TITLE

He-man, she-woman: Playboy and Cosmo groove on genes

AUTHOR(S)
Beckwith, Barbara
PUB. DATE
January 1984
SOURCE
Columbia Journalism Review;Jan/Feb1984, Vol. 22 Issue 5, p46
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article focuses on the support of magazines on a scientific theory holding that men and women think, feel and behave in different ways because their genes urged them to do so. "Cosmopolitan" ran articles in 1982 and 1983 in which sociobiological theories about sexual differences were treated as hard scientific fact. "Reader's Digest," in a November 1982 article condensed from "Playboy," informed that twentieth century science is uncovering news about separate inheritances as men and women. In 1982 and 1983, "Science Digest" published articles in which the biological explanation of gender differences was presented without qualification. One of these articles consisted of short pieces suggesting a genetic basis for, among other things, depression in women, the sexual double standard, polygamy and rape. A July 1981 article in "Mademoiselle was careful to use words like might and could in describing the possibility of innate sex differences in such traits as aggressiveness and in math and verbal skills. Magazines have been quick to pick up on the genes-as-limits idea. "Science Digest," for example, illustrated an article on sociobiology with a sketch of nude bodies wrapped in chains of DNA. "Cosmopolitan" and "Playboy" traced out in detail the implications of genetic restraints. Thus, the trend with which magazines have taken up this explanation of gender differences may cause the theory to live on in the popular consciousness.
ACCESSION #
16276056

 

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