||This study aims to analyze gender bias in six Spanish museums, covering the Paleolithic epoch. For this purpose, images and texts have been sampled. In the images, the sex, position in the image, activeness/passiveness, the posture, the placement regarding the settlement and the activities carried out by each individual have been identified. The analysis of texts covers the language used and the main topic addressed in each text. It is compared with a travelling exhibition called “Evolución en clave de género” (“Evolution in a gender perspective”), which was created precisely for challenging the more traditional view of the Paleolithic.
In museum images, men are generally overrepresented, while specially women and elderly are underrepresented and the activities associated with them overlooked. In texts, men and their activities are considerably privileged. Afterwards, the result of a literature research of the archaeological and ethnographic evidence for contesting the conveyed view is provided. It shows that an alternative, less androcentric, view is possible. It is an attempt to show how feminist archaeology can challenge, not only traditional and popular beliefs but also assumptions made by the mainstream archaeology.
Once the bias has been identified, the significance of this study lies in the possibility that museums offer to either solve or reinforce current gender relations and stereotypes. Moreover, it adds the analysis of texts, a very telling but unexploited field.