Journalists’ Gender and Influence: Effects on the Perceived Severity of Sexual Harassment


Can journalistic coverage of gender issues affect the opinions of its readers and thus promote social change? In this process, are male and female journalists equally influential? To answer this, an experiment was conducted in which the perceived gender of a journa-list who talks about sexual harassment was manipulated to measure its effect on the readers’ opinions about the severity of this social problem. The results indicate that men are more influential, a result that remains statistically significant among female participants, who also feel more compassion for victims of sexual harassment."