RLCS, Revista Latina de Comunicacion Social
Revista Latina

DOI, Digital Objetc Identifier 10.4185/RLCS-2016-1126en | ISSN 1138 - 5820 | RLCS # 71 | 2016 | Audio-visual explanation of the author |

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SPECIAL ISSUE ON VIOLENCE AND COMMUNICATION [3/7]
Collective book “SPECIAL ISSUE ON VIOLENCE AND COMMUNICATION

How to cite this article in bibliograhies / References
V Martín Jiménez, D Etura Hernández, CA Ballesteros Herencia (2016): “University students, Media and gender violence. A quantitative approach around journalism students”. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 71, pp. 891 to 911.
http://www.revistalatinacs.org/071/paper/1126/46en.html
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-2016-1126en

University students, Media and gender violence. A quantitative approach around journalism students

V Martín Jiménez [CV] [oc ORCID] [lgsGS] Profesora Contratado Doctora Acreditada. Universidad de Valladolid (España) virgimj@hmca.uva.es
D Etura Hernández [CV] [gORCID] [o GS] Profesora Asociada. Universidad de Valladolid (España) dunia.etura@uva.es
C A Ballesteros Herencia [CV] [oORCID] [g GS] Profesor Ayudante Doctor Acreditado. Universidad de Valladolid (España) cballesteros@hmca.uva.es
 

Abstract
Introduction. Based on the social responsibility theory of media and the research on youth, gender-based violence and the media, this research studies the knowledge and misconceptions that the Journalism student has in relation to gender-based violence. Methodology. After the #MORE COMMITMENT initiative held on 25N, a survey among students of Journalism Degree from the University of Valladolid was performed. The results were analyzed quantitatively using SPSS, both descriptive and inferential obtaining statistical data. Results. It is noted that initiatives against gender violence generate commitment among students. The research detected distortions, both in men and women, on fundamental issues as for the definition of gender violence. The students are less favorable to implement the recommendations of experts and admit that false allegations as one of the main causes of initiatives related to awareness against gender-based violence sometimes generated social rejection. Conclusions. Results demonstrate the effectiveness of these actions in the specialized training of journalists, but also a greater rejection of women towards the representation of gender-based violence in the media and the awareness activities around it.

Keywords
Gender-based Violence; Education Journalists; Education about Equality; Gender Equality; Educational Innovation Project; Media Literacy.

Contents
1. Introduction. 2. Media and gender-based violence: competence and responsibility. 3. Objectives and research questions. 4. Methodology. 5. Research results. 5.1. Awareness and acceptance of the activity performed on the occasion of November 25. 5.2. Previous notion about gender-based violence and its possible redefinition from the #MORE COMMITMENT initiative. 5.3. Notion of “gender-based violence” and the nominal use applied by students
6. Conclusions. 7. Footnotes. 8. Bibliographic references.

 [ Research ] [ Funded ] 
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1. Introduction

Between April 21 and May 7, 2015, the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality promoted in several media outlets (press, radio, TV and Internet) the campaign “Cuéntalo,” aimed at the young and teenagers. This campaign was intended to have an influence on the prevention of gender-based violence within this population sector and on the engagement of society as a whole as fundamental part of the solution of this issue. It was the first time since the government made the decision of including the youngest as the target audience for their campaign, hence demonstrating the preoccupation that has been shown in the past few years as a consequence of the growing number of gender-based violence cases in this sector of society (Torres albero, 2013; CIS, 2013; Díaz-Aguado, 2014; De Miguel Luken, 2015).

There is a general consensus as for the determining role that education must have in the promotion of equality and prevention of violence that arises from sexism (Ruiz Ruiz and Alario Trigueros, 2010). Consequently, the University must assume their responsibility in this matter (Díaz-Aguado, 2012), first by implementing specific policies for the prevention and promotion of equality and introducing gender perspective in course syllabi of all areas of study, as it is stated in the report published by Asociación GENET in 2015. 

