English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Category: Annotated Bibliography (Page 2 of 5)

Women in Sports media the Hard Truth (sources)

Works Cited

Hardin, Marie, and Jennifer D. Greer. “The Influence of Gender-Role Socialization, Media useand Sports Participation on Perceptions of Gender-Appropriate Sports.” Journal of Sport Behavior, vol. 32, no. 2, 2009, pp. 207-226. ProQuest,http://prx.library.gatech.edu /loginurl=https://search.proquest.com/ docview/215875384?accountid=11107.

This study attempts to understand how sports in U.S. society are viewed taking into consideration  gender norms. This study examines the relationship between media, sports participation, and ‘gender role socialization’ with the typing of sports as masculine or feminine by utilizing a survey of 340 college students. The study also brings in outside research to provide a statistical representation on sports media coverage, in particular during the Olympics. It argues that although these factors impact ‘typing’ for some sports to an extent the overall findings demonstrate that ‘traditional gender-typing’ of sports is inelastic. Although this source is not directly studying women in the media it is valuable because it looks at the psychological aspect of social learning theory and gender norms- within media- on its viewers. This is important to our research because it conveys implications of gender representation in sports media on its audience and society in general, allowing us to show how our research itself is important.

“INDIANA UNIVERSITY, ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN IN SPORTS MEDIA,ASSOCIATED PRESS SPORTS EDITORS AND NATIONAL SPORTSCASTERSAND SPORTSWRITERS HOSTING SPECIAL PANEL ON WOMEN IN SPORTSMEDIA.” US Fed News Service, Including US State News, Mar 29, 2011. ProQuest,http://prx.library.gatech.edu/loginurl=https:// search .proquest .com/docview/858895477?accountid=11107.

This source is a newspaper article from the US Fed News Service. It describes a panel discussion at the University of Indiana made in order to discuss issues of gender in sports media. In particular, the discussion is aimed to look into the changing roles of women in sports media careers as well as the challenges they face. The panel includes Shelly Smith who works for ESPN and is able to attest to the gender specific controversies from the network. The discussion also covers the very publicized sexual harassment of Ines Sainz, a reporter for Mexico’s TV Azteca. This source is valuable to my groups research because it gives descriptive first person insight into the challenges and scandal’s faced by women in sports media careers  This newspaper source gives an important if not the most important perspective on these issues, women in the field themselves. The article will allow us to point at specific examples of harassment and analyze with other sources what this means for women in sports media and women in general.


Hardin, Marie, and Stacie Shain. “Female Sports Journalists: Are we there Yet? ‘no’.” Newspaper Research Journal, vol. 26, no. 4, 2005, pp. 22-35. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/loginurl=https://search.proquest.com/docview/200695998?accountid=11107

This source is a newspaper research journal from 2005 investigating on the job discrimination and lack of reward felt by women in sport media. The source includes information on the still small amount of women in the field even 30 years after Title IX opened doors for women to ‘write sports’. The journal also discusses how not only are their not a lot of women but most never see higher up or management positions even after long periods of time in the field. The journal is a literature review which includes analysis of several surveys about discrimination and harassment in the sports media field that took place over the 90’s. Even though this source is not extremely recent, it is valuable because it will show us insight into how the discrimination and harassment has or has not changed over the recent decades when compared to more recent statistics and sources.


6, 2017 March. “Women in Sports Media Cite Progress, Obstacles.” Sports Business Journal, 6 Mar. 2017,www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2017/03/06/ Opinion/From-The- Executive-Editor.aspx.

This source is a journal article from Sports Business Journal that discusses the still-evident challenges that women face in sports media. The article is from the perspective of a man, Abraham Madkour, and gives a look into the more recent statistics of women in sports media as well as commending the job of many ESPN women sportscasters. The article brings the audience’s attention towards to underrepresentation of women in sport media careers as well as making claims toward the validity of their opinions. The fact that a white man has to establish these thoughts in order for them to gain attention and validation in the year 2017 portrays a lot of how we still see women in these fields despite what the author is trying to point out. This source is valuable because it gives more recent statistics and can be used to analyze the current social dynamic surrounding the issue.


Dicardo, Julie. “Ugly Truth about Women in Sports and Social Media.” Sports Illustrated, 27 Sept. 2015,www.si.com/cauldron/2015/09/27/twitter-threats- vile-remarks-women-sports-journalists.

This source is a Sports Illustrated article written by a female sports newscaster about the harassment she recieves on social media, specifically Twitter. She discusses the hyper-masculine culture of sports online that causes many men to become extremely defensive on social media platforms where they feel they can voice their offensive opinions with no repercussions. She gives specific examples of instincts where she received vulgar tweets towards herself for simply doing her job. This article also gives great first hand insight into the social dynamic surrounding women in sports media and the heat they get which men do not. This article is valuable because it is written by a female sports journalist about her struggles specifically while giving good examples on the harassment she faces. Likewise, it can be used to draw conclusions about the masculine culture of sports based on how they treat women in the field, showing the repercussions of the masculine sports culture on women.


Spain, Sarah. “Women in Sports Media Shouldn’t Have to ‘Ignore’ Abuse.” ESPN, ESPN InternetVentures, 28 Apr. 2016, www.espn.com/espnw/voices/ article/15412369/women-sports-media-ignore-abuse.

This source is an ESPN article that also delves into the treatment of women sportscasters on social media. The article is written by a Sarah Spain, an ESPN sports columnist with experience into the harassment that women face in sports media careers. The online article also includes a video that includes men reading harsh and vulgar tweets to the women sportscasters they are directed at. The video is a powerful social experiment that emphasizes how the social media can enhance the effects of verbal abuse towards women in general and in sports media. When the men read the tweets out loud it is very emotional and conveys just how much abuse women have to overcome to do their job. This source is valuable because it demonstrates how discrimination to women in this field have faced discrimination ongoing for decades with little end in sight. It also can be used to analyze the culture surrounding gender and sports.

Sierra Villarreal

Annotated Bibliography for Analysis of Gender Representation in Late Night Television

Glascock, Jack. “Gender, Race, and Aggression in Newer TV Networks’ Primetime Programming.” Communication Quarterly, vol. 51, no. 1, 2003, pp. 90-100. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/216480842?accountid=11107.

This source determines the portrayal of minority characters on television shows over time. Jack Glascock compares the older networks to some of the newer networks and analyzes whether or not the portrayal of these minorities is changing at all. In particular, he focuses on the portrayal of black characters as opposed to white characters. He notices that black characters are often portrayed as more violent and aggressive because this appeals to younger viewers. He also notices the discrepancy between major male leads and major females leads. Stating that females are usually dressed more provocatively because it engages the viewers. This source is useful because it provides us with a framework to begin analyzing gender representation in television. It shows not only the major networks’ use of stereotyping but how their use of stereotyping has either decreased or increased over time. This is a good starting point because we get an idea of how strong the bias in television is currently.

Anderson, Jacqueline S., and Sharmila P. Ferris. “Gender Stereotyping and the Jersey Shore: A Content Analysis.” Kome, vol. 4, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-19. ProQuesthttp://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/2089252706?accountid=11107, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.17646/KOME.2016.11.

This source delves deep into gender representation in television popular among younger viewers. Jersey Shore holds a prominent place in pop culture with millions of viewers at its peak. It is no secret that reality television shows aren’t always reality and that most of the time they are scripted. Jacqueline Anderson and Sharmila Ferris analyze the representation of the female characters in Jersey Shore and notice the portrayal of females as seductive figures who play little role in the plot other than to engage the audience through drama they create. They compare the behavior of the females on the show to the males and provide evidence of the discrepancy. This source is useful for studying gender representation in television because it ensures that we cover all facets of television. Reality television can easily be overlooked since it is believed to be “reality” so there are no biases, but this is not true because most reality shows have loose scripts and are pushed in one direction or another by the network. We cannot be narrowminded by only analyzing fictional shows.

Bingham, Dennis. “”before She was a Virgin . . .”: Doris Day and the Decline of Female Film Comedy in the 1950s and 1960s.” Cinema Journal, vol. 45, no. 3, 2006, pp. 3-31. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/222247026?accountid=11107.

This source details the golden age of comedy for females, a time when females were more popular than males in lead comedy roles. Dennis Bingham details the rise of Doris Day, one of the biggest female film comedy stars of all time and analyzes her rise and fall. This source does not only focus on Doris Day however, Bingham broadens the scope of his research to see where females have stood in the comedy film scene since then and analyzes the statistics on males and females in lead comedy roles and compares the number of men and women landing these roles since the days of Doris Day. Although this source may not seem useful because it centers around film than television, it is important for us to look at this source to understand the trends in females and males playing leading roles in television and film over time. This is similar to the trend that can be analyzed in Glascock’s paper over biases and stereotypes in television over time, except this one is specific to gender representation.

Falk, Erika. “Stereotypes as the Basis for Humor in Saturday Night Live Parodies of Hillary Clinton.” Media Report to Women, vol. 45, no. 2, 2017, pp. 12-15. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1906364913?accountid=11107.

This source details Saturday Night Live’s writing of comedy skits involving the election. The election is a huge source of content for most late-night television shows and Saturday Night Live is no different in this regard. Erika Falk specifically analyzes the skits written by Saturday Night Live that are intended to serve as parodies of Hillary Clinton. She notices these skits are full of stereotypes and that these stereotypes are the humor that is appealing to younger audiences.  In the case of Hillary Clinton, a lot of the stereotypes are gender stereotypes simply because it is uncommon for a woman to run for office. This source is extremely essential to our research because we have chosen Saturday Night Live to base our research on. Saturday Night Live is one of the longest running shows on television and also one of the most influential. However, it has often been criticized for its lack of female cast and writers. For this reason, this source provides us with a crucial analysis of gender stereotyping by Saturday Night Live writers and creates a framework for the rest of our research.

Wilstein, Matt. “‘Saturday Night Live’ Mocks Trump’s Creepy Comments about Daughter Ivanka.” The Daily Beast, Apr 03, 2016. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest com.prx.library.gatech.edu/docview/1786621027?accountid=11107.

This source shines a new light on Saturday Night Live’s representation of gender on its show, but once again not through the crew of cast and writers, but through the commentary, they provided on the election. The election being a huge source of Saturday Night Live’s content, Matt Wilstein notices the writers’ unison in defending Heidi Cruz over Donald Trump’s sexist remarks. Donald Trump made several remarks over “punishing” females over abortions and Heidi Cruz took offense to this. In return, Donald Trump attacked her in a Twitter rant and Wilstein remarks on Trump’s behavior as clearly sexist. Wilstein also remarks on Donald Trump’s creepy tweets over his daughter Ivanka as he constantly calls her beautiful and according to Wilstein, objectifies her. This source is important because it helps us to understand the position that Saturday Night Live takes on the oppression and degradation of females by powerful male figures. Saturday Night Live’s willingness to criticize and bring these comments to the spotlight help us understand the character of the television show when doing further research.

