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Sex and artists

Now that I got your attention … Prompted by a post from Jane Darnell, I thought to quickly run some gender-related stats on artists in Wikidata. Specifically, the number of articles on Wikipedias for artists with a specific property, by gender.

First, RKDartists (at the moment of writing, 21,859 male and 2,801 female artists on Wikidata):

Number of articles on male (x axis) and female (y axis) artists with the RKDartists property. The line indicates the gender-unbiased coverage.

Number of articles on male (x axis) and female (y axis) artists with the RKDartists property.
The line indicates the gender-unbiased coverage. Only Wikipedias with >= RKDartist articles were used.

As we can see, not a single Wikipedia reaches the unbiased line; all Wikipedia are biased towards male biographies. English, German, Dutch, and French Wikipedia come closest, however, that may be due to reaching saturation (as in, almost complete coverage of all RKDartists) rather than intrinsically unbiased views. Otherwise, Finnish Wikipedia seems to be closest to unbiased amongst the “mid-range” Wikipedias.

Doing the same for ULAN (33,057 men, 3,100 women) looks a little better:

mf_ulan

Here, English Wikipedia has actually a tiny bias towards women. Breton and Maltese appear as “less biased outliers”.

I have uploaded both data sets here.

UPDATE: ODNB

mf_odnb

2 Comments

  1. GerardM wrote:

    Thank you Magnus … This helps 🙂

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 12:05 | Permalink
  2. Jane Darnell wrote:

    This is really interesting. I am especially surprised by the location of “Commonswiki” in these graphs. I certainly didn’t expect to see it scoring so high in the ODNB chart. Maybe this shows a strong “English-language bias” for Commons contributors?

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 15:41 | Permalink