Double standards in sentence structure: Passive voice in narratives describing domestic violence

Alexandra K. Frazer, Michelle Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research has shown that passive voice predominates in mass media reports describing male violence against women. However, there has been little systematic study of narratives describing female violence against men. The authors analyzed the impact of perpetrator gender on verb voice, first in a content analysis of published news stories and second in a new procedure for eliciting written narratives with male or female perpetrators. Results reveal an increased frequency of passive voice when perpetrators are male. These findings suggest that writers specifically prefer the passive voice to describe male-on-female violence rather than for violent or negative acts in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Fingerprint

Domestic Violence
domestic violence
Violence
violence
narrative
mass media
Mass Media
content analysis
news
writer
gender
Passive Voice
Perpetrators
Research

Keywords

  • Domestic violence
  • Gender differences
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Language production
  • Mass media
  • Verb voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Double standards in sentence structure : Passive voice in narratives describing domestic violence. / Frazer, Alexandra K.; Miller, Michelle.

In: Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Vol. 28, No. 1, 03.2009, p. 62-71.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{0dbd20619dae4220932a40caf9ea8f14,
title = "Double standards in sentence structure: Passive voice in narratives describing domestic violence",
abstract = "Previous research has shown that passive voice predominates in mass media reports describing male violence against women. However, there has been little systematic study of narratives describing female violence against men. The authors analyzed the impact of perpetrator gender on verb voice, first in a content analysis of published news stories and second in a new procedure for eliciting written narratives with male or female perpetrators. Results reveal an increased frequency of passive voice when perpetrators are male. These findings suggest that writers specifically prefer the passive voice to describe male-on-female violence rather than for violent or negative acts in general.",
keywords = "Domestic violence, Gender differences, Interpersonal violence, Language production, Mass media, Verb voice",
author = "Frazer, {Alexandra K.} and Michelle Miller",
year = "2009",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1177/0261927X08325883",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "28",
pages = "62--71",
journal = "Journal of Language and Social Psychology",
issn = "0261-927X",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Double standards in sentence structure

T2 - Passive voice in narratives describing domestic violence

AU - Frazer, Alexandra K.

AU - Miller, Michelle

PY - 2009/3

Y1 - 2009/3

N2 - Previous research has shown that passive voice predominates in mass media reports describing male violence against women. However, there has been little systematic study of narratives describing female violence against men. The authors analyzed the impact of perpetrator gender on verb voice, first in a content analysis of published news stories and second in a new procedure for eliciting written narratives with male or female perpetrators. Results reveal an increased frequency of passive voice when perpetrators are male. These findings suggest that writers specifically prefer the passive voice to describe male-on-female violence rather than for violent or negative acts in general.

AB - Previous research has shown that passive voice predominates in mass media reports describing male violence against women. However, there has been little systematic study of narratives describing female violence against men. The authors analyzed the impact of perpetrator gender on verb voice, first in a content analysis of published news stories and second in a new procedure for eliciting written narratives with male or female perpetrators. Results reveal an increased frequency of passive voice when perpetrators are male. These findings suggest that writers specifically prefer the passive voice to describe male-on-female violence rather than for violent or negative acts in general.

KW - Domestic violence

KW - Gender differences

KW - Interpersonal violence

KW - Language production

KW - Mass media

KW - Verb voice

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=59549098108&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=59549098108&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0261927X08325883

DO - 10.1177/0261927X08325883

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:59549098108

VL - 28

SP - 62

EP - 71

JO - Journal of Language and Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Language and Social Psychology

SN - 0261-927X

IS - 1

ER -