"He Will Take Care of our Security Better than Her" Examining Socio-Cultural Conceptions of Gender in Israeli and American Press Coverage of Female Candidates for Top Political Positions, 2008-2009

Gilad Greenwald (1) , Sam Lehman-Wilzig (2)
(1) School of Communication Bar Ilan University , Israel
(2) School of Communication Bar-Ilan University , Israel


This study argues that distinct differences between two cultures and two political campaigns, may result in different press coverage of women running for leadership positions. To demonstrate this, we undertook a content analysis of Tzipi Livni’s and Hillary Clinton's 2008-2009 campaigns in four Israeli and American popular and elite newspapers, examining coverage of nine gender-oriented media frameworks. We found that while the press in both countries strongly emphasized gender-oriented elements in covering the two leaders, the Israeli press was significantly more gender-biased, particularly due to military and religious influences. Additionally, the popular newspapers in both countries were more gender-biased than the elite newspapers, especially in "sensationally" highlighting candidates' sexuality and appearance.

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Gilad Greenwald
gilad.greenwald@biu.ac.il (Primary Contact)
Sam Lehman-Wilzig
Author Biographies

Gilad Greenwald, School of Communication Bar Ilan University

Gilad Greenwald is a PhD Candidate and Teaching Associate at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, School of Communication. He is interested in cultural, historical and political aspects, as they are reflected in female leaders' media framing during election campaigns. For the past four years, he lectures in the fields of Mass Communication and International Relations.

Sam Lehman-Wilzig, School of Communication Bar-Ilan University

Prof. Sam Lehman-Wilzig served as Chairman of Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Political Studies (2004-07) and School of Communication (2014-16). His specialty areas of research are New Media; Political Communication; and Gender in Journalism.

Greenwald, G., & Lehman-Wilzig, S. (2017). "He Will Take Care of our Security Better than Her" Examining Socio-Cultural Conceptions of Gender in Israeli and American Press Coverage of Female Candidates for Top Political Positions, 2008-2009. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 17(3), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v17i3.744

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