The social responsibility of Journalism and its fundamental role in regard with gender-based violence (Bernárdez Rodal, 2015; Lorente Acosta, 2013; Gutiérrez Jimeno and Zurbano Berenguer, 2010), is essential to fight this scourge. For this reason, the Teaching Innovation Project “Enseñanza en igualdad e inclusión de género (PID-ENIG) [01],” associated with the Journalism Area at the University of Valladolid (Uva_Spain), launched the #MORE COMMITMENT initiative within the framework of the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women celebrated last November 25, 2015.

The activity, supported by the Valladolid Press Association (APV) and the Dean Office of the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, attempted to contribute to the improvement of specialized education of professionals, teachers and Journalism students with the objective of promoting a higher awareness and favor the acquisition of an individual commitment in the fight against gender-based violence. The acceptance of this commitment materialized through the adhesion upon a signed manifesto that collected recommendations proposed by experts in relation with the correct elaboration of informative contents about this type of violence.

Since this initiative was launched a diagnostic research project was developed to study the degree of knowledge and acceptance of the activities organized on the occasion of November 25, the previous notion of gender-based violence of the participants in the #MORE COMMITMENT initiative and its potential modification, as well as the definition of “gender-based violence,” the nominal use that students apply and the degree of awareness about the power of the media as a space for social and symbolic legitimization (Bernárdez Rodal, 2015).

2. Media and gender-based violence: competence and responsibility

Gender equality started to gain presence in the global political agenda in the First World Conference on Women celebrated in Mexico City in 1975. Twenty years after, during the development of its fourth edition in Beijing, the 198 UN member countries unanimously signed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action [1], which established twelve strategic goals with the objective of reaching equality between men and women, and among which media were included with the fundamental objective of “fostering training that addresses these gender-related aspects for media professionals” (UN Resolution, 1995:111). This resolution also involved the need for addressing the image of women and men that mass media instils in society, as the messages received through press, radio, television, films and advertising perpetuate roles and stereotypes that are the origin of chauvinistic behaviors, root of gender-based violence (Loscertales and Nuñez, 2009; Rodríguez Wangüemert, Matud and Espinosa, 2008).

Several academic studies have concerned the informative treatment given to gender-based violence (López Díaz, 2002 and 2007; Postigo Alonso and Jorge Gómez. 2016), the perspective from which these pieces of information are seen (Jiménez Armentia and Berganza Conde, 2009) and, just like the ‘agenda-setting’ theory suggests, the hierarchical function of media regarding their capacity to delimit topics and showing them as important to the population (Varona and Gabarrón, 2015), besides studying the mechanisms that transform –or not– that information into news or the necessary routinization processes that intervene so that a fact or character acquires the ‘news’ status (Fagoaga, 1994).

The labor of the media as relevant actors to foster a change of behavior, attitude and mentality is crucial in the fight against gender-based violence (Lorente Acosta, 2009; Bernárdez Rodal, 2015). For this reason, social responsibility in the media is the main axis upon which the compromise adopted by the professional must be built, as a social agent, against reality –which the professional informs about– and the social actors that are involved in it (Gutiérrez and Zurbano, 2010).

In Spain, it is not until the passing of the Organic Law 1/2004, on December 28, about Integral Protection Measures against Gender-based Violence, when on its articles 13 and 14, the behavior of society-focused media “with particular interest in the eradication of behaviors that favor situations involving the inequality of women” and promoting self-regulation agreements that ensure a correct informative treatment of information about gender-based violence.

Regardless of the legislation, two key events –Ana Orantes’ and Svetlana’s murders, in 1997 and 2007 respectively, after both had appeared on a TV programme–, are going to cause the media to adopt a proactive attitude that entails a greater implication and control of informative production in relation with gender-based violence (Carballido, 2010).

Since then gender-based violence experts, professionals, academicians and researchers have proposed methods that adapt to social reality and allow breaking media and cultural frameworks that legitimize inequality between men and women, the root of gender-based violence (Postigo Gómez, 2016). This is how the first self-regulation codes in Spain (IORTVE and Instituto de la Mujer, 2002; Col·legi de Periodistes de Catalunya, 2004; Yébenes Alberca, 2005; Diario Público, 2008 or López Díez, Núñez Puente and Gallego, 2015), with the purpose of providing communications professionals with the necessary tools to correctly elaborate informative contents about gender-based violence.

