Men’s voices dominate reproductive issues in newspapers
Most of the people writing stories about reproductive issues are men. Most of the people quoted in these stories are men, too.
Men dominate the conversation about reproductive health issues in popular newspapers. That’s according to a new study by the Women’s Media Center, an advocacy group working to make women more powerful and visible in media.
In stories about reproductive issues, 52 percent were written by men, 37 percent by women and 11 percent had no byline, the study states. In regard to quotes, 41 percent came from men in the stories, 33 percent from women and the rest were attributed to organizations or not identifiable by gender, the study shows.
“When it comes to stories about abortion rights and contraception access, women’s voices are systematically stifled as writers and as sources,” said Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center, in the study. “In articles about elections and reproductive issues, men’s perspectives prevail, especially in coverage of presidential campaigns, with male reporters telling 67 percent of all presidential election stories related to abortion and contraception.”
The research looked at the following publications: The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, Reuters, The San Jose Mercury News, Associated Press, The Denver Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today.
The New York Daily News had roughly equal numbers of men and women writing reproductive rights stories, while The Washington Post and USA Today had slightly more women than men on the beat.
The New York Times and The San Jose Mercury News had men’s bylines twice as often as women’s.
In The Denver Post, 38 percent of the bylines of stories about reproductive issues were from women, while 53 percent were from men. Regarding sources, The Denver Post ranked second to last of the outlets examined: 28 percent of the sources speaking about reproductivee issues were women, 52 percent were men, 13 percent were attributed to organizations, and the rest were unknown.
The only publication with fewer women quoted about reproductive issues was The Wall Street Journal.
The irony is not lost on The Colorado Independent that the reporter of this story identifies as male.
Photo credit: Natalia Rivera, Creative Commons, Flickr.