Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Vincent James Strickler, PhD

Abstract

During her bid for president, Hillary Clinton was often questioned about allegations of sexism in media coverage surrounding her campaign. She once responded: "It's been deeply offensive to millions of women. I believe this campaign has been a groundbreaker in a lot of ways. But it certainly has been challenging given some of the attitudes in the press.” Were media mentalities and reporting really as biased toward Clinton’s gender as has been asserted? This study seeks to answer not only that question, but also to determine whether such bias is unique to a female presidential candidate in the United States. This is accomplished by studying and quantifying gender-­‐specific labels applied to Clinton and former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet in major newspapers of their respective countries during their campaigns. Clinton has praised Bachelet for her response to sexism in politics. In 2008, she said, “Being a woman in politics can be tough business, and Bachelet made it look effortless." This study reveals that though bias existed in coverage of Bachelet’s campaign, there was a greater amount of bias in Clinton’s campaign. This was achieved by determining how often gender-­‐based labels were applied to each of the women, how harsh they were in tone, and which country appeared to use sexist language at a greater rate.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on September 20, 2011.