It is undeniable that the will to denounce this kind of violence, showing it not only as a clear preamble to death but also by explaining the factors that foster it and the subjugation of women before suffering serious assaults, has been transmitted and shared with society by the media (Lorente Acosta. Entrevista personal) [2]. Besides, thanks to them this problem has left the strictly private sphere to become a public issue (Rivilla Serrano, 2012). But despite this, the use that the media have given gender-based violence sometimes does not show in accordance with the recommendations we have been talking about so far, except for those commemorative days such as November 25 when one can appreciate more carefulness and when there is higher visibility of social awareness contents (Martín Jiménez and Etura, 2014).

For this reason, it seems indispensable not only to provide journalism students or current professionals with the necessary tools to acquire the critical thinking that facilitates them the correct perspective when elaborating informative contents about gender-based violence (Martín Jiménez, Ballesteros and Etura,  2016), but also society as a whole by means of media literacy, which through its inclusion in academic records –with a highly irregular incidence in the communications study area in Spain (Tucho et al. 2015)– provides the capacity of critically evaluating the content shown in the media (Wilson et al., 2011), resulting in professionals who are aware of the power of media as defining elements for the attainment of a more egalitarian society, thus more democratic, and an alert audience that exercises their right to receive accurate information as stated on the second chapter of part I in the Spanish Constitution (Martín Jiménez and Etura, 2016).

3. Objectives and research questions.

The present study was developed from the aforementioned #MORE COMMITMENT initiative with the purpose of achieving the following objectives:

  1. Analyzing and describing the notion that college students have about violence against women and determining whether this was changed conceptually from the awareness and educational activity held on November 25.
  2. Determining the significance that the “gender-based violence” concept has for students and discovering its connotation when they use the term.
  3. Defining the students’ level of awareness about the power of media as a space for social and symbolic legitimization.

Bearing in mind these objectives, the following research questions, thought as guide for its methodological development, were raised: 

  1. What is the level of knowledge and acceptance of the activity held on the occasion of November 25?
  2. What was the Journalism students’ previous notion about gender-based violence? Was this notion redefined after the celebration of this initiative?
  3. Were they aware of the recommendations from the experts about the correct way to elaborate contents about gender-based violence before reading the manifesto?
  4. What do they understand by “gender-based violence” and their interpretation of what the Integral Law 1/2004 describes as gender-based violence?
  5. What importance do students give the media as spaces for social and symbolic legitimization concerning gender-based violence? 
  6. Is there any difference between men and women as for the awareness, perspective and interest about it?

4. Methodology

With the purpose of obtaining answers to the questions raised and achieving the established goals it was decided that a descriptive and analytical survey was to be elaborated. This survey would have to enable the investigation of problems in very realistic environmental frameworks and offer the possibility of studying a broad range of variables (Wimmer and Dominick, 1996: 113).

With that in mind, a survey was devised, aimed at the students from the four years of the Degree in Journalism at the University of Valladolid (UVa_Spain). This survey was responded by students during the week from December 14 through December 18, 2015 on an anonymous and voluntary basis a few minutes before classes from different years of study and groups of the Degree started. The teacher of the corresponding course and a research team member were present during the course of the survey.

Concerning the research instrument, the survey was divided into four thematic areas. The first one intended to collect a set of socio-demographic data such as age, gender and year of study; the second area sought to evaluate the reception of the initiative among students; the third area questioned about the follow-up from the media and the impact of the informative treatment of gender-based violence, and the fourth area questioned about the concept and definition of gender-based violence. 

In total, the survey was answered by 272 of the 488 students enrolled in the Degree in Journalism at the University of Valladolid during the 2015-2016 academic year, meaning an error rate of 3.96%, a trust level of 95% and a heterogeneity of p=q=0.5. The data obtained were put through both a descriptive and inferential analysis using the statistical software SPSS Statistics 20.

The results were shown as follows: 62.1% (n=169) were women and 37.9% (n=103) were men. The overall average age was 20.2 (DT=3.24) within a range from 18 to 54 years old. 84.2% of them were between 18 and 21 years old; 14.3% were between 22 and 29 years old, and only 1.2% were older than 30.