Fallon, Kevin. “‘Saturday Night Live’ Review: The Ladies Steal the show from Host Chris Pratt.” The Daily Beast, Sep 28, 2014. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1649028174?accountid=11107.

This source analyzes changes in the show’s cast after season 39. Season 39 came with a massive reboot in terms of cast and Saturday Night Live seemed to respond to the common criticism over the predominantly male cast by bringing in Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, and Taran Killam. Kevin Fallon states that the females played a major role in the new season’s opener and were a hit among audiences, praising them for various skits with guest host Chris Pratt. This source is essential because our research largely focuses on the criticism of Saturday Night Live’s lack of female cast and writers. Just like Matt Wilstein and Erika Falk, Kevin Fallon addresses some of the proactive methods that Saturday Night Live has been taking to combat this criticism. Although he praises the females for their performances and insists that it was a hit among the audience, he does note that the skits still focused heavily on gender stereotyping for humor which is important to take into account when studying gender representation on the late-night television show. The females were once again portrayed in a more provocative sense and were often playing certain roles simply for seductive purposes to gain appeal from the audience.

Gender Representations in Childrens TV: Annotated Bib

Source 1:

Rousseau, Ann, et al. “A Short-Term Longitudinal Exploration of the Impact of TV Exposure on Objectifying Attitudes Toward Women in Early Adolescent Boys.” Sex Roles, 2018, doi:10.1007/s11199-018-0925-5.

This study examined how television affects the way adolescent boys understand gender stereotypes and whether it leads them to understand men as the dominant role and objectify woman. Following the suggestion that children are more likely to enjoy consuming media that reflects the environment they are raised in, the study also examined how their parents relationship in addition to the tv they watched affected their understanding of gender. The study found that parents did not monitor shows on trusted children’s channels, however, the tween television content did indirectly contribute to the development of stereotypical attitudes toward women and men. It also found that parents have strong influence over whether or not these opinions develop and can buffer them by monitoring the shows or exemplifying a respectful egalitarian relationship.  While this study was conducted in Belgium, it does look to understand western culture and studies channels such as Disney and nickelodeon that american children consume. This is a useful study because the experiment not only speaks to the specific topic being researched but it expands it to include multiple factors that influence the way children’s media affects young boys understandings of gender.

Source 2:

Gerding, Ashton, and Nancy Signorielli. “Gender Roles in Tween Television Programming: A Content Analysis of Two Genres.” Sex Roles, vol. 70, no. 1-2, 2013, pp. 43–56., doi:10.1007/s11199-013-0330-z.


This study researched 49 episodes of 40 shows produced with the intended viewership of tweens in the United States. The shows were chosen if they fell into one of two categories which were geared toward the opposite genders: “teen scene” (for girls) and “action-adventure” (for boys). By comparing characters personalities, roles, conversations, and appearances, the study discovered that the action shows were disproportionate in their gender representation, having many more male characters than girls. The teen scene shows, however had equal representation. In the teen scene shows there was little stereotypical behavior and the girl and boy characters had similar personalities. All of the girls in the show were attractive and cared about their appearance whereas the guys had varying levels of attractiveness. The study determined this to mean that the message shows send to kids id that “females can participate in everything that males can, but while doing so they should be attractive and should work to keep up this attractiveness”. This article is very useful because the study was study was well conducted and it speaks directly to the issue we are looking at. It comments on how children’s television has progressed however it still contains flaws.  

Source 3:

Martin, Rebecca. “Gender and Emotion Stereotypes in Children’s Television.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 61, no. 3, Sept. 2017, pp. 499–517. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/08838151.2017.1344667.


This study researched both educational and non educational children’s television shows and examined the prevalence of emotional stereotypes. The study took 4 of each genre and examined the use of anger, sadness, fear, and happiness. It found that overall the shows include more male characters than female, a trend that continues throughout the years studied. The study also found that the male characters exhibited stronger emotions in all of the four categories. This result demonstrates that the shows tend to portray counter-stereotypes, especially in the entertainment shows. This study was not very useful because it looked at only 8 shows over a broad time span, such as Magic School Bus from 1994 and Curious George from 2006. The show also only looked at shows on minor networks, which are viewed by less of the population, and it did not look at how this affects the kids viewing it and whether or not it instilled any beliefs in them.

Source 4:

Campbell, Olivia. “Why Gender Stereotypes In Kids’ Shows Are A REALLY Big Deal.” Refinery29, Refinery29, 5 Dec. 2017, www.refinery29.com/kids-shows-gender-roles-stereotypes.


This article describes the problems facing childrens TV and how it can cause kids to form stereotypical understandings of gender. It references how many shows have more boys than girls, and that the boy characters are usually the heroes with a purpose and how female characters are often pushed aside and given “weaker” roles. The article argues that parents need to educate their kids that girls and boys are equal and can accomplish anything they want. While this article makes interesting points, it is not usable due to its inflammatory rhetoric and consistent use of logical fallacies. The article uses strong language to upset its readers and get them on its side. The author makes drastic assumptions, which are arguably not entirely false, such as the claim that spousal abuse and sexual assault are caused by sexism in our society and this sexism is in part caused by childrens TV. In short, children’s TV leads to violence.

Source 5:

Sarah Banet‐Weiser (2004) Girls rule!: gender, feminism, and nickelodeon,
Critical Studies in Media Communication, 21:2, 119-139, DOI: 10.1080/07393180410001688038

This piece looks at Nickelodeon children’s shows with female leads to decipher whether or not girl power is treated as a lucrative market strategy or if the shows actually succeed in providing pure feminist ideals. By focusing on a handful of major TV shows, the study finds that the channel urges both girls and boys to question the stereotypical gender narratives. The author argues that the girl power narrative behind these shows is one that parallels Third Wave feminism and that the shows offer a diverse variety of characters that demonstrate that women are contributing and worthwhile members to society. This article is usable because it studies one of the most popularly viewed children’s channel and dissects the controversial way that its feminist message is presented. It would be helpful to know more about how these messages are being understood by children as the piece mainly focuses on adult criticisms.

Source 6:

Bowman, Sabienna. “’Girl Meets World’ Is A Feminist Triumph.” Bustle, Bustle, 25 Apr. 2018, www.bustle.com/articles/175843-how-girl-meets-world-quietly-became-one-of-tvs-most-feminist-shows

One of the strongest feminist shows on television is the children’s show Girl Meets World. The story follows two best friends who come from drastically different homes, Maya and Riley, in their middle school and highschool years. It tackles many subjects that most children shows will not touch such as cultural appropriation, bullying, and STEM not being promoted for girls. The strength in the girls friendship is what makes the show such a feminist inspiration and it does what other shows fail to. The conflict of the second season is that the two girls have a crush on the same boy, however, Disney does not let the show follow stereotypes by going into stereotypical catfights to handle this love triangle. Instead the issue is put aside and friendship is prioritized in a happy resolution. The respect the women of the show have for each other and the effort they put in to help raise each other up is one that is inspiring, especially for developing young viewers. This article is useful because it gives an example of a powerfully feminist show on children’s media and the positive way it addresses social issues, giving direct examples of its strengths.

Career of Women in TV Shows isn’t as Simple as What They May Want You to Believe

Citation: Signorielli, Nancy, and Aaron Bacue. “Recognition and Respect: A Content Analysis of Prime-Time Television Characters Across Three Decades.” Sex Roles, vol. 40, no. 7, 1999, pp. 527-544. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/225370372?accountid=11107.

This source is a content analysis of prime-time television show of the United States across 3 decades from the 1960s to the 1990s. The source finds out that over the 3 decades, women have been receiving much less recognition on television than man. However, the number of women in television shows have also generally been on the rise from the 1960s to 1990s, although till 1990s they are still considerably under-represented in relation the percentage on the US population is female. Furthermore, the source also explores how the change of society, such as social norms, where and how people lived, how television is viewed, and social ideology affects how often are women represented in television shows. The source provides a with sets of quantitative data on the screen time and number of women in television shows in the second half of the century. This contributes towards a part of the historic changes of women in television that we would be analyzing in our research.


Citation: Ezzedeen, Souha R. “Portrayals of Career Women in Hollywood Films: Implications for the Glass ceiling’s Persistence.” Gender in Management, vol. 30, no. 3, 2015, pp. 239-264. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/2085700476?accountid=11107, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/GM-07-2013-0073.

This research paper investigates the negative and stereotypical depiction of women on screen, especially films. It explores how 165 career women are depicted in 137 different films, and the overall context of the film while looking into how females are positively or negatively portrayed in their personal and professional characteristics.  The study also draws on research on stereotypes to study how the portrayal of women in stereotypical rolls might undermine women’s career aspiration. While also looking into how stereotypical views contributes to the persistence of the glass ceiling. The researchers found that the career women in shows are often portrayed with negative characteristics such as mean, failures at intimacy, isolation inability to balance work and family and conniving personalities. The research provides us with an in-depth analysis towards the how career women are being stereotyped in movies while also the correlation between their negative portrayal, social context and effect. Such results can be generalized towards our topic of interest – television shows as they share a similar context and medium.


Citation: Press, Andrea, and Terry Strathman. “Work, Family and Social Class in Television Images of Women: Prime-Time Television and the Construction of Postfeminism.” Women and Language, vol. 16, no. 2, 1993, pp. 7. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/198874239?accountid=11107

This source argues how women are being presented in television shows have been hugely affected and led by the development of feminist movement in the United States. The paper looks into the changes of US culture due to feminism movement which further affects how women are being portrayed in television shows. For example, it analyses how women’s work family and interrelationships have been affected by successive feminism movements. It also looks into how women are being addressed in the show, how the noun/name used by characters have been evolving over time. Another aspect the research looks into is how such changes by television towards how women are presented have positively affected how women are being viewed and subsequently respected in society, as well as the negative effects negative portrayal of women causes. This source can provide us with analyses on how women are being portrayed in television and the effect it causes. It can help us better understand how the topic of our research causes an impact to society as a whole and how changes in culture affect how female are presented in television shows and how this affects culture.


Citation: Press, Andrea. “Gender and Family in Television’s Golden Age and Beyond.”Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 625, no. 1, 2009, pp. 139-150. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1928619212?accountid=11107, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002716209337886.

This paper argues how women’s role in television shows have been changing through the golden era of television. The research focuses on how women who have been confined to home and family settings in early television, how working women have gradually increased during the 1960s and 1970s, and how they have become more liberalised in television shows since the 1990s. The paper also investigates what caused the change of women roles in television and how the changes came to be. It suggests that the increase of women who worked during the 60s and 70s can be attributed to the number of women on television shows with non-traditional family lives. While the arrival of the post-network era and trends of postfeminist might have resulted in more liberal women in shows on one end while also contributed to the sense of yearning for love and family of women in other shows. This source provides a broader view of how women in television shows have been affected by society, while it also offers different aspect these changes have brought along, sometimes in entirely different directions. This can also provide us with a basis for our explanation of any conclusion we might make.


