The ABA Journal presents women in the legal system in a similar fashion to the presentation of women in the journals of other professions. Women are portrayed in traditional sex roles, they are pictured passively and they are often shown negatively as victims. In the volumes the authors studied, they found that the numbers of images of attorneys, judges and professors were not proportionate to the number of men and women in the legal profession. Moreover, the ABA Journal predominantly displayed women as dependent on their male counterparts. The authors also found instances where the ABA Journal portrayed women as sexual objects. In this article, the authors report the findings of our study. First, they describe the methodology we used to collect and assess the data. Second, they examine graphic images of women in the ABA Journal for the years 1995 and 1996. Next, they provide examples of the ABA Journal's preferred use of male images and authors, and its stereotypical portrayals of women as sex objects, as dependent upon men, or as victims. In conclusion, by reference to noteworthy studies in other disciplines, the authors make general observations about the harmful effect that these images have on the legal profession and society.
Marilyn Berger and Kari A. Robinson,
Gender Bias in the American Bar Association Journal: Impact on the Legal Profession, 13 WIS. WOMEN'S L.J. 75