Search button


Date Range:

From: To:

View all

  • Graduate Student Center Graduate Student Center
  • General Public Presentations General Public Presentations
  • Thesis/Dissertation Seminars Thesis/Dissertation Seminars
  • Arts and Humanities Seminars Arts and Humanities Seminars
  • Education Seminars Education Seminars
  • Health Professions Seminars Health Professions Seminars
  • Professional/Business Seminars Professional/Business Seminars
  • Social Sciences Seminars Social Sciences Seminars
  • STEM* Seminars STEM* Seminars
  • Social Events Social Events
  • Student and Professional Development Student and Professional Development
  • Informational Events Informational Events
  • Important Dates Important Dates

*STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

International Community

Events Calendar   

Back to Summary

Thesis/Dissertation Seminars

Dissertation Defense: Black, White, and Read All Over: Exploring Racial Bias in Print Media Coverage of Serial Rape Cases

HPH 406 I
March 20, 2017 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Announcing the Final Examination of Lauren Elizabeth Wright for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

The discussion of race and crime has been a long standing research interest, with statistics consistently showing an overrepresentation of non-white offenders compared to their white counterparts – specifically in relation to violent crimes such as murder and rape. Prior research has found that about 46 percent of serial rapists are black, a fact that correlates with other sensationalized violent crimes such as mass murder and serial murder. The news media are the primary sources of this kind of information for the general public, with prior research acknowledging that the media primarily focus on discussing non-white offenders in their crime-based news stories. With the majority of Americans receiving their information about crime from the news media, it is important to increase our understanding of how their representations might influence the general public. The current study explores the print media representations of serial rapists, from 1940-2010, from five newspapers: The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. A content analysis was conducted on 524 articles covering 297 serial rape offenders from the data compiled by Wright, Vander Ven, and Fesmire (2016) in which race of the offender was known. Results show that newspaper articles tend to report about fear-related topics and anxiety surrounding offenders when the offenders are non-white. Results also indicate that while newspapers dehumanize both white and non-white offenders, white offenders tend to have their behavior neutralized using techniques to garner more sympathy.

Committee in Charge: Lin Huff-Corzine (Chair), Jay Corzine, Melanie Hinojosa, Tom Vander Ven


The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Central Florida.

Please note the commission's expectation that contact occur only if there is evidence to support significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard. For other information about UCF’s SACSCOC accreditation, please contact the university's SACSCOC liaison in UCF's Office of Academic Affairs.

| © 2015 University of Central Florida - College of Graduate Studies