Citation: “TV Statistics.” Women and Hollywood, womenandhollywood.com/resources/statistics/tv-statistics/.

This source provides the quantitative overview of female characters in television from 2012 to 2018, allowing us to compare how different statistics have been changing over this period of time. For example, the percentage of female characters have been relatively the same for this period of time although female only comprised of 40% of all speaking characters which is slightly lower than the 42% in 2012. Furthermore, the number points out that male characters are still more likely than female character to be seen at work and could more often be identified by their occupational status. While female characters are still more likely than male characters to act as personal life-oriented roles such as mother and wife. In contrast, males are more often portrayed in work-oriented and powerful roles, such as business executives and managers. This source provides us with plentiful of data regarding how the number and makeup of women on television have been changing over the past 8 years. The data provided would also allow us to draw comparisons between female and male in different roles and how it is affected by other factors such as the composition of production groups.


Citation: Otterson, Joe, and Daniel Holloway. “Networks Bet Big on Female-Driven Pilots, but How Many Will Make It to Series?” Variety, Variety, 6 Feb. 2018, variety.com/2018/tv/news/networks-female-driven-pilots-1202687730/.

This source is an article from Variety.com explores how the number of shows with female leads, writers and executive producers have been increasing and reaching a high point for shows in 2018. It points out that in the television shows that have been aired or are going to be broadcasted in 2018 by the major platforms, about 35% to 40% of them were from female writer-executive producers and 50% have a female lead or co-lead characters. However, the source questions whether female-driven plots can stand the test of time, arguing that although female may be appearing in more positions in a television show when it comes to the TV series in the long term, female-driven shows might only be something of a short term. After the tide has passed, the television arena might just return back to a male-dominated one. It argues that change in the number of females taking up leading roles doesn’t mean much; instead, real change within the society and entertainment industry must be achieved in or to secure gender equality in television. This source provides us with an alternative towards what the numbers in our research mean, while allowing further analyses and caution us towards how the trends should be viewed.


Compiled Sources about Women in Comedy

Benoit, Sophia. “Women in Comedy: Why We Must Not Let Funny Become ‘the New Hot’.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 17 Nov. 2015, www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/nov/17/women-in-comedy-funny-hot-attractiveness.

In this article, the author, Sophia Benoit discusses the relationship between being a female comedian and attractiveness. She claims that in the comedy world, in order to be a successful female comedian, one must be attractive and, specifically, “hot”. She states, however, that in the world of comedy, there is no place for judging women based on their attractiveness–not simply because it shouldn’t be done anywhere but also because it makes the overall quality of the comedy worse. When people watch comedy, they are not thinking about how ugly or pretty the comedian is but more so how funny the jokes are. Furthermore, these jokes are generally self deprecating and shine the comedian in a light that is more unattractive if anything. Ultimately, she claims that standards for women in comedy should be the same as those for men for both moral and practical reasons. This piece is valuable because it highlights an issue that many women face in a field because of their gender and argues why it should not exist. It helps bring attention to a concern female comedians are forced to have to be successful and, in doing so, helps eradicate it.  

O, The Oprah Magazine. “An Open Letter To People Who Think Women Aren’t Funny.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 3 May 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/an-open-letter-to-people-who-think-women-arent-funny_us_59075a96e4b02655f83ec973.

In this article, the author describes her journey to success as a comedian and how embracing her femininity did not affect her success. In the beginning of her career, she was told that she should always wear bland clothing on stage to not distract men in the audience. She always wore jeans (never skirts or shorts), loose shirts, and, at times even, a vest over. Her jokes always stayed clear from funny date stories, periods, or other topics women could relate to to avoid retribution. As she became more established, however, she did not think that the audience would begin to reject her if she wore more revealing and stylish clothing or added some topics into her shows that women could relate to. Once she made changes to her style on stage, she realized that abiding by the old rules were not necessary in order to succeed. This article is meaningful because it shows how a woman stressed and took unnecessary precaution in her early career to downplay and conceal her femininity. It shows that despite her choice of style or specific comedy topic, the fact that she could make people laugh mattered most and led to her success.

Vagianos, Alanna. “Music Festivals Have A Glaring Woman Problem. Here’s Why.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, data.huffingtonpost.com/music-festivals.

This article discusses the huge gender imbalance present in the lineups of major music festivals. In most of the major music festivals, over 60-70% of the artists are male or all male groups and only 15-20% are groups with females in them. In addition to the huge imbalance of representative artists, the men groups generally get paid much more than women. They are able to get paid more because different artists have different fees that they charge the festival so that they will perform. Festivals, however, are evidently willing to pay men artists more than women artists. This article holds value because it calls out the huge gender imbalance in the music festival world that many people continue to fund without knowing all the facts. It brings attention to an issue few know about and helps make known that gender inequality is an issue that famous artists have to deal with as well, not just ordinary civilians.

Baehr, Helen. “The ‘liberated woman’ in television drama”. Women’s Studies International Quarterly, Version 3, Issue 1, 2010, 15 pages, ScienceDirect.


This paper explores the concept of a “liberated woman” on modern television dramas. It states that the modern media and television is responsible for shaping much of the public’s thoughts and opinions. In the past, television rarely used women as stars of the show or as the main protagonists (unless it was with the crucial help from a man). More and more modern television shows, however, have been starring females as protagonists who save themselves. The “liberated woman” on the screen is a woman who faces a great variety of challenges and common problems and surmounts them on her own. She does not use men, or anyone else as a crutch. That is not to say that she has faults or stumbles at times, but she ultimately surmounts whatever challenge confront her because of her own strength. This article is valuable because it discusses a progressive trend in current tv shows that plays a significant role in promoting feminism. It highlights a new role on television that woman have rarely filled in the past but will begin to in the present and future.


Harrison, Kristen. “Television Viewers’ Ideal Body Proportions: The Case of the Curvaceously Thin Woman”. Sex Roles, Volume 48, Issue 5, March 2003, 255-264, Springer Link


This article discusses the effect that seeing the “ideal female body” on television has on women’s perceptions of themselves. It found that overall, due to high levels of exposure to one specific body type on television, women are disposed to wanting smaller waists. Women with smaller busts want larger busts and the opposite is true for women with larger busts. Exposure to a single female body type on television has also led to many women being more open to using plastic surgery to change their bodies to match their ideal. This article is significant because it explores how women view themselves as an effect of what they see on the screen. It explores what women’s perception of a good body are and how the media shapes this perception. It helps bring attention to the fact that media significantly alters people’s opinions of how they look themselves and calls attention to the fact that it would be a good idea to show all body types on the screen so that people would be more comfortable with themselves.

Shartiely, Eric. “The Portrayal of the Tanzanian Woman in television commercials: is she a piece of soap, a house, or gold?”. Dept of Oriental and African Languages, Goteborg University Africa and Asia, No 5, 2005, 108-141


In this paper, the author analyzes the portrayal of Tanzanian women in television commercials and other advertisements. She claims that in Tanzania, the commercials reflect the social reality of the area. Women are generally seen as rewards that men should have instead of as their own individuals. They are seen as dependent upon men and who must focus on pleasing men. This is reflected the subservient positions that women are often filling in commercials. They are never the main lead or focus but always off to the side, helping the main male advertiser hold or sell a products as he does all of the talking. This article is important because it shows a parallel between American gender inequality and that of another, less developed country. It conveys that both countries have a similar gender issue. By highlighting similarities between the two, it is easier to understand the issues in each country individually.

Selected Works Relating To Females in TV Journalism

Cann, David J., and Philip B. Mohr. “Journalist and Source Gender in Australian Television News.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 45, no. 1, 2001, pp. 162-174. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/227290751?accountid=11107.


Cann and Mohr discuss how the equality seemingly present in news stations of their day is really only surface level. They discuss how many stations have altered their hiring practices to become more equal, hiring equal proportions of male and female reporters, but in reality inequality is still rampant. Specifically, inequality still exists within the type of story male and female reporters are assigned. According to their study, male reporters receive gut wrenching, new stories whereas female reporters receive day-to-day news. The paper argues this is because men are seen as more capable than women. This peer-reviewed source is worth reading because it deeply explores inequalities in news stories using statistical analysis. It gives an in-depth analysis of an issue relating to my group’s topic which can help us frame own question and research. This source is also interesting to look at because it gives an international perspective.

Glascock, Jack. “Gender Roles on Prime-Time Network Television: Demographics and Behaviors.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 45, no. 4, 2001, pp. 656-669. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/227286652?accountid=11107.


In this peer-reviewed study Glascock compares the portrayal of women and men on television using a variety of factors. Glascock employs a detailed statistical analysis of the 1996 Fox TV season. He argues that television was trending towards more female characters, but males still outnumbered them especially behind the scenes. Glascock points out that having more females behind the scenes of shows would likely increase the number of female characters. In addition, it is pointed out that women are often portrayed in lower paying jobs, and they are also often dressed provocatively. This source is useful because it gives an incredibly detailed insight to gender dynamics on television in the late 90s. This can be used to compare television of that era to that of today. This paper can also be used because of its detailed discussion about how women worked behind the scenes on television. The gender dynamics of today can be easily compared to those of the later 90s.

Mudrick, Michael, and Carolyn A. Lin. “Looking on from the Sideline: Perceived Role Congruity of Women Sports Journalists.” Journal of Sports Media, vol. 12, no. 2, 2017, pp. 79-101. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1966844219?accountid=11107.


In this study Mudrick and Lin discuss how people perceive female sports reporters. First, they introduce how few female sports reporters there are as well as the idea that people tend to shame women who do more “manly” activities. For example, a woman who plays rugby is seen as less of a woman due to her “masculine physique.” They go on to describe how women reporting on more “manly” sports are not seen as less trustworthy, but they are seen as an incongruity. Furthermore, they posit that more attractive women tend to foster a more loyal fanbase, especially on social media, than less attractive women. This study is useful because it shows how people see women on television, specifically in sports journalism roles. This is excellent for our study because it gives insight into the societal reasons so few women are involved with sports reporting and if they are they are likely reporting on “feminine” sports.

Perryman, N., & Theiss, S. (2014). “WEATHER GIRLS” ON THE BIG SCREEN: Stereotypes, sex appeal, and science. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 95(3), 347-356. Retrieved from http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.prx.library.gatech.edu/docview/1523900887?accountid=11107


Here Perryman argues that the portrayal of “weather girls” on television and in movies reflects the real life sexism women face in the field of meteorology. She argues “weather girls” are often sexualized and shown as airheads compared to their male counterparts. In addition, regardless if a female is more qualified, she is shown as inferior to her male colleagues. For example, a woman with a meteorology degree was not allowed to call herself a meteorologist because it made her male counterpart feel inferior. This source is useful because it directly relates to the topic my group wants to research. We want to learn about females in the media on television, and this source specifically targets female meteorologists. This source is also useful because it provides a huge amount of background information regarding female news broadcasters. It presents a history going all the way back to the very first one.


