Gender check: 2/24/11 – Midwest

*Gender Checks are quick examinations of gender representation in individual news articles for the purpose of discovering trends over time. Click here to read more.

Website: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (stltoday.com)

On the Stltoday, one of the lead articles featured on the home page as of 3:30 p.m. (MST) Thursday, Feb. 24, was titled “Missouri man pleads guilty in sex slave case.” Its subject was one of five defendants in the alleged sexual slavery and torture of a mentally disabled woman entering a guilty plea.

Here is its gender breakdown:

Author: Male

Human sources  (listed in order mentioned):

1. Male and female, male is one of the co-defendants (couple “said”)

2. Male, defendant that entered guilty plea

3. Female, lawyer

Notes/analysis: This article continues a saga that’s been somewhat controversial since it came to light last fall. It involves accusations of sexual and physical torture over the course of five years, that a U.S. attorney referred to as “among the most horrific ever prosecuted” in the Western District of Missouri. But, at the same time, the alleged ring leader, his wife and many from their community are claiming that the woman was not in fact a sex slave but an active, consenting participant in the actions. They also debate whether she does have “mental deficiencies.” The story, particularly its original headline, on the doubts about the woman’s story also sparked its own drama.


Website: St. Louis Beacon

On the St. Louis Beacon, one of the lead articles featured on the home page as of 3 p.m. (MST) Thursday, Feb. 24, was titled “Monetary gains make solar power a more practical choice.” Its subject was solar energy and the current incentives offered to use it.

Here is its gender breakdown:

Author: Female

Human sources  (listed in order mentioned):

1. Female, of environmental coalition

2. Male, director of operations for chemical distributor

3. Male, of solar company

4. Male, home owner

5. Male, home owner

6. Male, home owner

7. Male, with solar company

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