Gender check: 3/8/11 – West

*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: Seattle Times

On the Seattle Times, one of the lead articles featured on the home page as of 2:15 p.m. (MST) Tuesday, March 8, was titled “UW basketball standout Overton charged with furnishing alcohol to minor.” Its subject was a University of Washington basketball player who is facing a misdemeanor charge for allegedly provided alcohol to two teenage girls. He also, according to a police report, had sex with both of them but is not facing charges related to those allegations.

Here is its gender breakdown:

Author: Female

Human sources  (listed in order mentioned):

1. Male, detective (in a report)

2. Female, deputy prosecutor (in a memo)

Notes/analysis: I think the explanation of the alleged sex part of the story is particularly noteworthy. The girls were both 16, which is the legal age of consent in Washington. One of the girls said “she felt like she had to have sex with (the player) because of who he was.” Regarding the decision not to press charges related to one of the girl’s claims of being coerced into the sex act, the deputy prosecutor said state law “places the burden on the victim to clearly communicate a lack of consent to the suspect, which she did not do so,” according to witness statements, including the basketball player in question. The deputy prosecutor calls the case “highly problematic” because the girls participated in the sex under “situational pressure.”


Website: Seattle P-I

On the Seattle P-I, one of the lead articles featured on the home page as of 2:15 p.m. (MST) Tuesday, March 8, was titled “Solved: Guilty plea in slaying of Seattle gang leader.” Its subject was a guilty plea by the male suspect in a 2007 gang-related killing (of a male) on the eve of the trial.

Here is its gender breakdown:

Author: Male

Human sources  (listed in order mentioned):

1. Male, defense attorney

2. Male, victim (according to witness)

3. Male, co-defendant (when speaking to investigators)

4. Male, senior deputy prosecutor

5. Male, detective (quotes from video)

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