The missing white woman syndrome is defined as

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The missing White woman syndrome is defined as popular media such as TV, newspapers, and nannie-doss-poisoned-four-husbands/article_c43b83ff-f12e-5952-a64b-21a1c0fbdcd4.html 9 Efran, M. G. (1974). The effect of physical appearance on the judgment of guilt, interpersonal attraction, and severity of recommended punishment in a simulated jury task. Journal of Research in Personality, 8 (1), 45-54. doi:10.1016/0092-6566(74)90044-0
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radio play a crucial role in recognizing White women as “valuable front-page victims 10 .” Typically missing victims who have substantial media coverage tend to be White, young, and upper or middle class women. These media sources ignore or do not broadcast as frequently or as significantly victims of a minority race. White women have the privilege of extensive airtime compared to those of other races. More people will hear and have knowledge about the incident and the victim is more likely to be found. Therefore society shows more sympathy to White women victims because they are more showcased on media, this again plays into the backfire effect due to these victim’s high exposure to the public. The missing White woman syndrome plays into the racial hierarchy that society possesses. The missing White woman syndrome is prevalent in the news coverage of three missing soldiers in Iraq; Shoshana Johnson a female African American soldier, Lori Piestewa a female Native American soldier, and Jessica Lynch a female White soldier. Media was biased in coverage of Jessica Lynch, a young, blonde, White soldier, rather than the other two female soldiers. Piestewa was killed in the ambush, but Lynch and Johnson were taken as prisoners of war. This is a prime example of the missing White woman syndrome as all three of these women should have received the same amount of media coverage. A majority of the public’s knowledge of crime and deviance stems from media. Through the media, people create their own perceptions of perpetrators based on how those criminals were conveyed in the media. Overall when a person is perceived by the jury as more attractive, dressed professionally, and well spoken then they are more likely to receive less severe charges as a person who is not perceived in such a way. People believe that physically attractive people are both attractive on the outside and inside, which is not always the case. The halo effect is not 10 Stillman, S. (2007). ‘The missing white girl syndrome’: disappeared women and media activism. Gender & Development, 15 (3), 491-502. doi:10.1080/13552070701630665
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only significant in crime and media but also politics, business, and social lives. The missing White woman syndrome is also very important in media coverage, victims who are of a minority race are less likely to be publicized on media than White women. Overall the media skews the public’s views of criminals and how they are portrayed.
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