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April 26, 1995

Sex and Gender Bias in Illustrations in Anatomy and Physical Diagnosis Texts

Author Affiliations

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cleveland, Ohio

JAMA. 1995;273(16):1255. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520400025024

To the Editor.  —Ms Mendelsohn and colleagues1 did a nice job of documenting, classifying, and statistically interpreting a large number of anatomical illustrations for this work. However, the authors have not demonstrated any scientific significance to their work, believing, I suspect, that the significance is self-evident. I am writing to say that it is not.The authors make several unsupported and probably unproveable statements in an attempt to justify this study, such as: "This underrepresentation of women in anatomy texts may prevent students from becoming as familiar with the female body as they are with the male body and may create the perception that the male body is 'normal' and the female body 'abnormal.'" The authors also have some rather grandiose ideas regarding the impact of their study as can be seen in their last sentence: "Overcoming text bias could contribute to improving women's health and help bring about

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