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Masculinity, Femininity, and American Political Behavior$
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Monika L McDermott

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190462802

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190462802.001.0001

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Gendered Personalities and the Partisan Gender Gap

Gendered Personalities and the Partisan Gender Gap

(p.57) Chapter 3 Gendered Personalities and the Partisan Gender Gap
Masculinity, Femininity, and American Political Behavior

Monika L. McDermott

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 analyzes the effect of gendered personalities on party affiliation, voting, and ideology. It offers an alternative theory for the perceived partisan “gender gap” (or sex gap) between men and women. The traditional explanation—that it is differences between men and women that drive this phenomenon—assumes that the presumed causal mechanisms, such as degree of compassion, split fairly cleanly along the lines of biological sex. Gendered personalities demonstrate, however, that this assumption is out of place in today’s world. The analyses show that levels of both masculinity and femininity influence party affiliation, vote choice, and ideology, regardless of an individual’s sex. The more feminine an individual is, the more Democratic in both identification and voting, and the more liberal. The more masculine an individual is, the more Republican and conservative. These effects occur not only regardless of sex but also in place of them.

Keywords:   gender, political behavior, personality, voting, masculinity, femininity, gender gap, party identification, ideology, political attitudes

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