Relationships between women and men are an important factor of social development because they represent the two largest demographic groups. Nature of their relationship is a cause and consequence of many economic, cultural, social, political, and spiritual aspects of society, therefore the study of these relations has a broad heuristic potential. Thus, we are going to discuss how press coverage of female candidates differs from male candidates.
The presence of numerous conflicts and contradictions between genders are telling us that today more than ever, it is important to study social and gender problems, identify their features to prevent violence and make conciliatory measures to curb, to weaken gender conflicts, to give them moral and cultural dominant that women and men in their behavior could be improved. Analyzing political sphere we see that there are some differences between male and female candidates press coverage. According to Oxley (2009), we see that in past decades, female candidates in the United States tended to receive less frequent and lower quality news media coverage than did male candidates. Thinking about nowadays situation it is good that these differences in press coverage have lessened, but they have not entirely disappeared.
It is a well-known fact that gender communication in political sphere is always a potential conflict, but it should not play prevalent role in gender relations, and in this case it is necessary to add criteria of tolerance in communication.
According to Hacker (1995) we see that tolerance in communication – is the position of a mature, independent personality, having his own values and interests, who is ready to defend own interests and views, while respecting relevant to others positions and values. The main way to reduce the gender conflicts is a consensus that represents a state, a sign or a process of interaction between gender entities seeking to have similar values, needs, interests and goals. At the same time gender system is drawn toward integration, consistency, stability, and remains as an entity by measures to correct gender asymmetry.
Considering the complex issue of gender as a tool for political analysis we can distinguish several levels and say that gender approach to the investigation – is the consideration of multivariate influence of sex factor. Examining the topic connected with differences of female and male candidates press coverage we should mention that gender policy is well measured’ because political relations are more obvious because of the publicity. In opinion of many researchers the main task is to identify not so much the gender dimension of politics, but to examine its gender foundation, i.e. understand how gender constructs politics and how understanding of masculinity and femininity affects the separation of spheres in the public and private. For example, we can consider the well-known phrase politics is not for women’, not as a definition of women in politics but as a negative definition of politics in general, describing what would happen with the essence of politics if women come into power or disappear.
Thus, it is obvious that formation of gender studies in political science both theoretically and practically is a very important point. Political power, possessing resources, monopoly on the use of force, and laws establishment, organizes and controls the life of society. Due to gender-based approach, we have learned to be attentive to the preterition’ of those problems which remain behind the discussions and which are not usually discussed in loud voice. We are accustomed to class, national understanding of the policy, although it has a pronounced gender-specific character.
Summarizing different studies and making literature review it is possible to say in conclusion that there are many differences in press coverage of female and male candidates. Thus, with the help of gender studies in political science our society can solve the problems of equality and the impact on social and cultural formation, which supports gender asymmetry.
Bystrom, D., Banwart, M. C., Kaid, L. and Robertson, T. (2004). Gender and Candidate Communication: Videostyle, Webstyle, Newsstyle. Routledge.
Carroll, S. (2003). Women and American Politics: New Questions, New Directions. Oxford University Press.
Dolan, K. (2005). Do Women Candidates Play to Gender Stereotypes? Do Men Candidates Play to Women? Candidate Sex and Issues Priorities on Campaign Websites. Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 58.
Hacker, K. (1995). Candidate Images in Presidential Elections. Praeger.
Heldman, C., Caroll, S. And Olson, S. (2000). Gender Differences in Print Media Coverage of Presidential Candidates: Elizabeth Dole’s Bid for the Republican Nomination. Rutgers University.
King, A. (2002). Leaders’ Personalities and the Outcomes of Democratic Elections. Oxford University Press.
Oxley, Z. M. (2009). Variation in Media Coverage of Women Candidates: Gender Stereotypes and Novelty. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISPP 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
Seltzer, J. and Newman, J. (1997). Sex as a Political Variable: Women as Candidates and Voters in U.S. Elections. Lynne Rienner.
Valenzuela, S. and Correa, T. (2009). Press coverage and public opinion on women candidates: The case of Chile’s Michelle Bachelet. International Communication Gazette, 71, 181-202.