Nature Neuroscience again


This is the premier science journal that brought  us “Alpha males win again.” Now we have an airbrushed model-perfect portrait on the cover.  “Why?” one might well ask.  Fortunately, there’s an “about the cover” link.  And there they say

People’s quality of life depends on the ability to experience emotions appropriately and to regulate them in response to stressful events. Consequently, it is important to understand how the brain regulates emotions and how this regulation becomes impaired by disorders of emotion. In this issue, we present a collection of reviews on the neurobiology of emotion and disorders of emotion.

So emotions and women go together? Gosh! I’m glad that’s clear. We want to be scientific and all.

Alternatively, you might ask some people. The first response I got from a frequent reader of Nature, “Men like to look at pictures of beautiful women.” That might also be a comment in the sociology of science.

5 thoughts on “Nature Neuroscience again

  1. Last year there was a suty aired on that: “Men like to look at pictures of beautiful women.” It is definetly true. And they not only like to look an such puctures, but they also loose a part of thier cleverness at that moment :) It must be the reason why some clever businessmen take their beautiful assistans with them for negotiations…

  2. Just wouldn’t do to have an elite sportman in the throes of his alcohol induced misbehaviour as cover boy to an article on emotional disorders. :)
    But seriously, while I agree that the cover gal is attractive, she does have one of those expressions that frightens men. “Is she going to cry or end up yelling?” Maybe I’m just self revealing too much. Maybe Nature has a subversive reason – what do men feel about that photo?

  3. Hi Ling,

    Could you explain? Assuming you meant the original post, I could also try an explanation. I hope it’s not just insultingly obvious.

    Feminists have a variety of reasons for being interested taking a critical stance toward science. Many of these have to do with the content, but we can also be interested in questions about access to the production of science. Such questions have to do in part with social justice, in part again with content, but also in part with the effects of the exclusion of women on the social role of science. For example, Jender’s recent post, Explaining Non-Facts (, revealed a psychologist – Baumeister – who thinks knowledge production is something like innately men’s sphere, which it can seem if one is totally unaware of the mechanisms of exclusion that keep science a largely male enterprise.

    So it is, I think, worth noting that Nature/Nature Neuroscience is capable of unselfconsciously presenting science as seen with a male gaze. Its gendering of science is against, of course, what the journal itself professes officially.

  4. Owen59,

    Nice point; a mildly pouting model face might be seen as exhibiting clinically disordered emotions.

    There are in our world so many examples of people with emotions that are disordered, it seemed to me significant that Nature Neuroscience chose to feature a modelized version (to follow on a verb from from Sex and the City).

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