From F-Bombs to Kissing Students: Media Framing of Male and Female Professors Accused of Sexual Harassment

Bethany Pitchford, Miglena Sternadori, Jesse Starkey, Amy Koerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This constructionist framing analysis identified media frames in news coverage of four tenured professors, two men and two women, accused of sexual harassment at research-intensive universities: Jorge Dominguez (Harvard), Coleman Hutchison (University of Texas), Avital Ronell (New York University), and Teresa Buchanan (Louisiana State University). The following four frames, some of which were distinctly gendered, were identified in the news coverage of the professors: Little Boys Being Bad; Academic Power Players; Treacherous Stay-Away-Froms; and Eccentric Freethinkers. The findings are discussed through a feminist lens, which prioritizes gendered power dynamics and social norms. The analysis indicates that news coverage of sexual harassment still limits recognition of the problem’s systemic nature and the institutional responsibility to prevent it. The article further contributes to the feminist literature on sexual harassment by demonstrating that the term “sexual harassment” is often misused to avoid including details about what has happened to victims.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Communication Inquiry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • feminism
  • framing
  • gender
  • news
  • sexual harassment

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'From F-Bombs to Kissing Students: Media Framing of Male and Female Professors Accused of Sexual Harassment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this