Gender, Partisanship, and Issue Gaps

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Abstract

A defining feature of American politics, including party identification, is the question of the proper role of government. Partisanship is a prevailing way that individuals organize their attitudes. Democrats should take the Democratic Party's positions, and Republicans should take the Republican Party's positions. Instead, people have conflicting considerations that shape their opinions. Given that gender is integral in structuring individuals’ positions in society, it is reasonable to expect that gender differences might produce intraparty differences. This article establishes a gender gap in scope of government that transcends partisanship. Using the cumulative American National Election Study Data 1994–2008, I find strong evidence that for a number of issue areas, women are more supportive of an activist government than men of the same party. Preferences regarding the scope of government provide a coherent explanation for these observed gaps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-405
Number of pages27
JournalAnalyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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