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Babes and boobs? Analysis of JAMA cover artCommentary: An inconclusive study

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7225.1603 (Published 18 December 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1603

Abstract

Objective: To determine the representation of the sexes in JAMA cover art.

Design: Review of 50 consecutive issues.

Setting: JAMA, March 1997-March 1998.

Main outcome measures: Numbers and nature of covers portraying men and women.

Results: Of the 50 covers, 34 depicted humans. 15 depicted women, 13 men, and 6 were of mixed or indeterminate sex 11 pictures of women included a child and five included nudity One cover showed a man with a child (not as a father) and none depicted nudity. Men were depicted exclusively in authoritative roles.

Conclusions: Much of the cover art gives strong messages about sexual stereotypes that are inappropriate in modern society. JAMA should consider reviewing its policy for choosing cover art.

    Babes and boobs? Analysis of JAMA cover art

    1. Jocalyn P Clark (j.clark{at}utoronto.ca)
    1. Department of English, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
    1. Correspondence to: J P Clark, Centre for Research in Women's Health, Toronto, Canada M5G 1N8

      Abstract

      Objective: To determine the representation of the sexes in JAMA cover art.

      Design: Review of 50 consecutive issues.

      Setting: JAMA, March 1997-March 1998.

      Main outcome measures: Numbers and nature of covers portraying men and women.

      Results: Of the 50 covers, 34 depicted humans. 15 depicted women, 13 men, and 6 were of mixed or indeterminate sex 11 pictures of women included a child and five included nudity One cover showed a man with a child (not as a father) and none depicted nudity. Men were depicted exclusively in authoritative roles.

      Conclusions: Much of the cover art gives strong messages about sexual stereotypes that are inappropriate in modern society. JAMA should consider reviewing its policy for choosing cover art.

      Footnotes

      • Funding JPC is a doctoral fellow of the National Health Research and Development Program, Health Canada.

      • Competing interests None declared.

        Commentary: An inconclusive study

        1. Elaine Showalter, professor of English (elaines{at}princeton.edu)
        1. Department of English, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
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