1971 anatomy book uses pornographic photos

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.”


The OBJECTIFICATION of Female Surface Anatomy



  1. Wow, I have a copy of this that a friend gave me in medical school. The “best” (worst?) picture is one of a topless woman emerging from a swimming pool, with an arrow pointing to her neck with anatomy labeled. 

    I had no idea it was worth so much!

  2. I saw some posed nudes, but not any pornography. I guess I don’t know it when I see it.

    Now we’ll see who the lawyers on here are.

    1. The inguinal ligament is far more prominent in men (Brad Pitt for instance) as well as ancient Greek statues of male heroes.  I guess they invented pilates.

      I’d like to see more of the proximal attachment of the adductor longus.

      1.  I learned the birds and bees from that book. ( the McBride book ).  It teaches in a frank and compassionate way.

      2. If only medical texts have pictures of nude children, then….no that doesn’t work.

        If only pedophiles….no that doesn’t work either.

        You know, we should just make children illegal, because they are clearly fueling this hysteria.

  3. I once tried to explain to my girlfriend how Playboy had served to help the liberation of women. I never tried that again.

    1.  Was? As a bookstore employee, I can assure you that this genre still is a going concern. We don’t _sell_ a lot of them, mind you, but I reshelve them at least three or four times a week.

    1. Also, when I was just learning to use Amazon I offered for sale a childrens sleeping bag for $10,000 just so I could see how the APC codes were displayed.  I took it down in five minutes. 

      1. Kay Linaker, who was a supporting actress (in things like the Charlie Chan pictures) in the 30s and 40s (and also wrote The Blob), agreed to help her friend do a screen test. The studio wouldn’t let her do it unless she signed a studio contract that paid $50 per week if they picked her up. She explained that she was just doing a favor and didn’t want to work in film, so they told her to cross out the $50 and put in some outrageous amount. She switched it to $500. A week later she was under contract and making star salary for her first picture.

  4. Ah the 70’s when women had normal body fat distribution and pubic hair, oh how times have changed. Why did they not have art nudes in my chemistry books? I guess it was hard enough to get women in the hard sciences. 

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