The Healthland Podcast: Customizing Your Baby, Masturbation, and the Vaccine Wars

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Welcome back! This week we debate the ethics of a blood test that can reveal your baby’s sex at just seven weeks of pregnancy. Also: a big new study on how masturbation affects sexual development. Finally, science editor Jeffrey Kluger joins us to talk about how pediatricians are fighting back against parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Click the play button below to hear this podcast immediately, or subscribe for free on iTunes.

TIME senior writer John Cloud (@JohnAshleyCloud) leads the discussion this week with Healthland editor Sora Song (@sora_song) and assistant managing editor Susanna Schrobsdorff, who is sitting in for Belinda Luscombe (@youseless), who is still vacationing in the Australian winter.

Susanna discussed the new test that can determine the sex of a fetus at just seven weeks. (Our own Bonnie Rochman wrote about that test here.)

Sora talked about a new study about how often kids masturbate and how masturbation habits may affect sexual health. We made silly seventh-grade jokes, but you can read a serious piece about the study here.

Finally, TIME science editor Jeffrey Kluger joined us to discuss his TIME article (available in print) on the debate over vaccinations. Jeff talked about the growing number of pediatricians who are “firing” children whose parents have refused to have them vaccinated.

You can comment on any of these discussions — or on any of our Field Notes — by commenting below. See you next week!