Male: Not mentioned, unless character has an unusual feature like a bionic arm.
Female: Always tall, "shapely," usually blonde (but sometimes a brunette or redhead IF other blondes are present), "lovely structure," "imposing mountains," goddesslike.
Male: Not mentioned.
Female: Tight "painted on" dresses, transparent dresses, breast pads.
Male: Soft-spoken but always in charge, very paternal regardless of age.
Female: Impulsive, never fully aware of self or surroundings, emotional, and always defers to male decisions and opinions, particularly when threatened with spankings.
When in distress, seeks out a:
Male: Computer, other male.
Male: "Man," "Brother."
Female: "Little girl."
Overall Usage Across Storylines
Male: Critical character.
As much as I enjoy his stories, I don't think I ever really understood what it meant to "objectify" women until I read them. I started The Moon is a Harsh Mistress last night and was enjoying it until he introduced the first female character, and then I was all "Got-DAMMIT, he did it AGAIN!"
Yes, I know I'm reading a 60's book with 2000's eyes, and the characters were considered very strong and revolutionary in their day, BUT STILL.