Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Keywords

maternity leave, media framing, New York Times, survey experiment

Department

Political Science

Major

Political Science

Abstract

Because the United States is the only developed country without mandatory paid maternity leave, I felt called to study unpaid maternity leave in the U.S. for my research in the Political Science Honors Program. The study, “Life, Liberty, and the Lack of Paid Parental Leave,” is an analysis of media framing of parental leave in the United States. In the study, I conducted a content analysis of over 200 news articles of the New York Times, and also created an Institutional Review Board-approved survey distributed to introductory political science classes. In the content analysis, I found that maternity leave is both an episodic and thematic news issue, has less negative coverage than most news issues, and evolved from a merely mentioned issue to an economic issue over time. This research also showed that female and male authors do not frame maternity leave differently; in fact, women frame maternity leave more negatively than men do. In the survey experiment, I found that women were more favorable than men towards maternity leave in across all conditions, but it appears that the frames in the survey did not have a large effect on the whole sample, or by sex.

Faculty Mentor

Brian Newman

Funding Source or Research Program

Political Science Honors Program

Presentation Session

Session A

Location

Plaza Classroom 188

Start Date

1-4-2016 3:45 PM

End Date

1-4-2016 4:00 PM

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Apr 1st, 3:45 PM Apr 1st, 4:00 PM

Life, Liberty, and the Lack of Paid Parental Leave: An Analysis of Media Framing of Parental Leave in the United States

Plaza Classroom 188

Because the United States is the only developed country without mandatory paid maternity leave, I felt called to study unpaid maternity leave in the U.S. for my research in the Political Science Honors Program. The study, “Life, Liberty, and the Lack of Paid Parental Leave,” is an analysis of media framing of parental leave in the United States. In the study, I conducted a content analysis of over 200 news articles of the New York Times, and also created an Institutional Review Board-approved survey distributed to introductory political science classes. In the content analysis, I found that maternity leave is both an episodic and thematic news issue, has less negative coverage than most news issues, and evolved from a merely mentioned issue to an economic issue over time. This research also showed that female and male authors do not frame maternity leave differently; in fact, women frame maternity leave more negatively than men do. In the survey experiment, I found that women were more favorable than men towards maternity leave in across all conditions, but it appears that the frames in the survey did not have a large effect on the whole sample, or by sex.