Weibel, David, Bartholomäus Wissmath, and Rudolf Groner. “How Gender and Age Affect Newscasters’ Credibility – an Investigation in Switzerland.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 52, no. 3, 2008, pp. 466. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/227289759?accountid=11107.


This source argues that newscasters’ credibility depends upon their gender. Specifically, the argument is that older female newscasters are not as trusted as older males. It also argues younger males and females are seen as equally credible by viewers. The paper posits this may be due to audience bias towards more attractive presenters. This source is useful because it offers a view into a new market of television. This source is from Europe, a place where up to 80% of newscasters are female. This is wholly the opposite of the United States. Thus, the two regions can be compared in relation to their portrayal of women on television. This source’s results must also be taken with a grain of salt. The source itself mentions the term “credibility” is not explicitly defined and thus the results from the subjects may be interpreted differently. Even with its flaws this source still provides good information.

Whipple, Thomas W., and Mary K. McManamon. “Implications of using Male and Female Voices in Commercials: An Exploratory Study.” Journal of Advertising, vol. 31, no. 2, 2002, pp. 79-91. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/236553752?accountid=11107.


This peer reviewed study seeks to find how people respond to commercials depending on if they use a male voice or a female voice. The paper defines the terms “spokesperson” and “announcer” in relation to commercials and then describes the instances in which people will respond best to a male or female announcer or spokesperson. The study also mentions how men vastly outnumber women in the number of voice overs they do for television. The final conclusion is that for most products a male or female can be used to effectively advertise. This source is useful because it discusses how people react to males versus females on television. This source also relates to the theme of newscasters because both newscasters and presenters in commercials are seen as figures of authority by the audience. This source is also useful because it contradicts the rest of my sources by saying people react similarly whether they hear a male or a female voice.

Gender Representation in US News: Annotated Bibliography

  1. Cukier, W., Jackson, S., Elmi, M. A., Roach, E., & Cyr, D. (2016). Representing   women? leadership roles and women in canadian broadcast news. Gender in Management, 31(5), 374-395. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/GM-04-2015-0035

This paper sought to explore the representation of women in Canadian broadcast news coverage. The researches used software to analyze the frequency with which women received airtime in these broadcasts, the way in which they are framed, as well as technical and expressive detail. Though we will likely focus primarily on gender representation in US news to avoid having too broad of a scope for our project, I believe it’s relevant to look at this peer reviewed source which is analyzing essentially the very same issue, only internationally. Like what we expect to find in the US, this paper found that women are quantitatively underrepresented in Canadian broadcast news coverage. It also found that women are less likely than men to be framed as leaders or experts, and less likely to hold news host or anchor positions.

  1. Cooky, Cheryl, et al. “Women Play Sport, But Not on TV.” Communication & Sport, vol. 1, no. 3, 2013, pp. 203–230., doi:10.1177/2167479513476947.

This paper examined the amount of coverage women’s sports received in comparison to men’s sports. It looked at 6 weeks of the televised news media coverage on the local news affiliates in Los Angeles as well as the coverage of women’s sports on ESPN’s SportsCenter using both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Through this analysis it found that women’s sports received dramatically less coverage and less positive coverage than men’s sports despite increased participation in women’s sports at a high school, collegiate, and professional level. This paper provided a slightly different perspective of women in the news than most of the other papers I looked at – instead of analyzing how women were involved in the dissemination of news it instead examined how women were portrayed in the news. I believe this is a good perspective to analyze in the research of the general topic of gender representation in the news and may be an interesting and different branch to research as opposed to the airtime women receive in news broadcasting that most of the other papers and articles I looked at examined.



  1. Gustafsson Sendén, Marie, et al. “‘She’ and ‘He’ in News Media Messages: Pronoun Use Reflects Gender Biases in Semantic Contexts.” Sex Roles, vol. 72, no. 1–2, Jan. 2015, pp. 40–49. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s11199-014-0437-x.

The purpose of this study was to explore if there is an inherent male bias in the media by examining how the pronouns “she” and “he” are used in the context of news media. It did this by examining if “he” was used more frequently and in more positive semantic context than “she” and if “she” was used in conjunction with more stereotypical labels.  This was performed using latent semantic analysis, a completely data-driven method, extracting statistics of words from how they are used throughout a corpus. Using this method avoided any inherent bias the researchers may have had. This analysis found that male pronouns were used in more positive contexts than female pronouns and used about nine times more frequently, thus arriving at the conclusion that men are portrayed as the norm in this form of media. This paper is incredibly relevant to the research we’re performing because it provides a purely statistical analysis of gender representation in news media.

  1. “The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2017.” Women’s Media Center, 21 Mar. 2017, www.womensmediacenter.com/reports/the-status-of-women-in-u.s.-media-2017.

This article examined who provides news coverage for the top 20 US news outlets in the US, looking at newspapers, online news, wire services and television news in 2017. It found that men produce most of the news in all of these forms and that the disparity was particularly bad in TV news, and found that overall, men produce 62.3 percent of the analyzed reports while women produce 37.7 percent. It also provided several useful infographics that helped to visualize these disparities. Though this article was not a peer reviewed source, it provides very clear-cut statistical information on gender representation in news media. Furthermore, since this article is not peer reviewed it was able to have more current information that the other papers I read. The infographics provided will also certainly be a useful point of reference when we need to produce our own infographic for this project.

  1. Jia, Sen, et al. “Women Are Seen More than Heard in Online Newspapers.” PLoS ONE, vol. 11, no. 2, Feb. 2016, pp. 1–11. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148434.

This paper collected 2,353,652 articles over a period of six months from more than 950 different news outlets. From this initial dataset, the researches then extracted 2,171,239 references to named persons and 1,376,824 images resolving the gender of names and faces using automated computational methods. This analysis found that males were represented more often than females in both images and text, but in proportions that changed across topics, news outlets and mode. Moreover, the proportion of females was consistently higher in images than in text, for virtually all topics and news outlets; women were more likely to be represented visually than they were mentioned as a news actor or source. I believe this paper is relevant to this research because it focused entirely on gender representation in the context of online news, whereas most of the other papers I looked at focused primarily focused on the depiction of women in TV news.

  1. Gershon, Sarah. “When Race, Gender, and the Media Intersect: Campaign News Coverage of Minority Congresswomen.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, vol. 33, no. 2, Apr. 2012, pp. 105–125. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/1554477X.2012.667743.

This paper examined how minority Congresswomen were portrayed in the news during the 2006 midterm elections since the researchers found that, while papers had been done on minorities running for office and women running for office, none had explored the intersectional struggle that female minorities faced in this area. This paper found that minority candidates and female candidates did not receive significantly less coverage or less positive coverage, but candidates who were female minorities received coverage that was less frequent and more negative than that of their peers. I found this paper interesting and relevant because it not only explored gender representation in the news, but also brought the factor of race into play.

Citations On The Role Of Gender Stereotypes In Children’s Television: Annotated Bibliography

Bickford, T. (2015). Tween intimacy and the problem of public life in children’s media: “having it all” on the disney channel’s hannah montana. Women’s Studies Quarterly, 43(1), 66-82. Retrieved from http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1665109811?accountid=11107  *

This peer-reviewed source explores the concept of the “tween,” the age cohort between childhood and the teenage years. The source delves into the discussion about how tweens in the United States have a misrepresented image in children’s television. Bickford examines how gender stereotypes affect the image of the tween in America, and it is presumed that tweens are girls who regularly consume children’s media. Bickford utilizes Hannah Montana to argue that even the protagonist, a tween pop star living a double life, is having trouble “having it all” in her public and private life. This source relates how the hyper-feminized view of tweens is negatively affected by the notion of “having it all,” where women are expected to have control over both their public persona as well as their private image. The source argues that adult women in the media are treated as social minors, whereas tweens in the media are eroticized for their childhood innocence. This peer-reviewed source is relevant because it reinforces how female gender roles in children’s television mirror the unequal representation of a woman’s life in the general media.


Breed, Lisa, et al. “Variations in the Gender‐Stereotyped Content of Children’s Television Cartoons Across Genres.” The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Wiley-Blackwell, 31 July 2006. Retrieved from onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2002.tb02767.x. **

This study examined how gender role stereotypes are projected across four different genres of cartoons, such as traditional adventure, nontraditional adventure, educational, and comedy. While certain behaviors of aggression were not as present in educational cartoons than in the other genres, the study deduced that male characters were still at the forefront of the storylines across all types of cartoons. The study found that male characters were more represented and had more leverage in the plot of the cartoons than the female characters, and the stereotypical male behavior of aggression was emphasized in the adventure cartoons. The study also supported the notion that female characters were mainly employed as the love interest or supporting character, rather than significant, plot-progressing characters. While this source tends to be redundant with its findings on male representation over female in children’s cartoons, the source does add a specific criteria of cartoons to highlight the differences of representation across the genre. Despite the specificity, the source continues to bolster the fact that female characters are misrepresented in children’s media, which can perpetuate into future generations.


Browne, B. A. (1998). Gender stereotypes in advertising on children’s television in the 1990s: A cross-national analysis. Journal of Advertising, 27(1), 83-96. Retrieved from http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/236627552?accountid=11107 *

This peer-reviewed source is a study on how gender stereotypes are perpetuated through advertising on children’s television. In the analysis, gender stereotypes were observed in advertisements that aired on children’s television in the United States and Australia. The goal of the study was to examine how often gender stereotypes are projected through these commercials, and if there was any difference between the children audience in the United States and Australia. The study found that there was relatively little difference in the projection of gender stereotypes in these advertisements between the two countries. The source argues that on a consistent basis, boys were viewed as more knowledgeable and dominant than girls were viewed, regardless of the country. Therefore, this source contains relevant information because it supports the notion that children’s programming inherently perpetuates gender stereotypes that diminish girls’ value. The source is valuable because it has concrete evidence in the misrepresentation of girls in children’s media. This peer-reviewed source supports the idea that this gender bias affects the fabric of the general media in that women are continually portrayed as less than men.


