Gender and Candidate Communication: VideoStyle, WebStyle, by Dianne G. Bystrom, Terry Robertson, Mary Christine Banwart,

By Dianne G. Bystrom, Terry Robertson, Mary Christine Banwart, Lynda Lee Kaid

First released in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Extra resources for Gender and Candidate Communication: VideoStyle, WebStyle, NewStyle (Gender Politics, Global Issues)

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Neutral appeals by women produced high levels of total recall and issue recall. Hitchon, Chang, and Harris (1997) also used gender schema theory in their experimental design to assess audience reactions to the emotional tone of the political advertisements of female and male candidates. Similar to Hitchon and Chang (1995), they found that women received better evaluations from audiences when they employed neutral tones. They suggest that “women can benefit by adopting a rational, unemotional approach in mass media messages” (Hitchon et al.

So they lash out significantly more often at their opponents’ group affiliations, which is another way to question their character. The fact that male candidates were significantly more likely than female candidates to use “guilt by association” in their negative ads underscores this strategy. Voter reactions to candidate VideoStyles are explored further in chapter 6. Confirming Bystrom and Kaid’s 2002 study, female and male candidates are increasingly similar in the issues they discuss in their ads and especially in the image traits they emphasize and appeal strategies they use.

However, these findings are further illuminated by the results of recent surveys (see, for example, League of Women Voters/Ladies Home Journal 1996) that show that male and female issue preferences are more complicated. For example, most public opinion surveys taken in recent election years have found that female and male respondents are most concerned about the economy. But when you ask what concerns them most about the economy, male respondents said taxes were too high, whereas female respondents were concerned about “increasing jobs, wages and benefits” (League of Women Voters/Ladies Home Journal 1996).

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