The Gender Gap in News Interest

A look at the public's news interests over the past year shows continuing differences between women and men in the types of news stories that they follow very closely. Women consistently express more interest than men in stories about weather, health and safety, natural disasters and tabloid news. Men are more interested than women in stories about international affairs, Washington news and sports.

At the same time, men and women often express comparable levels of interest in the top news stories of the day. For example, the presidential campaign has attracted only modestly greater interest among men than among women. In five weekly news interest surveys in 2008, 37% of men and 32% of women say they have followed campaign news very closely.

Yet there are substantial gender differences in news about several subjects. Weather news was of particular interest to women: in 2007, 37% of women, on average, followed weather-related stories very closely compared with 29% of men. The largest gender difference in interest in any news story last year was for the tornadoes and violent storms that hit the South and Midwest in March. Four-in-ten women followed this story very closely compared with only 25% of men. Floods in the Midwest in August also attracted a much larger female audience -- 32% of women compared with 20% of men followed this story very closely.

Women also expressed a particular interest in health and safety issues this past year. One of the biggest gaps was on news about a drug-resistant staph infection. Driven largely by interest among women, news of the staph infection was the public's most closely followed story the week of Oct. 14. More than three-in-ten women (31%) followed this story very closely compared with 21% of men.

Read the full report Where Men and Women Differ in Following the News on the Pew Research Center Web site.

National Homeownership Month

Article

37 Researchers Working to Transform Biomedical Science

Quick View
Article

Biomedical researchers are on the front lines of scientific innovation. From responding to global pandemics to pioneering lifesaving cancer treatments, these researchers push past scientific boundaries to solve pressing health challenges. For nearly 40 years, The Pew Charitable Trusts has supported more than 1,000 early-career biomedical scientists committed to this discovery.

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.