Chandler, E. (2016). “I never wanted to be an ashley!” androcentrism and gender entitlement in disney’s recess. Gender Issues, 33(2), 148-162. Retrieved from doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12147-016-9154-9 *

This peer-reviewed source tackles the idea of androcentrism in the range of normal childhood femininity. Chandler utilizes Recess, a popular Disney cartoon, as the prime example of how androcentric characters do more to harm the image of femininity in childhood than help it. The source describes how in one episode, Ashley Spinelli, a “tomboy,” does not like her name because it is associated with the girly-girl Ashleys of the school. Spinelli’s inhibition to accept her name relates to the source’s argument that androcentrism is an alternative way to downplay femininity as cruel and vile. The source acknowledges how perceived masculinity in girls is a better life than embracing their femininity, which is relevant to the gender stereotypes in children’s television as it is. This peer-reviewed source adds a crucial point in the representation of gender in children’s television because it tackles how masculinity is always perceived as better than femininity. This source proves that rather than embrace themselves for who they are, children view masculinity as the best way to live their lives.


Morgan, M. (1982). Television and adolescents’ sex role stereotypes: A longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43(5), 947-955. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.43.5.947 **

This study analyzed the relationship between sex-role stereotypes and television viewing in a sample of 349 middle-school aged children over two years. The study was conducted to determine if television viewing did impact the children’s sex-role attitudes as well as the difference in attitudes between boys and girls. The study concluded that television viewing greatly affected the sex-role attitudes of the girls, whereas the boys were seemingly unaffected by television viewing in their attitudes towards gender norms. However, this source does add a unique perspective to gender representation in children’s television because the study includes the socio-economic background of these boys and girls. Lower-class girls were found to have consistently similar views to the boys while the more affluent girls reacted much more strongly to the television viewing. The study adds a significant point that those who are least likely to have traditional sex roles, such as upper class girls, were impacted much more by the television viewing than everyone else. This source reinforces that girls are much more influenced on their sex-role attitudes by television, but it also adds how socio-economic status can differ the attitudes within girls themselves.


Thompson, T.L. & Zerbinos, E. Sex Roles (1995) 32: 651. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01544217 **

This source describes a study that sought to examine the evolution of gender roles in animated cartoons within a twenty year span, from the 1970s to the 1990s. The study observed the behaviors, communication, and overall significance of male and female characters in these selected cartoons. The study found that male characters were still a dominating force in the story and significance of the cartoon, and they wielded much more of the total speaking lines and screen time than the female characters. The source describes how within the twenty year span, there was little change in how male characters are portrayed in cartoons as compared to the female characters. However, the source also acknowledges that the roles of female characters in these selected cartoons has grown in significance from the 1970s to the 1990s, even though the evolution was miniscule. This source provides a unique representation of gender roles because it examines the stereotypes within cartoons, which are ultimately made by men and women. The projection of the real world societal stereotypes in children’s cartoons supports the inherent disparity of gender representation in children’s television.



**=not peer-reviewed

CITATIONS: Women and Late Night Comedy

Wild, N. M. (2015). Dumb vs. fake: Representations of Bush and Palin on Saturday night live and their effects on the journalistic public sphere. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 59(3), 494. Retrieved from http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1704390801?accountid=11107


This article discusses the Saturday Night Live sketch in which Tina Fey portrayed Sarah Palin shortly after John McCain announced Palin would be his running mate in the 2008 presidential election.  Dannagal Young, the author of this article, argues that this portrayal was influential (to some degree) in shaping Americans’ opinions of Palin.  Even though people did not solely base their ideas of Palin on how Fey presented her, they began to associate the two (who, in reality, were stark opposites politically) as one and the same.  While Young does not believe Saturday Night Live is responsible for the outcome of the 2008 election, he does believe that media is in many ways responsible for shaping people’s opinions.  This article is worth reading because its terminology is largely unbiased, and it draws a thought-provoking connection between people’s sources of entertainment and their actions, no matter how subtle this connection may seem.  For our project, it is valuable because it examines the way a popular late-night comedy show handled an election in which a female ran for president and vice president on opposing parties (a first in many fronts), and it also analyzes the public’s general reaction to this event as it was portrayed on SNL.



Miller, M. K., Peake, J. S., & Boulton, B. A. (2010). Testing the Saturday Night Live Hypothesis: Fairness and Bias in Newspaper Coverage of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Politics & Gender, 6(2), 169-198. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1743923X10000036


In this article, the authors examine the way Hillary Clinton was treated by the general media during the 2008 presidential campaign.  It explores the value of the questions Clinton was asked (which, she believed, tended to be either geared toward her comfort, or, if worth any political value, were more difficult questions than those asked of her opponent, Barack Obama).  In general, it measures the differences between the media’s attitudes toward her versus their attitudes toward Obama, and it argues that Clinton was, in fact, treated with great discrimination simply because of her sex.  While this particular article only vaguely references Saturday Night Live or any type of genre within our group’s realm of focus, its exploration into the media’s treatment of women in general is worth reading.  It cites sources and charts concerning the context in which women are discussed, and according to this data, women under the public spotlight are known more for their family life than their personal views.  The hard data within this article proves concrete evidence that women are treated unfairly by the media under certain circumstances.


Santa Ana, Otto. (2009). Did you call in Mexican? The Racial Politics of Jay Leno Immigrant Jokes. Language in Society, 38(1), 23-45. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404508090027


Although this article explicitly discusses neither women nor Saturday Night Live, it does examine the treatment of minorities on late night comedy shows to a great extent.  In the midst of demonstrations and rallies supporting immigrant naturalization to America in 2006, Jay Leno used immigrants as the butt of a series of jokes on The Tonight Show.  The author of this article, Santa Ana, argues the idea that society is divided when it comes to perspectives on late-night comedy.  Some believe that nothing is off limits because no matter what the joke is about, somebody will be made fun of, but others demand that comedians should use basic judgement when making jokes, and if it demeans a person or group, then the joke should go untold.  In fact, when an off-color joke is told by a person as well-known and revered as Leno, the audience is more likely to let it slide and not even recognize that certain groups find it offensive.  I think this article is worth reading because it presents another side to the “it’s just a joke” argument.  It’s an important thing for everyone to keep in mind, even if it doesn’t really do a lot for our research purposes.


Summergrad, S. (2016). Can we talk?: A discussion of gender politics in the late-night comedy career of Joan Rivers (Order No. 10130835). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text. (1801956682). Retrieved from http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1801956682?accountid=11107


Here, Joan Rivers’ career as a comedian is explored in great detail.  Summergrad, the author, argues that Joan Rivers tends to be remembered by her plastic-surgeries-gone-wrong and her roles as a red-carpet host, but she is not known as much for being a comedian, whether as a guest host or the host of her own show.  This article examines writings which argue that men are generally funnier than women, women’s humor is domestic in type, and women’s humor is simply “noise.”  It presents the argument that these beliefs stem from the generations-old idea that women belong in the home, and overcoming this idea will take time.  However, the author writes, women do indeed have a role in comedy, and Joan Rivers is a prime example of this.  This particular article is worth reading because it examines the rise of women’s role in comedy beginning in the Lucille Ball era and spanning that time to the present day.  For our project, it provides insight into the public’s view of women in comedy, and delves into that idea being seen as a stigma.


Kolbert, E. (1993, Aug 22). Television: Why late-night TV is a man’s world. New York Times Retrieved from http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/429199461?accountid=11107


Published in the early 1990s (on my mother’s thirty-third birthday, ironically), this article examines the idea that late-night television is primarily hosted, viewed, and appreciated by men.  It argues that this pattern is not necessarily “anti-women,” it just happened to work this way.  Men showed greater interest in this field more than women did, and as a result, more men were hired to work as writers, producers, etc. for late night comedy.  The author argues that most humor in late-night comedy shows are self-defense driven, and he believes that this is a realm of humor used primarily by men, and was “learned in school by little boys trying to get by” (Kolbert).  Because this article supports a view point that is a little more pro-men and anti-equal rights than most others I’ve found so far, I think it is definitely worth reading and using.  It’s always beneficial to at least see the other side of an argument, and I believe this article presents a relatively civil version of that.


Mannis, Samantha. “Late-Night Comedy Evolves with New Generation of Viewers.”University Wire, Apr 28, 2014. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1519246639?accountid=11107


This article examines the shift of late-night comedy as its viewership majority gradually changes from baby boomers to millennials.  Written during Jimmy Fallon’s early days as host of The Tonight Show, Mannis argues that bringing in a new host symbolizes a new era of late-night comedy, and this era will be more familiar and relatable to the current generation.  Although shows such as Saturday Night Live provide classic entertainment with older sketches that have been replayed again and again, that show is also finding a new voice as hosting in late-night comedy appears to be changing across the board.  According to this author, younger people will find late night comedy shows to be more and more relatable to them instead of something they think their parents might find funny.  This article is absolutely worth reading because it explores the changing ages and demographics of people who watch late night comedy shows, and points to the correlation that must exist between these shows and their audiences.  If people don’t find the shows funny and relatable, what makes them worth watching?

Citations for Representation in Children’s Television Throughout Generations

Thompson, Teresa L., and Eugenia Zerbinos. “Television Cartoons: Do Children Notice it’s a Boy’s World?” Sex Roles, vol. 37, no. 5, 1997, pp. 415-432. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.prx.library.gatech.edu/docview/225382192?accountid=11107.

This study explores how children aged 4-9 see gender in children’s cartoons. 89 children watched cartoons to see how many boys vs girls they see, how often characters spoke, and to see if they recognized stereotypes such as women working “lower class” jobs. This study follows up on a 1970’s study that showed that in 70’s cartoons, women and girls were quiet, less in number, needed to be rescued, and fell in love at first sight. According to the results, in the 90’s, not much has changed. This study is relevant to the generational aspect and the gender representation aspect of the research question. It also takes into account many parts of how children may view tv, such as if mothers work traditional “female” jobs, non traditional jobs, or work at all.

Wilson, Barbara J. “Media and Children’s Aggression, Fear, and Altruism.” The Future of Children, vol. 18, no. 1, 2008. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.prx.library.gatech.edu/docview/1519298615?accountid=11107.

This study explores how children are affected by television and the media. It explores how the media can affect emotional growth and development, including the development of empathy. It then investigates social behavior in children, such as development of morality and a tendency to view the media and develop aggression. The results show that television and media affect every child differently, but some trends were noted. For example, kids who focused on a humorous subplot in a tv show about earthquakes often weren’t affected by the negative emotions that kids who watched the same show without humor were affected by. Socially, a startling result is that many “hard to control” preschoolers in the study were exposed to violent tv and media. While this study doesn’t explore gender representation, it does show how children are affected by different topics in tv; this can add a lot of benefit to our study of children’s television.

Anderson, Kristin J., and Donna Cavallaro. “Parents Or Pop Culture?: Children’s Heroes and Role Models.” Childhood Education, vol. 78, no. 3, 2002, pp. 161-168. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/210386477?accountid=11107.

