda discussed Meredith Melnick’s piece on some counterintuitive findings from the Kinsey Institute: that men need cuddling while women want sex for long-term marital happiness.