Gender Conflict Framing Theory

  • Meredith Conroy
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)


To what degree is gendered language employed in political discourse, for what purpose, and to what effect? A major premise of gender conflict framing is that political discourse is gendered, especially in instances of evaluations of candidates’ and politicians’ leadership. Furthermore, gender conflict framing recognizes the use of gendered language to communicate candidate quality, irrespective of candidate sex. For example, following the March 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea in Ukraine, news media outlets dispatched anchors and invited experts to cover the story to understand the events. In the immediate aftermath of Russia’s military presence in Ukraine, many of the reports from the cable news station Fox News focused on Russian President Vladimir Putin and lauded Putin’s decisiveness, and leadership, though not necessarily supporting his decision to occupy Ukraine with Russian forces. What was especially intriguing was that the commentary on Putin was usually drawn in stark contrast to President Obama, who “equivocates and wears mom jeans.”1 The actions by Putin largely lacked immediate direct relevance to Obama, except for the opportunity to compare notions of leadership and the two men’s style and character.


Media Coverage Presidential Election Party Identification Presidential Candidate Female Candidate 
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© Meredith Conroy 2015

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  • Meredith Conroy

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