5. Research results
5.1. Awareness and acceptance of the activity performed on the occasion of November 25

61.4% (n=167) of Journalism students signed the initiative against gender-based violence. From those students who did not sign the manifesto, 37.9% (n=103), an 85% explained this was merely due to a lack of knowledge about the activity or because they were not present at the center that day. 6.8% (n=7) of those who did not sign thought that media already provided accurate information about gender-based violence. 5.8% (n=6) did not sign because they did not agree with the manifesto, and 1.9% (n=2) because they thought that this issue was being overdramatized. Therefore, 14.6% (n=15) of the students were reluctant, due to the three aforementioned reasons, to support the initiative about the informative treatment of gender-based violence held on November 25, according to this first variable. 

Figure 1.- Why didn’t you sign the initiative about gender-based violence?

1e
Source: made by author.

To delve into the causes that prevented a greater mobilization, an investigation was started to study the reason why –according to the respondents– a part of society was reluctant towards initiatives against gender-based violence. 34.6% of the students responded that it is due to a general chauvinism; 32% responded that the gender-based violence law is unfair as it only includes women, and 23.5% argued this was due to the treatment this issue is being given by the media. Minority interpretations included false allegations, with 7%, and the exaggeration of the issue, with only 1.1%.

Figure 2.- Why is part of society reluctant towards initiatives against gender-based violence?

2e
Source: made by author.

A significant association was detected between gender and these reasons [χ2 (5, N=272) = 13,446, p<0.05]. According to the analysis of adjusted residuals, a greater proportion of men admitted ignoring these reasons, and a greater proportion of women attributed it to false allegations; five times more women than men chose this explanation (See data in Table 1).

Table 1.- Contingency table between gender and the reasons why society is reluctant towards initiatives against gender-based violence

 

Gender

Total

Woman

Man

What is the reason why part of society is reluctant towards initiatives against gender-based violence?

N/A

%

0.6

3.9

1.8

Adjusted residuals

-2.0

2.0

Treatment of the issue from the media

%

21.9

26.2

23.5

Adjusted residuals

-0.8

0.8

False allegations

%

10.1

1.9

7.0

Adjusted residuals

2.5

-2.5

Male chauvinism

%

32.0

38.8

34.6

Adjusted residuals

-1.2

1.2

The issue has been magnified

%

0.6

1.9

1.1

Adjusted residuals

-1.0

1.0

The gender-based violence law is unfair because it only defends women

%

34.9

27.2

32.0

Adjusted residuals

1.3

-1.3

Total

100

100

100

Note: N = 272. Cell values represent percentages. The association is significant at level p < 0.05. Those values marked in bold are the significant values of the adjusted typified residuals.

On the other hand, 95.2% thought it was important to consider the recommendations from experts to elaborate the information about gender-based violence and shown in the manifesto to one single person (0.4%) who thought otherwise, and twelve students (4.4%) who did not answer this question.

The importance of these recommendations was supported by the majority of male (98.1%) and female students (93.5%), even though certain statistically significant differences were detected regarding the importance of these recommendations for gender reasons (Fisher’s exact test = 6,268 (N=272), p<0.05). In this way, a greater number of women affirmed that they did not know whether these recommendations were important (See data in Table 2).

Table 2.- Contingency table between the importance given to recommendations about informative treatment and the signing of the manifesto

 

Gender

Total

Woman

Man

Do you think it is important to consider these recommendations?

N/A

%

6.5

1.0

4.4

Adjusted residuals

2.2

-2.2

Yes

%

93.5

98.1

95.2

Adjusted residuals

-1.7

1.7

No

%

0.0

1.0

0.4

Adjusted residuals

-1.3

1.3

Total

100

100

100

Note: N = 272. Cell values represent percentages. The association is significant at level p < 0.05. Those values marked in bold are the significant values of the adjusted typified residuals.

Likewise, it was confirmed that there was a significant association (Fisher’s exact test = 20,581, p<0.001) between the importance given to these recommendations and the signing of the initiative. In this way, those who signed the manifesto believed in the relevance of those suggestions in a greater percentage than expected, while there was a higher tendency to ignore whether these recommendations were important among those who did not sign it (See data in Table 3).

Table 3.- Contingency table between the importance given to recommendations about informative treatment and the signing of the manifesto

 

Did you sign the initiative?

