Miranda Hart is an associate professor of biology in the Irving K Barber School of Arts and Sciences. - Contributed

Women are underrepresented in research journals: UBC study

Kelowna - Associate professor Miranda Hart said she is tired of seeing men on every page

After an in-depth study, a UBC Okanagan researcher says almost every aspect of two top science journals continue to under-represent women—from published articles to photos, feature profiles and even advertisements.

Associate professor Miranda Hart, who teaches biology in the Irving K Barber School of Arts and Sciences, is an avid reader of two science publications—Nature and Science. Whether it’s unintended or not, Hart said there is a definite discrepancy in the representation of men over women in these two leading journals.

“Publications like Science and Nature are a window into scientific culture,” she said. “These journals reflect what scientific role models look like, including gender stereotypes.”

The idea first occurred to her while flipping through issues of these journals at home.

“I became so tired of seeing page after page after page of men,” she said. “There were profiles of men, men doing science and men recruiting men to science. It was so disappointing and I was starting to get sick of reading them.”

Hart realized it would be easy to do a comparative study and actually count how many articles, images and advertisements included men or women. And what those images portray.

RELATED: Combat sexism, misconduct by voting in more women: former B.C. premier

For her study, Hart and undergrad researcher Becky Loverock looked at three months of issues of Science and Nature to see if women and men were truly represented differently in terms of authorship and images. Her study confirmed her belief about gender bias in both journals, with women accounting for less than 15 per cent of all corresponding authors published during that three-month period. More surprisingly, notes Hart, women were grossly underrepresented in photographs, advertisements and stock photographs.

“I thought ‘is it just me?’ But when we looked back through three months of issues and started quantifying the numbers of pictures, articles and profiles, it became very clear,” Hart said. “Despite societal awareness, gender bias persists. These magazines are perpetrating a role model that is predominantly, and sometimes exclusively, male.”

RELATED: #MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

“Elite journals such as Science and Nature carry significant weight in their ability to influence the scientific culture. They reflect who is doing science, and what scientists look like,” said Hart. “Changing gender stereotypes requires exposure to counter stereotypes and these journals have an important role to play in this change.”

Hart’s study was recently published in FACETS.


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The Rockets lost to their rivals in the regular season opener

The Kelowna Rockets fell 4-1 to the Kamloops Blazers in Kamloops on… Continue reading

Great news for Indigenous youth program in BC

The federal government came through with over $1 million in funding for Indigenous youth program

Telephone poles placed in centre of sidewalk angers West Kelowna watchdog

Audience Group calls placement of poles in new Boucherie Road upgrade project ‘idiocy’

Kelowna asking public to help update its Cultural Plan

Second survey this year to posted to gather public input about cultural programs and services

Blood transfusion saved colitis-stricken Lake Country woman’s life

Rebecca Roth encourages public to support Lake Country blood donor clinic Sept. 26

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only seven of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Kelowna cyclist plant-based to victory

Sonya Looney is one of the keynote speakers at Sunday’s Okanagan Health Forum on plant power

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Most Read