Street Anatomy reports on a 1971 textbook called The Anatomical Basis of Medical Practice, which uses pornographic photos of women as illustrations. You can snap up a used copy on Amazon for $479.99
The professors, Becker, James S. W. Wilson, and John A. Gehweiler, set out to write a textbook in an “easy-going, literary style so that any student could read ahead on his own without difficulty.” Furthermore, they go on to state their inspiration to use seductive female nudes to display surface anatomy,
“In our own student days we discovered that studying surface anatomy with a wife or girl friend proved to be not only instructive, but highly entertaining. Since the majority of medical students still tend to be males, we have liberalized this text by making use of the female form. But, more to the point, we have done so because a large portion of your future patients will be women and few texts have pointed out surface landmarks on the female.”
They were quite liberal in their use of female nudes of the pin-up girl variety as you can see in the images above. And the “easy-going, literary style,” often lent itself to cheeky comments about women. In the discussion about the effects of UV light on skin, the authors state, “the contrast between exposed and unexposed parts of the epidermis is quite stark when the bathing suit is removed.”
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.