Language Choice in Male vs. Female Focused TMZ Article on Substance Use Disorders Jordan Graley

  • Substance Use Disorders are a growing problem everywhere
  • Got this idea from seeing gossip articles about both Mac Miller and Demi Lovato
  • Celebrities of different genders are often treated differently for similar situations
  • Does this hold true for Substance Use Disorders?
  • Before even reading through the articles, I hypothesized that word choice toward women would be more harsh than that of men.
  • In the few gossip articles I've read, there's been a clear divide in the way that men versus women are talked about
  • For men: bigger focus on career, for women: bigger focus on their looks, or whether they are a good influence
  • There would be more harsh adjectives in the female results versus the male results
  • two codes: combine the files and get the results

Getting the Sources

  • With the help of Dr. Mummert, I had the search results of the word 'drug' pulled from TMZ
  • Skim through each article to find the ones that actually pertain to celebrities with substance use disorders
  • randomly selected 9 male articles and 9 female articles

Combine the Text Files

  • Hardest part was getting the code to read multiple text files
  • With the help of Professor Cartwright, I used the following code to join the text files

Using the Text in the Main Code

  • Before using the previously mentioned code to combine the files, I could not get my code to do anything more than look at one article at a time.
  • Once they were combined I easily was able to use the code to analyze my articles

Gender in the Articles

  • next step was to get the code to sort the articles by gender
  • Danielle Suchey's gendered words list
  • I used and ifelse statement to gender the sentences in the articles and print out the amount of male versus female

The Adjectives

  • I then used the following code to print the 10 most common adjectives used in my articles
The Results
  • Very different from what was expected, little to no positive in either result
  • However, I did get the expected negative language

Male Results

  • Most common word: last
  • No positive words
  • Many words that did not have negative or positive connotations.
  • Negative words included: drugged out, criminal, felony, burglary, and dead

Female Results

  • Most common word: near-fatal
  • Only one article had positive words: happy, relaxed, social
  • Almost no words that did not have a positive or negative connotation
  • Negative words included: heroin, overdose, criminal


  • more of a focus on the drugs themselves in the female article with terms such as overdose and heroin
  • more focus on the person in the male articles with terms such as drugged out and ex-disney
  • More positive words in the female result, but twice as many words in the male results that did not have a negative or positive connotation
  • Amount of negative language were pretty similar
  • My hypothesis was wrong, but both male and female results had very similiar amounts of negative adjectives
  • No positive male results and very few positive male results
  • A chunk of the male results being neither negative nor positive comparable to the positive female result
  • It can't be determined if males or females are given an easier time as I was not looking at the articles as a while, but it can be determined that the word choices used were on the same playing field.


Created with images by AbsolutVision - "Classified newspaper page" • Jessica Lewis - "untitled image" • Zach Lucero - "Ask Better Questions" • Sergi Kabrera - "life’s too short to remove usb safely" • rawpixel - "paper business document" • Annie Spratt - "Antique books and encyclopedias"

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