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Research Article Open Access
Numerically Under-Represented but Equally Treated
Female Experts in Israeli TV Talk Shows and Not Shows
This study used a content analysis of 238 hours of Israeli talk shows from 2012 where 495 experts took part to map the gender distribution of TV experts and explore potential differences in the way men and women are treated in the programs. Men experts outnumbered women experts in a 1.7 to 1 ratio. These men were significantly older than the women and tended to have a higher academic rank, but they were not treated more favorably during the program. The topics on which the experts commentated reflect familiar gender stereotypes with men more likely to talk about security, politics and economy and women more often talk about body grooming and child care. The results, which partly accord with feminist criticisms of the popular media, are analyzed in relation to the theoretical concept of symbolic annihilation and the findings of studies that looked at the gender of scientists and scholars in other TV genres.