MYTHS, MESSAGING, AND THE MEDIA: THE MEDIA’S ROLE IN PERPETUATING SEXUAL HARASSMENT STEREOTYPES

Date
2020-05
Authors
Walton, Natalie
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Delaware
Abstract
As national attention on sexual harassment continues to grow, some consideration should be placed on how the news influences what consumers understand to be true about sexual harassment. This research is centered on two questions: 1) How do news articles portray the contexts and consequences of sexual harassment? and 2) Does the media perpetuate sexual harassment myths, or does it challenge them? This exploratory research project focuses specifically on American news articles. One hundred and twenty-three articles were coded for content and language referencing perpetrator, victim and organizational responses to sexual harassment. It was found that this sample of news articles perpetuate sexual harassment myths. The main implication of myth perpetuation in the news is that it creates a narrow definition of what sexual harassment looks like and who can be a victim or perpetrator. However, it is proposed that journalists could play a role in stopping this perpetuation through the Sexual Harassment Myth Formation, Distribution, and Dissolution Paradigm.
Description
Keywords
sociology, media, sexual harassment stereotypes
Citation