How Ageist and Sexist Framing Is Used in Turkish Media To Normalize Femicide: A Content Analysis
More than 2,800 women in Turkey were murdered by male partners or family members between 2010 and 2020. Research on domestic violence against women in Turkey indicates that exposure to physical or sexual domestic violence increases with age, yet femicide against older women is rarely studied. We conducted a content analysis of 66 publicly archived Turkish mainstream media news stories about the murders of older women from 2010 to 2017. Textual and visual content was analyzed to examine how the femicide of older women was portrayed. Story writers used three primary communication frames in the text and visual content and structure: (1) attribution of responsibility, (2) morality, and (3) human interest. Word choice, sentence structure, and story content used ageist and sexist biases to portray the victim as morally reprehensible or troublesome, while promoting sympathy and excusing responsibility for the perpetrator. Implicit and explicit ageism and sexism in Turkish news deflect from the social injustice of femicide, normalizing violence against aging women.