Total

N/A

Yes

No

Do you think it is important to consider these recommendations?

N/A

%

0.0

0.6

10.7

4.4

Adjusted residuals

-0.3

-3.9

3.9

Yes

%

100

99.4

88.3

95.2

Adjusted residuals

0.3

4.1

-4.1

No

%

0.0

0.0

1.0

0.4

Adjusted residuals

-0.1

-1.3

1.3

Total

100

100

100

Note: N = 272. Cell values represent percentages. The association is significant at level p < 0.001. Those values marked in bold are the significant values of the adjusted typified residuals.

Besides, 94.5% of the students claimed that they would put these recommendations into practice during their professional career, in opposition to three students (1.1%) who were reluctant to apply them, and other twelve students (4.4%) who did not answer.

Fisher’s exact test (4,962, p>0.1) showed a trend association between gender and the willingness to put these recommendations into practice, which is why adjusted typified residuals were analyzed, resulting in the majority of women tending to answer that they did not know whether they would apply them, while men showed a greater trend towards the positive side. More specifically, 98.1% of men thought that they would consider them against 92.3% of women. 6.5% of female students doubted whether they would use those recommendations against 1% of male students. 1% of men and 1.2% of women were more categorical as to noting that they would not consider them.
Besides, those who signed the initiative were willing to put the recommendations into practice in greater percentage than what was statistically expected, against those who did not sign it; these showed an increase in their propensity to ignore whether they would apply them. The association between both variables was significant (Fisher’s exact test = 17.063, p<0.01) (See data in Table 4).

Table 4.- Contingency table between the importance given to recommendations about informative treatment and the signing of the manifesto

 

Did you sign the initiative?

Total

N/A

Yes

No

Will you put these recommendations into practice?

N/A

%

0.0

0.6

9.3

4.0

Adjusted residuals

-0.3

-3.7

3.8

Yes

%

100

97.8

89.8

94.7

Adjusted residuals

0.3

2.9

-3.0

No

%

0.0

1.7

0.8

1.3

Adjusted residuals

-0.2

0.6

-0.6

Total

100

100

100

Note: N = 272. Cell values represent percentages. The association is significant at level p < 0.01. Those values marked in bold are the significant values of the adjusted typified residuals.

5.2. Previous notion about gender-based violence and its possible redefinition from the #MORE COMMITMENT initiative

60.3% of the students admitted not knowing beforehand the recommendations about informative treatment of gender-based violence, against 36.5% who affirmed knowing them, with a remaining 2.9% who did not answer that question. Besides, 36% of students said that the reading and signing of the manifesto did make them modify their previous notion about gender-based violence, against 61.8% who said that the manifesto did not vary their previous view on the subject.

Figure 3.- Has the reading of the manifesto redefined your previous notion about gender-based violence?


3e
Source: made by author.

A significant association was detected between both variables (Fisher’s exact test = 42.802, p<0.001) in a way that those who did not know the recommendations beforehand modified their notion about gender-based violence in greater proportion, and those who already knew them changed it in lesser proportion (See data in Table 5).

Table 5.- Contingency table between previous awareness of the recommendations about informative treatment and the redefinition of the notion about gender-based violence

 

Before reading the manifesto, were you aware of the recommendations about informative treatment of gender-based violence?

Total

N/A

Yes

No

Has the manifesto redefined your previous notion about gender-based violence?

N/A

%

62.5

0.0

0.6

2.2

Adjusted residuals

11.8

-1.9

-2.2

Yes

%

0.0

26.0

43.9

36.0

Adjusted residuals

-2.2

-2.6

3.3

No

%

37.5

74.0

55.5

61.8

Adjusted residuals

-1.4

3.2

-2.6

Total

100

100

100

100

Note: N = 272. Cell values represent percentages. The association is significant at level p < 0.001. Those values marked in bold are the significant values of the adjusted typified residuals.

Concerning the commitment arisen from the activity, we find that more than two out of three students, 67.6%, considered that this initiative had encouraged them to engage in the fight against violence, while 21.7% did not entirely agree with this declaration, and almost 6% strongly disagreed.

Figure 4.- Do you consider this initiative has encouraged you to get involved in the fight against gender-based violence?

4e
Source: made by author.

