The Genderization of American Political Parties in Presidential Election Coverage on Network Television (1992–2020)

Maria Elizabeth Grabe, Ozen Bas


This content analysis investigates the genderization of political parties in network news coverage of U.S. presidential campaigns over the past 28 years. Based on Bem’s seminal Sex-Role Inventory, classic news values and leadership qualities were operationalized as masculine, feminine, and gender-neutral. Republicans were presented as more masculine and less feminine and gender-neutral than Democrats. These trends fluctuated some, but the differences between parties intensified over the course of the 8 presidential elections. The findings have implications for future studies that investigate the viability of gendered and transgendered candidates against the backdrop of political party identity.


Bem’s Sex-Role Inventory, gender, news frames, elections, content analysis

Full Text: