New publication on gender stereotypes

The success of women in politics is often hindered by gender stereotypes. For decades, voters and the media have been associating female politicians with typical feminine traits (e.g., weak, emotional) rather than with leadership qualities (e.g., competent, intelligent). As such associations can harm women’s careers in politics, in this study, we examine gender differences in political news coverage to determine whether the media employ stereotypical traits in portrayals of 1,095 U.S. politicians. Using a sample of over 5 million U.S. news stories published from 2010 to 2020, we study the media’s attribution of gender-linked (feminine, masculine) and political (leadership, competence, integrity, empathy) traits to U.S. politicians and present new longitudinal evidence for political gender stereotyping in the news. Our findings show that certain gender differences are present in news coverage (e.g., in terms of media description of female and male politicians’ physicalappearances), some of which have remained unchanged over the past decade (e.g., male politicians have been more strongly associated with integrity traits than their female counterparts).

Andrich, A., Bachl, M., & Domahidi, E. (2023). Goodbye, Gender Stereotypes? Trait Attributions to Politicians in 11 Years of News Coverage. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1177/10776990221142248