This study investigates children’s role models and heroes and how television and media influences this. It was conducted on children ages 8-13, and several questions were asked; how do we determine who children want to be like? Does ethnicity and gender influence these role models? How can people guide children to learn about more role models? Typically, children tended to admire the heroes and protagonists, but this can have detrimental effects. “Good” characters are rarely punished for violent actions, so children may see violence as an answer. Also, women and people of color are severely underrepresented in many superhero comics and shows, as well as in the media in general. Also, children tend to pick real-life people as role models too. This study shows an interesting way of viewing children’s role models and how factors such as gender may influence them.

Gerbner, George, PhD. “Children’s Television: A National Disgrace.” Pediatric Annals, vol. 14, no. 12, 1985, pp. 822-823,826-827. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1023315623?accountid=11107.

This source shows the negative and positive effects of television in children, discussing how television is a huge part of our lives and how rather than getting rid of it, it is possible to change and monitor it. Representation is bad; men outnumber women 3:1, younger people are represented ⅓ less than their population, and seniors over 65 are represented less than ⅕ of their population. Much of the characters in television are law enforcement officers, doctors, lawyers, and judges, of which many enforce rules and laws. The content of television often makes children grow into adults that believe in a mean world, one full of mistrust and bad things. This source gives a glimpse into representation on television, how it affects people, and a few ways to improve children’s television (such as requiring 5 hours a week of educational programs for children.)

Abad-Santos, Alex. “The Fight over She-Ra’s Redesign, Explained.” Vox, Vox, 18 July 2018, www.vox.com/2018/7/18/17585950/she-ra-redesign-controversy-netflix.

This news article explores the controversy of the new Netflix reboot of He-Man, She-Ra and the princess of power. Once the new designs were released in 2018, long time (mostly) male fans were angry about her design. The reboot is made to appeal to a younger audience, and She-Ra is portrayed as a young teenage girl, which she always was in the series. However, her old design is much more womanly and “sexy.” This article explains the controversy, links tweets to both sides of the argument, and offers some opinions. With reboots, the generational aspects of kids’ tv is shown. Those who viewed the original He-man as children have different values and expectations than the children of this generation. Exploring reboots of shows and the changes in representation will give us an important look into the generational changes of children’s television.

*not peer reviewed

Pyun, Sabrina. “The VOLTRON Reboot is Your 2016 Feminist Series.” ComicsVerse, Comicsverse, 26 June 2016, https://comicsverse.com/voltron-reboot-feminist-series/.

This article explores another reboot: Voltron: Legendary Defender. The previously mostly white cast has been replaced with a diverse one in the 2016 reboot. Representation is much better in the new show; it features cuban, asian, white, hispanic, and black characters as well as smart, witty, powerful women. Allura, who was formerly a white woman with blonde hair, is coded as black in the 2016 show. This is monumental. She’s also a fighter, tactician, and support during voltron’s battles. Pidge, who pretended to be a boy to enter the garrison, is a girl. But, there’s no significant gender reveal or drama about it. Before and after the reveal, she’s a hacker and genius and her gender doesn’t make anyone question it. This source is another examination into reboots, but this shows representation in gender and race, making it relevant to intersectional feminism.

*not peer reviewed

Career Representation in TV Over Time – Annotated Bibliography

Elasmar, Michael, Kazumi Hasegawa, and Mary Brain. “The Portrayal of Women in U.S. Prime Time Television.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 43, no. 1, 1999, pp. 20-34. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/227281152?accountid=11107.

This paper mainly focuses on how women are portrayed and how that affects children watching it. It illustrates how previous researchers only tracked the presence of women and that the portrayal of women is what really matters. The article also recognized how men were over represented on television with 58% having professional roles compared to 15% in real life. Women were more likely to have non-serious roles than men. They found that only 44% of women were depicted as working and only 21% of married women were depicted as working. This research paper is important because it focuses on a time period outside of modern television. This helps our topic a lot since it is the portrayal of working women over time. It is further important since it is full of statistics that help illustrate the differences between women and men in prime-time television. It is worth reading to understand the difference of working women in the 70s and today.

Grodin, Debra. “Women Watching Television: Gender, Class, and Generation in the American Television Experience.” Women and Language, vol. 14, no. 2, 1991, pp. 35. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/198799896?accountid=11107.

This paper analyzes another paper over how and why working women are portrayed the way they are on television. It goes over how women like to identify with certain types of characters over others. This paper goes into further detail on how middle-class women dislike watching women with high paying careers because it is very different from their own lives. It notes how shows with female characters similar to an average middle-class women are more likely to be watched and enjoyed and enjoyed by their average female viewer. This source is importance since it goes into why shows mainly depict middle-class women working normal medium paying jobs or as stay-at-home moms. It does not contain lots of statistics and data on working women in television, but it gives good insight into what types of characters women are most likely to identify and relate too. It will be important to relate the ideas of this article to data and statistics from other articles.

Glascock, Jack, and Thomas E. Ruggiero. “Representations of Class and Gender on Primetime Spanish-Language Television in the United States.” Communication Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 4, 2004, pp. 390-402. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/216482966?accountid=11107.

This article goes over class and gender in Spanish-speaking television in the United States. It argues that men are more likely to have higher paying jobs and less childcare responsibilities than women. The paper further argues that lighter skinned characters were more likely to be in a higher class and better position than darker skinned characters. While women were represented equally to men in the shows analyzed, they were less likely to have jobs and even less likely to have higher paying jobs than men. This paper is very important because it relates directly to our topic and focuses on a different subset of American television and viewers. It illustrates that even in Latino television, women are still unequal to men in the roles they play on television. Men are still more likely to be the providers for the household and most women are either stay at home moms or work low paying jobs. Overall, this source is worth reading in understanding the gender differences in a different subset of American television.

Ulaby, Neda. “Working Women On Television: A Mixed Bag At Best.” npr, 18 May 2018, https://www.npr.org/2013/05/18/184832930/working-women-on-television-a-mixed-bag-at-best.

This article goes over careers in characters in prime-time television and compares the statistics to real life statistics. They use statistics from a research Geena Davis’s study. They found that 44.3% of women in speaking roles were gainfully employed on television. The article compares this to the real life percent of 46.7% and decided that prime-time television is pretty decent at depicting women with careers. However, the paper points out that television is not accurate in age and children in working women. Almost none of working women in television have children and most are under 40. This article is important because it goes over important statistics that relate to our topic. It is very important in comparing the statistics from television to real life to see if television is accurately portraying its characters. The article is definitely worth reading as it gives insight on how accurate the portrayal of female characters are in prime-time television.

Smith, Brittany, “Gender Representation and Occupational Portrayals in Primetime Television” (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 1673. http://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/1673

This study looked at gender representation and occupational portrayals on primetime television. The paper looks at lots of statistics and compares them to previous studies. While there has been improvement, the portrayal of women is not where it should be and lots of stereotypes of women still exist in television. This paper also looked into which stations had made the most improvement, and which stations had made the least. The study found that there still needs to be lots of improvement to get these shows up to par with reality as lots of women are still portrayed as housewives or blue-collared workers. This study is important because it contains lots of statistics of different news stations that relate directly to our topic of working women in television, and it relates the statistics to previous studies to show the change in recent years. It provides lots of insight on which areas need improvement the most and on what stations.

Emilaire, Sierra. “A Look At Women Represented In Media.” StudyBreak. 17 July 2017, https://studybreaks.com/culture/women-representation-media/

This article takes a look at how women are portrayed in television and how that relates to young girls’ lives. It states that stereotypes that come from TV shows like women are supposed to be housewives and that women cannot become CEOs puts limitations on girls growing up. This piece explains how representation is important because women shape their perceptions of themselves based on what they see in Television and movies. This article states how there is not enough female characters with high-paying jobs or leads in shows. This article is important because it illustrates the importance of having accurate depictions of women in society and the effect it can have on young girls growing up. It is definitely worth reading to understand the effect having different portrayals of women can have on society and individual people. This article also explains how women in these roles in television are already accepted and liked and should appear more often.

r e s e a r c h

Medich, Rob et al. “Flashes.” Entertainment Weekly, no. 678, 2002, p. 16,


This article from Entertainment Weekly breaks down some occupations shown on TV. It compares the prominence of these occupations to the composition of those occupations in real life. A notable comparison comes in the medical field, where 12.1% of the surveyed television characters are employed in the medical field, despite only 0.9% of people work in this field in real life. Additionally, only 6.4% of sampled characters work in management or executive positions, despite 31% of real people working in these positions. None of the metrics for included fields in fantasy versus reality are anywhere near one another.

Despite the shortness of this article, it serves to illustrate good points relative to the topic at hand. Television presents scenarios that are not lifelike so that people can live vicariously through it. In this instance, the life of a medical employee is something not many people experience. However, this also shows that implicit bias may have a hand in altering the reality of television. While these data may not be directly applicable to the research question, this does show the disparity between reality and fiction in television.


Durkin, Kevin and Bradley Nugent. “Kindergarten Children’s Gender-Role Expectations for Television Actors.” Sex Roles., vol. 38, no. 6, 1998, pp. 387-402,


This article begins with an exposition of gender roles defined in television, with men holding more typically masculine roles and women holding more traditionally feminine ones. Previous studies have attempted to form a correlation between this and children’s perception of gender roles, with varying and sometimes contradictory results. A study is then detailed, in which children’s tendency to assign gender to certain jobs was assessed. Children aged four to five were asked to watch a scene with a female voiceover, featuring equal numbers of male and female characters, if any, and identify if a man, woman, or both would be suitable for performing a given action. The children were also asked whether or not they thought they would be good at said task later in life. The children’s response to the first task was very clearly in favor of the predetermined typical gender roles. Whether or not this was due to television was not addressed.

This article illustrates some of the importance, or lack thereof, of the issue at hand. While gender stereotyping may exist in television, it may not have any large effects on children. However, children do end up with biases somehow, and this may be the result of television. The use of a female voiceover in this study is interesting, and may cause skewed results, but the data is already pretty clear and unified, so I doubt it.


Greenberg, Bradley S. and Larry Collette. “The Changing Faces on Tv: A Demographic Analysis of Network Television’s New Seasons, 1966-1992.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media., vol. 41, no. 1, 1997, pp. 1-13,


This article goes through a very thorough scrutinization of new characters in television shows over twenty-seven years, from 1966 to 1992. 88% of characters in this time period were white, with only thirteen total Hispanic and twelve total Asian characters. It was found that on average, characters were 65% male and 35% female, with the closest to real ratio of male to female being 49% female in 1984. Characters were never even or majority female. Females’ appearances on television were, on average, ten years younger than males, assigned to more stereotypical roles, fewer in number, and more likely to be supporting characters. Additionally, females were most likely to hold the position of married mother at home. As far as occupations are concerned, 17% of females represented “professional” careers, as opposed to men, of whom 27% held such roles. Males were up to five times more likely than females to hold salesperson positions, and females were found to be four times as likely as men to be domestics or homemakers.

