In 1975, public health sociologist Gerry Stimson drew attention to the importance of the images produced in the advertising of psychopharmaceutical drugs in medical journals, and claimed that the individuals used in such depictions portrayed ‘the typical person who has the illness’.1 He then went on to suggest that, not only did women appear in pictures more o en than men, but that the images re ected ‘a limited view of a woman’s role … women are shown as dependent – the victims of circumstances’.2 is argument has been developed by a number of authors since the 1970s. Ruth Cooperstock, for example, argued that physicians’ perceptions of female patients were, at least in part, in uenced by pharmaceutical advertising and its ‘pejorative attitudes’ toward women.3 Ludmilla Jordanova, while making the case for a move away from accounts of women and mental illness that emphasize their subordination and oppression, still maintained that drugs for psychiatric conditions were ‘advertised with a clear sexual association with women’.4 Writing more recently in the United States, Jonathan Metzl has produced a close analysis of representations of psychotropic medications in sources from American print culture from 1950.5 e central contention of his work is that the new psychotropic drugs developed during the 1950s were constructed as a treatment for the symptoms of American culture that was facing a fundamental change in gender roles. e notion that mankind was destabilized by the ‘uncivilized’ presence of women, he argues, proved an enormously popular conceptual weapon, and as a result, white, middle-class women were consistently scripted into the role of the patient. A woman’s ambition was viewed as a symptom of mental illness to be treated with

pharmacological preparations. us: ‘housewives of the 1950s and feminists of the 1970s … all became mothers when they took medication’.6