When looking at the CBS News transcript on the topic of birth control, the reporting and analysis is done primarily by women. Since CBS lacks a real political show, and there isn’t a whole lot of debate about the birth control. It’s more about the reporting on recent news pertaining to birth control, which is why it seems to stand out as compared to the other news stations listed on this site.
Some brief anaylsis from past CBS News transcripts.
An example how CBS is more balanced in gender roles when it comes to certain gender based topics, is a transcript from August 13, 2008, on the “Early Show” with Maggie Rodriguez and Harry Smith. The guest on the show is a research psychologist by the name of Dr. Rachel Herz, who is there to discuss a possible side effect of birth control. The topic is about how birth control pills can change a woman’s attraction to a certain man’s natural scent. The interview of Dr. Herz is done by Maggie Rodriguez, not Harry Smith. This is a big deal, because unlike other major news stations, CBS lets the women debate and give their opinion on a women’s topic, such as birth control. Obviously, the debate on the changing of a man’s natural scent is not a huge deal when it comes to the greater debate of contraception, but the way it is being discussed is. Like most news shows the hosts are both male and female, but the guest no matter what the topic is, does not always coincide with the gender rules of the topic. What I mean is women are not always analyzing topics of issue for women, which you would think wouldn’t be the case, but it is. Plus it’s not always the female anchor who is doing the interviewing either. With this interview on CBS, you get a woman asking questions and woman answering them on a topic that is strictly pertains to women.
A more recent example from CBS on this topic was done on June 2, 2011. Again it is from the “Early Show” but this time the host are Chris Wragge, Erica Hill, Whit Johnson. The topic that is being discussed is if birth control pills caused the death of a teenage girl, who was going to college in North Carolina. She died from a cardiac arrest, caused by a blood clot in her lung. The show did a recorded interview her mother, and brought in Dr. Jennifer Ashton to analyze the situation and discuss the idea of this blood clot rooting from birth control pills. The interview is done by Erica Hill, the only female host on the show this morning. Once again you see the pattern in which there are male host and in this case they outnumber the female host and yet a topic based on women comes up and the focus is completely on the women in the show. Even with the analyst being a woman, you could still have a male doing the interviewing but you seem to get more from having a woman asking the questions, because she represents the voice of women and asking questions that they would want to be asked.
(June 2, 2011 Thursday ). For June 2, 2011, CBS. CBS News Transcripts, Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic
(August 13, 2008 Wednesday ). Healthwatch; Research psychologist Rachel Herz, author of “The Scent of Desire” discusses the question of whether the use of birth control pills can lead women to choose the wrong mate. CBS News Transcripts, Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic