Monday, May 14, 2007

Anxiety sells

That is, female anxiety, as demonstrated by J. Goodrich at The American Prospect in her piece called How the Media Skew Gender Research (token reg. required). She notes the wealth of studies showing the benefits of equal parenting by men and women, which get no media attention, as opposed to those that raise questions about the "dangers" of day-care, or which show gendered differences in Internet usage, which get blown all out of proportion in widespread media coverage.
A difference of at most six percent became an absolute gulf between the sexes, and the media exclaim, "Women are relational, men are factual!"
. . .
Over and over again, studies that appeal to anti-feminists and social conservatives gain media traction, while the ones that come to opposite conclusions languish in obscurity.
It appears that the goal is to grab the attention of already nervous affluent women, but Goodrich notes that this slant feeds the needs of conservatives (and patriarchy promoters) quite nicely. Worth keeping in mind, the next time some of this junk social science hits the airwaves.

(via Echidne, Goodrich's night job)

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