The existence of a significant association between the signing of the manifest and the consideration that this initiative encouraged the involvement in the fight against gender-based violence could be verified (Fisher’s exact test = 31.300, p<0.001). Accordingly, seeing the adjusted typified residuals, those who signed the manifesto considered that this initiative had helped them get involved. However, those who did not sign it opted for declaring that they ignored whether it had helped them or that it would have helped them little (See data in Table 6).

Table 6.- Contingency table between the signing of the manifesto and the consideration that this initiative has encouraged involvement

 

Did you sign the initiative?

Total

N/A

Yes

No

Do you consider this initiative has encouraged you to get involved in the fight against gender-based violence?

N/A

%

0.0

0.6

10.2

4.3

Adjusted residuals

-0.3

-3.9

4.0

I strongly agree

%

0.0

22.2

9.3

17.0

Adjusted residuals

-0.6

2.9

-2.9

I agree

%

100

54.4

44.1

50.7

Adjusted residuals

1.4

1.6

-1.8

I slightly disagree

%

0.0

18.3

28.0

22.0

Adjusted residuals

-0.8

-1.9

2.0

I strongly disagree

%

0.0

4.4

8.5

6.0

Adjusted residuals

-0.4

-1.4

1.5

Total

100

100

100

100

Note: N = 272. Cell values represent percentages. The association is significant at level p < 0.001.

5.3. Notion of “gender-based violence” and the nominal use applied by students
80.9% of Journalism students strongly agreed or just agreed with the belief that the media are essential to achieve the eradication of gender-based violence, against 16.9% who slightly disagreed and 1.8% who strongly disagreed (See data in Figure 4).

Figure 4.- The media are essential to achieve the elimination of gender-based violence

. 5e

Source: made by author

The idea about the root and the social solution for gender-based violence seems quite unanimous among respondents. The majority of Journalism students agreed with the statement “society is part of the problem and the solution for gender-based violence,” of which 66.2% strongly agreed and 32% agreed. Only 1.8% slightly or strongly disagreed. 

Concerning the definition of “gender-based violence,” more than half of the students (55.1%) answered that it is the “violence that one of both partners uses against the other,” while 38.6% affirmed that it means “sexual, physical or psychological violence over the woman.”

As minority options, we find out that 3.3% defined it as “taking control over your partner,” and 2.6% considered that gender-based violence as such “does not exist; only violence exists.”

Figure 5.- Would you be able to explain what is gender-based violence?

6e
Source: made by author.

Although the association between the variable about what gender-based violence means and the gender variable is not statistically significant, (p<0.1), when analyzing those categories that constitute each variable, the outcomes of the adjusted typified residuals show that there certainly are statistically significant difference in one case. Both the majority of men and women tend in a similar manner to define it as the violence of one partner over the other (55.1%) and as sexual, physical and psychological violence against the woman (39.6%). However, 5.3% of women also defined it as causing the subjugation of the other partner, while not a single male respondent (0.0%) shared this definition.

After having been questioned about which concept they considered most appropriate to describe violence suffered by women, two terms received an identical percentage of answers: both “gender-based violence” and “male violence” were chosen by 46% of the respondents. Far from this percentage we find that 5.9% of students preferred the term “domestic violence,” and only 1.5% opted for “crime of passion.”

Figure 6.- Which of these concepts is most appropriate to refer to the violence suffered by women?

7e
Source: made by author.

6. Conclusions

The research results demonstrate the need and the interest to conduct educational activities outside the classroom related to current issues such as male violence and inequality, therefore providing university teaching with a gender-based perspective, complementing the higher education that students receive.

The descriptive and inferential analyses of statistical data that resulted from the surveys conducted have allowed us to answer those questions raised at the beginning of this report. Among the main conclusions we would highlight that a majority percentage of students supported the #MORE COMMITMENT initiative. Besides, if we thoroughly analyze the data, from 37.9% who did not support it, 85% justified this with reasons that had more to do with the impossibility of being present or mere ignorance about the activity than with a disagreement with the celebration of the initiative (these were 14.6%).

