Carrie Pitzulo, the author of a new history of Playboy claims it has "a surprisingly strong record of support for women's rights and the modernisation of sexual and gender roles."
Hugh Hefner, pictured at a movie première in 1978 by Alan Light
Are Bunny Girls and Playmates of the Month really allies of the feminist cause? Laurie is joined by the author Carrie Pitzulo and the sociologist Angela McRobbie to discuss the secret and surprises of the bunny brand.
Also, why do young people trust popular entertainers more than politicians? Sanna Inthorn discusses her new research into celebrity politics.
This edition of Thinking Allowed is a co-production between the BBC and The Open University. You can hear it on BBC Radio 4 at 4pm on Wednesday 25th May, 2011 and again at a quarter past midnight on Monday morning, 30th May. Further broadcast details, podcast and listen again links are at bbc.co.uk.