This article holds some pretty damning evidence. While I’m sure there has been a lot of progress regarding representation in television since 1992 and certainly since 1966, this article definitely details this as a large problem. The fact that gender alone of characters is so skewed, in addition to the huge disparity in jobs held by the sexes, is honestly disturbing. This is right along the path that our research question takes, and it paints a picture similar to the on we had in mind initially- that women were and are underrepresented and misrepresented occupation-wise in television. This really makes me wonder why such a thing manifests so blatantly in television.


Farrington, Jan. “Jobs on Tv.” Career World, vol. 27, no. 6, 1999, pp. 6-12,


This magazine article takes an interesting stance on the issue at hand. The author proposes that in the world of television, it is common for people to achieve more than in real life, including career-wise. Additionally, she alleges that minorities hold more diverse jobs in television. However, she touches on the fact that practically only office jobs, law and justice work, and medical field jobs are portrayed on television. The author also comments on how television is significantly differentiable from reality, but that’s for a good reason, as television is meant to be a break away from one’s reality.

I am skeptical of much of the claims the author makes in this article. She alleges that television is a world where people are represented in a better light than in reality, when the exact opposite is proposed in the previous article- specifically that women and minorities are severely underrepresented in television. The author does bring up an important point, though. Television is meant to be different from reality, as it is a form of entertainment. But this begs the question: when is is okay to deviate from reality and when is that unacceptable? Certainly having an overwhelming majority of characters in television being male is detrimental in some way, and conforming to gender stereotypes is definitely not a good thing either.


Smith, Stacy L et al. “Assessing Gender-Related Portrayals in Top-Grossing G-Rated Films.” Sex Roles., vol. 62, no. 11-12, 2010, pp. 774-786, doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9736-z.


This article explores the roles of characters in G-rated movies and how these roles relate to the gender of the character. It details the ratio of female leads to males, one to about two and a half, and the traits that female characters possess. Females tended to have more “good” traits than males and they were more traditionally attractive. Additionally, most characters were white. Females were much more likely than males to be in a relationship and be a parent. However, occupations of characters were not found to be related to gender, except for military occupations, in which males held more.

While not directly addressing television, this is a closely related body of work. This report relates to the first article recorded above, in which children identified gender roles in certain tasks. This article exposes a very important piece of information for our purposes- G-rated movies don’t end up discriminating occupation by gender as much as television may. This is interesting, since jobs on television do exhibit gender discrimination. However, total gender and race disparities remain.


Signorielli, Nancy. ” Aging on Television: Messages Relating to Gender, Race, and Occupation in Prime Time.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 48, no. 2, 2004, pp. 279-301, doi:10.1207/s15506878jobem4802_7.


This article scrutinizes many facets of older characters in television, including gender, race, and occupation. It finds that in general, older characters are underrepresented. Additionally, it shows that while younger characters typically held more “prestigious” jobs than their older counterparts, among older characters, men typically held more “prestigious” jobs than women, and whites held more “prestigious” jobs than minorities. The author then discusses the findings through the lens of role modeling. The fact that fewer older people exist in prestigious positions in television contributes to a lack of role models in young people.

This article deals with older characters and how these characters are represented in television. It contains some information applicable to our research in that it explores occupation and gender of these characters. The article, like the rest of our research, basically states that being old, being a woman, and being a minority are all ways to identify that a character on television is less likely to have a good job. Furthermore, I definitely agree with this author’s comment on the lack of older role models in television, as it is exactly what makes this research important. This under-representation may lead children to believe that they are doomed to less important jobs as they grow older.

Selected Sources on Gender Representation in News Media

All citations are in MLA 8.

Cranford, Alexandra. “WOMEN WEATHERCASTERS: Their Positions, Education and Presence in Local TV.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 99, no. 2, Feb. 2018, pp. 281-288. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0317.1.

Alexandra Cranford’s peer reviewed article examines the educational divide between female and male weathercasters. She establishes her argument by detailing the history of the “sexy weather girl” stereotype in the United States, and supplements that with data which show how men receive significantly more screen time and credibility in American television media. Cranford thoroughly explains the methodology of her study, which entails analyzing biographies of over 2,000 weathercasters, both male and female. Results showed that of those surveyed, there were significantly less female weathercasters on air with meteorology degrees than males (52% and 59%, respectively). From the data, Cranford concludes that male weathercasters are receiving the majority of “prime time” evening TV slots as compared to females, who in contrast mostly reported in the weekends and mornings. Cranford includes colorful graphics to visually illustrate her findings throughout the article. While the study presents well sourced quantitative analysis, the findings seem lacking, and this study would best be used alongside supplemental sources.  Discussion of the causes of the discrepancies implied future studies to explore sexist hiring practices, educational obstacles, and the influence of social media on weathercasters.

Ross, Karen. “Women, Men and News: It’s Life, Jim, but Not as We Know It.” Journalism Studies., vol. 19, no. 6, 2018, p. 824. 

This source by Ross, Boyle, Carter, and Ging uses the 2015 Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) report to analyze gender representation in news outlets across the England, Wales, Scotland, and the Republic of Ireland. The study, while not based in the United States, provides valid and usable data from economically and socially comparable nations. Analysis of the GMMP provides reputable data, as it is the longest running longitudinal study on gender representation in media at a global scale. It reported that overall, less women are sourced for stories than men, but their numbers are increasing since 2010. The report also found that women reported more on “soft” subjects like art and pop culture over “hard” subjects like health and politics. Qualitative analysis shows that gender stereotyping is rampant in the newsroom, both on and off air. This source accurately represents reputable data, a the GMMP is a worldwide measure of media representation. However, the report is orchestrated by a religious organization, so data may be presented with a faith-based spin.


Elmore, Cindy. “Recollections in Hindsight from Women Who Left: The Gendered Newsroom Culture.” Women & Language, vol. 30, no. 2, Fall 2007, pp. 18-27. EBSCOhost, prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lfh&AN=29324836&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Elmore’s 2007 paper, although already 11 years old, remains a strikingly relevant exposé on the stressful reality of being a woman in a news network. The study, actually conducted in 2003, was conducted through a series of interviews with 15 women of different backgrounds who all decided to leave their journalism careers behind. Elmore found that the participants faced exclusionary culture perpetuated by a male dominated newsroom. The interviewees also explained that women in the newsroom needed to feign masculinity and emotional apathy in order to navigate the male-dominated environment. These women also faced discrimination in terms of the stories they were allowed to report on and the sources they could interview. This source, although quite old, presents a compelling argument for the case of women in television news. Despite the sample size being relatively small, the source does a great job of humanizing the issue. Rather than women’s feelings being portrayed as a series of statistics, each woman’s personal experiences are woven throughout the article. This is a very usable source as it adds an element of humanity to my research.


Wagner, Laura. “Megyn Kelly Is Leaving Fox News To Join NBC News.” NPR, NPR, 3 Jan. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/03/508046088/megyn-kelly-is-leaving-fox-news-to-join-nbc-news.

This source, although short, makes an important point about the obstacles women in the newsroom face, particularly sexual harassment. Wagner describes Megyn Kelly’s departure from Fox News following her allegations of being sexually harassed by her former boss, Roger Ailes. The article describes one of the factors for Kelly’s switchover to NBC News being their offer of greater screentime. Although quoted as “one of the network’s biggest stars,” the article still explains that Kelly’s departure from Fox was voluntary, as the network offered a large sum of money to get her back, only to be faced with her refusal (Wagner). Similar to Elmore’s 2007 paper, this article presents a particular case of a woman choosing to leave her job at a particular news network over gender-related biases. Although not peer reviewed, the source reports on primary accounts of information, including a Facebook post made by Kelly herself. It is also published through NPR, a nationally funded public news outlet, so the reporting can be presumed objective.


Taub, Amanda. “The #ManPanel Problem: Why Are Female Experts Still so Widely Ignored?” Vox, Vox, 16 Mar. 2016, www.vox.com/2016/3/16/11245454/manpanel-problem-female-experts-ignored.

Taub’s article explores the source bias in news media. It explains how often times, panels of “experts” in televised news broadcasts are comprised of majority men. Additionally, sources in published forms of news media, such as electronic news outlets, are heavily biased towards men as well. Studying her own reporting, Taub found that only about 25% of her sources were female. She outlines reasons for the discrepancy, emphasizing society’s inherent bias towards men in positions of power and organizations’ promotion of senior officials, the majority of which are men. The article also explains the “confidence gap” and how many women in fields of study choose to self-censor in order to be taken more seriously in a male-dominated field. Therefore, the majority of experts on any subject will automatically be men, as women are confined in what they publicly say. This source, while well written, is still heavily subjective, so direct data from it will need to be cross referenced with other more objective sources. However, the article does provide several sources it cites embedded into the text, so it can be used as a tool to facilitate further research.


Taub, Amanda, and Max Fisher. “If Only Quoting Women Were Enough.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 10 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/insider/interpreter-gender-bias-women-experts.html.

This article by Taub and Fisher does not particularly concern gender bias in television news. It does, however, explain that citation of female sources and inclusion in written articles is not enough to boost female representation in news media. The piece explains the institutional barriers that women face in fields of study and how they are at a disadvantage in men in every measure when trying to become an “expert” in any one field. Additionally, the study explores how women are quoted sparsely by media outlets, as it is difficult to extrapolate a complete story from the limited number of female sources on any given topic. Again, while this source does not directly examine gender bias in cable news networks, it does delve into a deeper issue that is still perpetuated by these organizations. Taub and Fisher’s work can be used as supplemental background for data sets provided in studies regarding coverage of female sources. Ultimately, while this source does not hit the target dead center, it still provides valid and useful information about gender biases in media.


Women in Comedy/SNL

Ellithorpe, Morgan E., and Amy Bleakley. “Wanting to See People Like Me? Racial and Gender Diversity in Popular Adolescent Television.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence, vol. 45, no. 7, 2016, pp. 1426-1437. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1795436309?accountid=11107, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0415-4.

The paper “Wanting to See People Like Me? Racial and Gender in Popular Adolescent Television” discusses the relationship between adolescent identity and racial and gender diverse television shows. The paper makes the argument that adolescents prefer watching television shows that have characters within their own identity group. It states that this might be due to adolescents seeking to use these characters to build their own identity. The paper conducts a study that compares black adolescents to nonblack adolescents and female adolescents to male adolescents and the diversity of the shows each group gravitates towards. Overall, television shows popular with black adolescents in comparisons to those popular with other racial groups tend to have more black characters. Likewise, popular shows among female adolescents tend to have more female characters than other shows. This paper is important in justifying our research about female representation in SNL episodes. Female representation in popular shows such as SNL impact the shows’ ratings as well as expands the type of audience that views the show.

Feeney, Nolan. “Why Aren’t There More Women On The Top-Earning Comedians List?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 11 July 2013, www.forbes.com/sites/nolanfeeney/2013/07/11/why-arent-there-more-women-on-the-top-earning-comedians-list/.

