Research paper

Feminism and gender perspective in Palaeontology

Laboratorio de Patrimonio y Turismo Cultural, Universidad de Barcelona/Red IBERTUR; Centro de Estudios de Antropología de la Mujer (CEAM), México.
Corresponding author

Subdirectora de Paleontología, Coordinación Nacional de Arqueología, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH); Seminario Patrimonio Cultural: Antropología, Historia y Legislación, INAH, México; Centro de Estudios de Antropología de la Mujer (CEAM), México.


Since the mid-twentieth century, feminist movements have focused much of their criticisms on the presence of androcentric biases in most scientific disciplines, causing in some of them a true revolution at a theoretical and practical level. This revolution has succeeded in their transformation in a substantial and meaningful way. During this time, palaeontology has remained relatively indiff erent to these processes, perhaps because its seeming objectivity and the particular characteristics of its main object of study (the fossils) seem to isolate it from the infl uences coming from the current social thoughts. However, like any other science, palaeontology refl ects the society in which it develops, and consequently, is also infl uenced, directly or indirectly, by a patriarchal ideology that continues active and discriminates against the feminine.Throughout this article we will describe how this ideology and its associated biases have manifested themselves in this professional practice; in the expressions and in the language used in their interpretations; in the reproduction of stereotypes; and in the exhibition, communication and dissemination of knowledge resulting from their research, especially in museums. The ultimate goal of this paper is to propose a refl ection based on constructive criticism that allows incorporating a new perspective, which brings palaeontology closer to the reality of the 21st century, where the role of women is increasingly recognized and scientifi c studies try to be inclusive and free from prejudice.

Key words: Androcentric bias, dissemination, fossils, museums, science.

How to cite: Abejez, L.J. & Corona, C. 2020. Feminismo y perspectiva de género en la Paleontología. [Feminism and gender perspective in Palaeontology]. Spanish Journal of Palaeontology, 35 (1), 29-46.

Received 20 December 2018, Accepted 31 January 2019, Published 30 June 2020

(In Spanish only)