Edited by Angela Smith and Michael Higgins
[Journal of Language and Politics 19:1] 2020
► pp. 125–143
Gender matters in questioning presidents
This paper traces the increasing prominence of women in the White House press corps over the latter half of the 20th century, and considers how this trend toward greater gender balance has impacted the questioning of presidents. Modest gender differences are documented in the topical content of questions, with women journalists slightly favoring domestic policy and private-sphere topics relative to men. More substantial differences are documented in aggressiveness, with women journalists asking more adversarial questions, and more assertive questions at least in the earlier years of the sampling period. The topical content differences are broadly aligned with traditional conceptions of gender, but the stronger differences in aggressiveness run contrary to such conceptions.