The article “Why aren’t there more women on the top earning comedians list” by Nolan Feeny examines some of the reasons why female comedians do not statistical seem successful in comparison to their male counterparts. The first reason the article argues is the difficulty of women comedians to appeal to male audiences due to dated assumptions that female comedians only talk about stereotypical female experiences such as shopping with their husbands. This strong stereotype reduces the amount of ticket sales female comedians can get. The article goes on to argue that female comedians make more of their income on television than from standup, therefore leading to the discrepancy. However, Feeny still points out that women also struggle to get a spot-on television, unless their comedic personality is especially bold and more masculine. The article also provides statistics as the cause of lack of top paying female comedians. Overall there are fewer female comedians in relation to male comedians, the article argues this is due to the hostile nature of the comedy industry for women. In regards to our research on women in SNL, this article can be helpful by giving us insight into why there is a discrepancy between the number of women and male comedians in the business.

Hester, Michael. “Yes, Female Writers Produce Funny Television.” The DataFace, 30 Aug. 2018, http://thedataface.com/2018/06/culture/comedy-writing-staffs

The article “Yes, Female Writers Produce Funny Television” examines the gender composition of television’s comedy writing staffs. The article provides multiple data sets from various shows and statistics about female writers in comedy to make the over arching argument that comedy shows are more relatable and successful when they have a more gender diverse writing staff. The article first provides data from Rick and Morty that shows the ratings during season three, after the introduction of more female writers, increase. Next the article examines how females are the minority in writing staffs.  On average eighty one percent of writing credits on TV comedies are attributed to males. The article goes on to discuss that the inclusion of more female writers will be more beneficial for TV shows. It supports this claim with more data from IMDd that shows a statistically significant improvement between episodes ratings written by a gender balanced writing team. Overall this article’s research will be helpful for us when constructing our own research question. It provides us with useful statistics about comedy writers as well as shows us some of the common data already on females in television comedy.

Kein, Kathryn. “Recovering our Sense of Humor: New Directions in Feminist Humor Studies.” Feminist Studies, vol. 41, no. 3, 2015, pp. 671-681,700. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1768148508?accountid=11107.

The article “Recovering our Sense of Humor: New Directions in Feminist Humor Studies” by Kathryn Kain reviews how recent texts and books are focusing on the relationship between humor and women. The article makes the argument that there has been an “explosion” of discourse about women in US humor. Kein examines how these works attempt to tackle questions such as: How has gendered assumptions about humor lead to exclusions in feminist studies and how has these assumptions affected the work women produce in comedy. The works reframe mainstream thought on humor’s function and its production by analyzing who is producing humor and who is comedy being written for. The article discusses All Joking Aside by Rebecca Krefting and highlights Krefting’s term “charged humor.” Another work the article reviews is Linda Mizejewski’s Pretty/Funny: Women Comedians and Body Politics. The article examines this work’s discussion on the discrepancy between women comedians’ looks and their ability to be funny. The last work the article reviews is The Queer Cultural Work of Lily Tomlin and Jane Wager by Jennifer Reed which focuses on the relationship between feminism and queer politics.  Overall “Recovering our Sense of Humor: New Directions in Feminist Humor Studies” can be used as a resource for the common discussions being held about women in comedy.

Lauzen, Martha. “The Funny Business of Being Tina Fey: Constructing a (Feminist) Comedy Icon.” Feminist Media Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, 2014, pp. 106. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1509208764?accountid=11107.

The article “The Funny Business of Being Tina Fey: Constructing a (feminist) comedy icon” by Martha Lauzen discusses the role female comedian and head writer of Saturday Night Live , Tina Fey, has within the comedy industry. The article highlights how she has made huge strides within a commonly male dominated industry. Lauzen examines how Fey constructs her reputation as a women writer as well as how she deals with the media and critics. Fey utilizes a complex mix of self- deprecation and sarcasm when responding to sexist comments about her role in the comedy career.  The article discusses how Fey tackles topics such as double standards, feminism, and her role as a woman in comedy. The article more broadly discusses women’s representation in comedic television, such as SNL, as well as their roles’ as writers. Lauzen makes the argument that as more women writers rise in fame, female comics will be given more reputability among reporters and will ultimately seize to be rare occurrences in the field of media. Lauzen argues that this significant shift will establish women’s place in comedy and allow them to concentrate on their work, rather than constantly having to justify their position in such an industry. Overall this article provides us insight about the environment women face in the comedy industry.

Rosa, Christopher. “16 Times Women Changed the Game on ‘Saturday Night Live’.” Glamour, Glamour Magazine, 30 June 2018, www.glamour.com/story/history-of-women-on-saturday-night-live.

The article “16 Times Women Changed the Game on Saturday Night Live” by Glamour writer Christopher Rosa constructs a timeline for the history of women in the popular show Saturday Night Live. The timeline focuses on sixteen major breakthroughs in SNL history that has advanced women’s role within the show. The article makes the argument that Saturday Night Live launched the careers of many influential women that contributed towards achieving some equality within media. The article first opens by highlighting the fact that the first actor of SNL was Glida Radner, who later become a female comedian icon. The article then moves on to highlighting more firsts such as the Candice Bergen being the first female host and the first all-female Weekend Update team. The article also provides these pivotal episodes alongside the text.  This timeline will be an important resource to understand the role women played in constructing SNL.

Citations on the Representation of Women in American Televised News

Abbady, Tal. “The Modern Newsroom is Stuck Behind the Gender and Color Line.”  NPR, May 1, 2017.                      https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/05/01/492982066/the-modern-newsroom-is-stuck-behind-the-gender-and-color-line

  • This editorial published by NPR provides statistics on both race and gender in the staffing of combined paper, online, and broadcast news organizations; according to the article, in total, only 37.7% of content published by major news organizations is credited to female employees. The editorial also includes first-hand interviews with male and female workers in the news industry. While it states that the percentage of females and minorities have increased over the past few years, the demographics in the field still do not meet the ethnic and gender demography of the rest of the US, thus demonstrating a persisting disparity in representation in news. While this article is not strictly about females and not strictly about TV news, this article is valuable in the research process as it provides both primary accounts from contemporary journalists and also shows the complexity of female representation as both a standalone issue and an issue intersecting other demographic problems in media.


Emeksiz, Gulcin I. “THE REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN ON TV NEWS.” International Journal of Arts & Sciences, vol. 6, no. 2, 2013, pp. 715-730. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.prx.library.gatech.edu/docview/1496695623?accountid=11107.

  • This peer-reviewed essay discusses the limited roles which females are given on TV especially in the news. While women in entertainment are given traditional familial roles and act subservient to her husbands, the women in the newsroom are often barred from discussing and covering politic-heavy news stories. This article is valuable in the evidence it provides to demonstrate the limited representation of women on TV news; it is also valuable for providing a brief overview of women on TV since the 1980s, thus better situating the modern newsroom within the historical context of TV. However, despite these benefits, this article is limited in perspective as its intention of arguing to a specific point inherently bars an unbiased interpretation of all information of the current trends in TV news. Furthermore, though the article was published fairly recently in 2013, there has since been a considerable number of events which have occurred over the course of these five years that could not be accounted for in the article.


Engstrom, E., & Ferri, A. J. (1998). From barriers to challenges: Career perceptions of women TV news anchors. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 75(4), 789-802. Retrieved from http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/216926995?accountid=11107

  • This peer-reviewed essay provides data and first hand accounts from 128 local anchor women in the US with information ranging from age to salary to perceived barriers in their careers. The piece provides an insight into the common struggles of anchor women to balance their professional and family lives, their roles as both wives and newscasters, and their physical appearance when on air. This essay is valuable in my research process, as it not only provides data for analysis, but also provides a more personal and intimate understanding of the challenges faced by female news anchors and can help add a more in-depth understanding to the problem. However, the limited scope of the number of women studied in this paper is also a hindrance, as it would be difficult to extend any  conclusion made on the situations of 128 local anchors to the newsrooms and outlets in the rest of the country.


Joyce, Amy. “Is Journalism Really a Male-dominated Field? The Numbers say yes.” The Washington Post, May 20, 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/style/wp/2014/05/20/is-journalism-really-a-male-dominated-field-the-numbers-say-yes/?utm_term=.cc1d6c5d6a2b

  • This data and chart-driven article from the Washington Post provides the numbers of men and women in various roles in journalism, such as supervisors, producers, and writers between 1999 and 2013. Though short, the article concludes that the ratio of men and women have remained the same over the years of data collection, with approximately two thirds of the industry occupied by male workers. One value to these statistics is that they are easy to read, comprehend, and interpret, thus facilitating the understanding of the current issues with gender representation in the news. While the statistics only cover newspapers, TV news outlets also utilize a similar structure of employment; thus, it is easy to conclude that TV newsrooms will mirror their paper counterparts. However, one limitation to this article is that there is no mention as to the methodology of the data collection, thus restricting the statistics to only apply to four job titles.


Price, Cindy J., and Shaun S. Wulff. “Does Sex make a Difference? Job Satisfaction of Television Network News Correspondents.” Women’s Studies in Communication, vol. 28, no. 2, 2005, pp. 207-234. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.prx.library.gatech.edu/docview/198297768?accountid=11107.

  • This peer-reviewed paper discusses the disparities not only between the raw numbers of males versus females in national TV news stations, but also between information on experience, salaries, and job satisfaction. The essay concludes that the majority of women working in national television news were significantly younger, less experienced, and less paid than the males in the same field, thus contributing to lower overall job satisfaction. This paper is valuable because it assesses the balance of gender in news and extends this topic into other issues such as salaries, work experience, and network recognition. In addition, the article also draws a connection with the origins of women in the newsroom to women in the workforce since World War II. Furthermore, the paper provides an extended discussion of the methodology of data collection how conclusions were drawn from said data. However, the paper is limited to studying ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and PBS only.


Yarrow, Allison. “What I Wish People Understood about Sexims and TV News.” Vox, December 18, 2017. https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/12/18/16781140/tv-news-sexism

  • This editorial on Vox goes in depth into how one female journalist struggled in her field. The writer describes in detail numerous situations in which she was sexually harassed by male colleagues and superiors; in addition, she discusses the objectification of female news anchors, with their physical beauty more important than the content of the news reports. Most importantly, the writer presents the issue of male-dominated supervisors with few women actually making decisions in upper-level administration positions. This article is extremely valuable in how it provides an eye-opening insight into the sexism systemic in national television. Although the personal experiences do provide an insight into the issues of the industry, these same experiences also limit how the article may be applied to other individuals’ situations in the news. Thus, while it is important to recognize the very real issue of sexism in news and its ramifications on gender equality, it is also important to understand the distinction between the issues of harassment and gender representation.


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