Event Title

Man Enough? Framing Gender in Presidential Elections

Presenter Information

Amber Castro
Tyler Wolfe

Presentation Type

Poster & Oral Presentation

College

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Major

Political Science

Session Number

2

Location

RM 210

Start Date

5-21-2015 3:20 PM

End Date

5-21-2015 3:40 PM

Abstract

Media play an influential role in American political elections. Extensive scholarship from political scientists and communication scholars has assessed the ways in which media coverage of female candidates in particular is distinct from the coverage of male candidates, and how this difference influences elections outcomes. In particular, female candidates receive coverage that focuses more on their appearance, and less on issues, likely signaling that they are less viable as candidates. Overall, there appears to be a positive bias for male candidates in media coverage of elections. Yet I suggest the bias may not necessarily be for male candidates, but instead for masculine candidates, and thus in races where two men are running it is possible that the candidate perceived to be less masculine is subject to the same media biases observed in general for female candidates. Similarly, more masculine female candidates may in fact receive less biased media coverage. The basis of this argument stems from notions of leadership in the United States, which largely embrace masculinity and reject femininity. To the extent that media play a role in maintaining masculinity as the norm—and preference—in American politics, is the focus on this study.

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May 21st, 3:20 PM May 21st, 3:40 PM

Man Enough? Framing Gender in Presidential Elections

RM 210

Media play an influential role in American political elections. Extensive scholarship from political scientists and communication scholars has assessed the ways in which media coverage of female candidates in particular is distinct from the coverage of male candidates, and how this difference influences elections outcomes. In particular, female candidates receive coverage that focuses more on their appearance, and less on issues, likely signaling that they are less viable as candidates. Overall, there appears to be a positive bias for male candidates in media coverage of elections. Yet I suggest the bias may not necessarily be for male candidates, but instead for masculine candidates, and thus in races where two men are running it is possible that the candidate perceived to be less masculine is subject to the same media biases observed in general for female candidates. Similarly, more masculine female candidates may in fact receive less biased media coverage. The basis of this argument stems from notions of leadership in the United States, which largely embrace masculinity and reject femininity. To the extent that media play a role in maintaining masculinity as the norm—and preference—in American politics, is the focus on this study.