Why Aren't Women Weighing in on Women's Issues?

Graphic from 4thestate.netGraphic from 4thestate.netMajor media outlets tend to turn to men for insight on major election-year issues, a new study shows -- even when the issues primarily concern women.

Related: Nobel Peace Prize winner Leyman Gbowee asks: Where are all the angry American women?

According to 4th Estate, a project that tracks media coverage of the 2012 election, when it came to news stories on abortion, 81 percent of the quotes published or broadcast by newspapers and news shows were from men, 12 percent were from women, and 7 percent were from organizations. When the stories were about birth control, 75 percent of the quotes were from men, 19 percent from women, and 6 percent from organizations.

"In our analysis of news stories and transcripts from the past 6 months, men are much more likely to be quoted on their subjective insight in newspapers and on television," 4th Estate, a project that tracks media coverage of the 2012 election, wrote in their analysis. "This pattern holds true across all major news outlets, as well as on issues specifically concerning women."

Even when the news stories were specifically about women's rights, women weighed in on just 31 percent of the quotes, compared to 52 percent from men.

"This gender gap undermines the media's credibility," the study adds.

Top TV news shows tend to feature female sources more often than major newspapers. NBC's "Meet the Press" had the largest percentage of quotes from women (31 percent); the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal's results were identical: 65 percent of quotes from men, 15 percent from women, and 20 percent from organizations.

Is the disparity a reflection of the low number of women in politics in the United States? Or does it underscore the fact that -- in politics, at least -- we don't have much of a say when it comes to issues that affect our own health and well being?

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.




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