Facing the Competition: Gender Differences in Facial Emotion and Prominence in Visual News Coverage of Democratic Presidential Primary Candidates

Mike Gruszczynski, Danielle K. Brown, Haley Pierce, Maria E. Grabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study considered the impact of gender on visual coverage of the top 12 candidates in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary. Using Microsoft Azure’s Face API, we analyzed 9,529 still images from 43 mainstream news sources for facial emotion (happiness, anger, neutrality) and prominence (close-up, medium, long shots). We found visual evidence for an age-old narrative that undermines confidence in women’s leadership fitness: They were presented as emotionally less composed than men. Although we found no gender differences for facial prominence per se, its interaction with facial emotion gave nuance to gender differences in visual coverage of leadership performances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 AEJMC.

Keywords

  • emotion
  • face-ism
  • facial displays
  • gender
  • leadership
  • news
  • political campaigns

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