Regarding the effectiveness of this kind of activities, 67.7% considered that this initiative had encouraged them to get involved in the fight against gender-based violence; even a greater percentage -76.6%- among those who did sign the manifesto. This support towards the initiative is noted in the final results in which almost the totality of the students surveyed, 95.2%, noted that the recommendations exposed in the manifesto had to be considered for the elaboration of information. A similar number (94.5%) assured that they would put the recommendations into practice when elaborating the journalistic contents that were related to gender-based violence.

The results of this study show how women take a more reactive stance on this kind of awareness initiatives and the presence of gender-based violence in the media. Accordingly, five times more women than men noted that society is irresolute about the actions performed against gender-based violence due to the cases of false allegations, one of the most frequent fallacies when there are arguments acting against the reality of gender-based violence and that the Observatory on Domestic and Gender-based Violence of the Judiciary deconstructs every year with its statistical studies.[3] Besides, the only two students who thought that the importance of gender-based violence was being magnified in the media were women. 

Finally, 93.5% of female students consider the recommendations for the informative treatment of gender-based violence important, against 98.1% of male students, and 6.5% of women against 1% of men questioned them. According to these results, female respondents also tended to answer in greater percentage than their male counterparts that they did not know whether they would apply these recommendations, while men showed a greater trend towards affirming that they would put them into practice.

Results from these research variables, such as those that refer to the knowledge about a correct informative treatment, or the capacity to define gender-based violence, make us reflect on how convenient it really is to qualitatively delve, by using other research projects and teaching initiatives, into the expertise of the young about the most elementary notions about gender-based violence, initially considered overcome by their own generational condition.

60.3% of respondents affirmed not knowing the recommendations from the experts. We believe a specialized education for future journalists that provides them with critical thinking for a correct elaboration of information about gender-based violence is essential to eradicate it from society. However, we deem it essential that not only media professionals but also the rest of society participate in this reasoned and reflective spirit, which should be acquired through media literacy, allowing them to hold a critical stance towards the consumption of mass media and turning them into careful consumers.

Concerning the social commitment against gender-based violence, more than two out of three students were certain that this initiative had helped them get involved in the fight against this issue, and 98% agreed with the idea that society is both part of the problem and the solution for gender-based violence. This goes in accordance with the idea that has been transmitted in several awareness campaigns in the past few years such as Ante el maltrato todas y todos a una (2009) and Saca tarjeta roja al maltratador (2010) both from the Spanish Ministry of Health, or the most recent Tolerancia Cero. Contra el maltrato la fuerza de todos (2016) on Antena 3 channel, where gender-violence is shown not strictly as a problem in the private sphere but as something that affects society as a whole.

Results about the definition that respondents give to the “gender-based violence” concept, where more than half show uncertainty as for what it means, along with the 32% who consider that the gender-based violence law is unfair because it only defends women, make us consider the need for a wider incidence in the clarification of concepts that, more than ten years after the enactment of the Integral Law against Gender-based Violence in 2004, are supposedly overcome but that –as we have observed– are still confusing or inaccurate for an important part of society.

*Funded research
This article has been written within the Teaching Innovation Project “Enseñanza en Igualdad e Inclusión de género” (PID-ENIG), funded by the University of Valladolid (UVa_España).

Dates
-Beginning of research: 18 November, 2015
-End of research: 30 May, 2016

 

7. Footnotes

[1] The complete Resolution is published by the UN and available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/pdf/BDPfA%20S.pdf

[2] Private archive of the co-author Dunia Etura Hernández. Interview 2013.

[3] To delve further into this matter we recommend the article titled “Violencia sobre la mujer por razón de género versus denuncias falsas” by Teresa Peramato Martín, public prosecutor attached to the Office of the Madrid Court for Violence Against Women, published on November 25 on Abogacía Española magazine http://www.abogacia.es/2015/11/25/violencia-sobre-la-mujer-por-razon-de-genero-versus-denuncias-falsas/

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How to cite this article in bibliographies / References

V Martín Jiménez, D Etura Hernández, CA Ballesteros Herencia (2016): “University students, Media and gender violence. A quantitative approach around journalism students”. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 71, pp. 891 to 911.
http://www.revistalatinacs.org/071/paper/1126/46en.html
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-2016-1126en

 Article received on 10 June 2016. Accepted on 14 September.
                                                                                                 Published on 22 September 2016.

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