How sex and gender influence how we vote

phys.org | 11/14/2018 | Staff
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Leading up to the recent midterm elections in the United States, pundits predicted women voters and candidates would alter the race.

There were, in fact, historic changes as more women than ever gained seats in U.S. Congress, breaking the 100-seat barrier. The winners included two Muslim women and a Native American woman, both historic firsts.

Patterns - Explanations - Men - Women - Voting

However, as we unpack and explain voting patterns, the narrative must move beyond stereotypical and biologically grounded explanations that focus on men and women as voting blocs. Instead, we must ask how gender orientations condition men's and women's politics.

Several lessons from our ongoing research are instructive: First, gender strongly conditions the impact of sex on the vote. By "gender," we mean the extent to which men and women identify with masculinity and femininity as sets of roles, traits and ideals.

Impact - Gender - Vote - Differs - Effect

The impact of gender on the vote differs from the effect of sex alone, in part because sex does not determine where you place yourself on a masculinity/femininity continuum.

Our work on measuring sex and gender in survey research, published last year in Political Behavior, shows that men who do not strongly identify with hypermasculinity are equally or more liberal than women on various issues, from same-sex marriage to social spending.

Men - Orbit - Share - Party - Positions

This implies that moderately masculine men, so to speak, are not in the Republican orbit because they do not share the party's positions on the issues that defined the 2018 midterms: Immigration, gun rights, Brett Kavanaugh and the backlash against so-called "identity politics."

In fact, all respondents whose gender self-placement veers from the most masculine or feminine endpoints of the scale tend to be more politically moderate than the hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine identifiers.

Women—those - Gender - Identities - Issues - Workplace

This means that highly feminine women—those who possess very traditional gender identities —are more conservative on some issues, including workplace discrimination, and are indeed open to the Republican...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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