‘Bad girls’: the use of gendered media frames in the Israeli media's coverage of Israeli female political criminals

Amit Lavie-Dinur, Yuval Karniel, Tal Azran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The study examined news media coverage of Israeli female political criminals to determine how the media construct and portray women who commit ideological crimes against the state, ultimately to discern what these framing choices suggest about women involved in political crimes. Studies show that the media tend to rely on stereotypical gender frames to portray female criminals and their motivations to the public. These frames depict women perpetrators as motivated to commit political crime for personal reasons as opposed to political reasons, which are often cited for male criminal behavior. The study examined the Israeli news media's use of stereotypical gender news frames when reporting on three Israeli women who committed ideological crimes against the state. The study compared the coverage of these cases among three Israeli newspapers representing different political affinities. As a country with a long history of political conflict, Israel offers a unique opportunity to examine gender bias in the media's coverage of female actors in the public sphere. The study's theoretical contribution lies in its analysis of Israeli female political criminals who, by definition of their crime, acted within the political sphere. The study confirms previous research on the subject – mainly that the media rely on gender frames and explanations of personal motive in its portrayals of female criminals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-346
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • domestic terror
  • ideological criminality
  • media frames
  • stereotypes
  • the representation of women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of '‘Bad girls’: the use of gendered media frames in the Israeli media's coverage of Israeli female political criminals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this