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Bro, foe, or ally? Measuring ambivalent sexism in political online reporters

Blumell, L. ORCID: 0000-0003-4608-9269 (2020). Bro, foe, or ally? Measuring ambivalent sexism in political online reporters. Feminist Media Studies, 20(1), pp. 53-69. doi: 10.1080/14680777.2018.1546211


The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI) measures hostile (overt antagonism towards women) and benevolent (chivalry) sexism. Previous research shows that political ideology contributes to ASI. Yet little attention has been given to increasingly popular political websites in terms of measuring sexism. Furthermore, recent firings of news professionals over accused sexual misconduct reveal the seriousness of sexism in the news industry. This study surveyed political online reporters (N = 210) using ASI and predicting sociodemographic and organizational factors. Results show benevolent sexism levels mostly similar for all factors, but not hostile sexism. Those working for conservative websites had higher levels of hostile sexism, but website partisanship had no significance for benevolent sexism. Men reported higher levels of hostile sexism and protective paternalism, but not complementary gender differentiation. Overall, individual levels of conservatism also predicted hostile sexism, but not benevolence. The pervasiveness of benevolence jeopardizes women’s progression in the workplace. High levels of hostility ultimately endanger newsrooms, as well as negatively impact political coverage of gender related issues.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Feminist Media Studies on 22 Nov 2018, available online:
Publisher Keywords: Hostile sexism, benevolent sexism, political news, online reporters, conservatism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
P Language and Literature
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
SWORD Depositor:
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