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April 26, 1995

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

Author Affiliations

Redding, Calif

JAMA. 1995;273(16):1256. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520400025027

To the Editor.  —The article by Ms Mendelsohn and colleagues1 is not a scholarly work and should not have a place in a journal of scientific medicine. It is an exercise in tendentiousness of a sort that passes for scholarship in women's studies departments in trendy leftist universities where faculty, like the authors of this article, also seem to be preoccupied with victimhood and dedicated to the unending search for grievances about which to become outraged.The authors advance the thesis that since male figures are represented more often than female figures in anatomical diagrams, the message is conveyed that women are unimportant and only masculine anatomy is the norm, which is patently preposterous. A medical student simple-minded enough to arrive at that conclusion does not belong in medicine.They further speculate that a preponderance of male illustrations in anatomy texts ultimately results in female repression and emotional injury.

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