F10(a) - Gender, Political Participation, and the Vote
Date: Jun 5 | Time: 10:30am to 12:00pm | Location: SWING 109
Chair/Président/Présidente : Michael McGregor (Ryerson University)
Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Cameron Anderson (Western University)
Are Men and Women Mobilize Differently by Political Parties? The Effect of Competitiveness on the Gender Gap in Party Mobilization: Katrine Beauregard (Australian National University)
Abstract: While a large literature exists investigating cross-national differences in party mobilization, little is known about whether men and women are mobilized equally by political parties. On the one hand, in many democracies, women are more likely to turnout than men, which might indicate that political parties and candidates are more likely to mobilize the former than the latter. On the other hand, recent studies have shown that political parties are more responsive to men’s policy preferences than women (Homola 2017), indicating that despite higher turnout from women, parties still view men as their electoral basis. Using the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, I find important variations in the gender gap in party mobilization across democracies. In some countries women are more likely to be contacted while in other countries it is men who are more likely to be contacted. I theorize that competitiveness is a crucial explanation for these cross-national variation in the gender gap in party mobilization. Traditionally, political parties would prefer contacting men over women since the former are on average more politically active, wealthier, and more educated. However, when face increased competition for votes, political parties will have greater incentives to reach out to ‘undertapped market’ (Kittilson and Schwindt-Bayer 2012) such as women. While previous studies have shown the impact of competitiveness on mobilization (Rainey 2015) and on the mobilization of lower income voter (Anderson and Beramendi 2012), I demonstrate how these processes are gendered and that under some circumstances political parties can overcome their traditional bias.
Gender and Political Campaign Contributions in Canada: Erin Tolley (University of Toronto), Randy Besco (University of Toronto), Semra Sevi (Université de Montréal)
Abstract: Donations offer a means for voters to influence politics either by facilitating a victory for their preferred party or candidate or because politicians pay more attention to the preferences of donors. American data shows men donate to parties and candidates more often and in larger quantities that women, but the political financing system in the United States is unique, and there is little research from other countries. Our paper asks: who donates, to whom, and at what point in the election? To answer these questions, we exploit Elections Canada’s political contributions database, focusing on donations to candidates in the 2015 federal election (n~15,000). Using genealogical methods and surname analysis, we code the ethnicity and sex of every donor. The results show that men make up a large majority of donors, but there is little difference in the size of donations. We trace differences in donation patterns by party and timing, looking in particular at whether the Liberal party’s promise of a gender parity Cabinet influenced donation patterns. Next, we link donation data to candidate data, allowing us to test whether donors donate broadly or target their money to candidates who share their same sex or ethnicity. One striking finding is the high level of donations that racialized women candidates receive. This suggests such candidates are able to uniquely capitalize on their shared affinity with voters who are women, as well as those who are minorities.
“It’s Raining Men”: Masculinity, Public Opinion, and Political Behaviour in Contemporary Politics: Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant (Queen's University), Amanda Bittner (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Abstract: Research on gender gaps in public opinion and political behaviour frames women as drivers of the gap, framing women’s behaviour as the phenomenon to be explained and men’s behaviour as the default against which others are understood. The field’s focus on sex, rather than gender roles and traits, also encourages seeing the gaps as innate and biologically rooted. We help push beyond the sex binary in political behaviour (e.g., McDermott 2016), to assess the role of femininity and masculinity in political attitudes (Bittner & Goodyear-Grant 2017a; 2017b). In this paper we place men and masculinity under the microscope. Much has been made in recent years of a perceived crisis of masculinity, of white men being or feeling “left behind”, of masculinity and populism, and how all these affect policy and elections. The paper starts with analyses of the 2016 American NES to explore the role of masculinity in vote choice and political attitudes, focusing on the role of gender hostility and gender ambivalence. We assess the extent to which hypermasculinity is the driver of men’s behaviour (and not, say, conservatism or orientations toward authority)? We also incorporate analyses from a qualitative study, a series of focus groups on perceptions of gender across different life dimensions. Our conclusions address large questions about the measurement of masculinity and femininity in the field, particularly about which instruments are most appropriate and how to avoid reifying the association of stereotypical masculine traits with political leadership.
Competition, Self-Esteem, and Politics: Behavioral Foundations of Negative Attitudes Towards Women: Jordan Mansell (Université du Québec à Montréal), Malu Gatto (University College London)
Abstract: Adopting a framework based on the psychological traits associated with social competition, we hypothesize that negative appraisals of women are correlated with “defensive” (low implicit and high explicit) self-esteem in competitive (male) individuals. Specifically, we pose that (male) individuals who are competitively motivated, but who lack a strong positive perception of self will be: 1) more likely to hold negative attitudes and appraisals of women; and, 2) more sensitive to cues about the success of other individuals—in comparison to individuals with a strong positive perception of self. To test these hypotheses, we recruit a sample of (N=500) US-based participants to complete an experimental interaction involving series of other-self Implicit Association Tests (IATs). Our novel design intercalates an unspecified-other-self Implicit Association Test (IAT) with a randomly assigned prime and corresponding specified-other-self IAT (specifying either a successful man or a successful woman). This design allows us to uncover baseline psychological traits associated with attitudes towards women as well as to examine how social conditions and experience may causally reinforce the formation of different attitude positions. Our study was preregistered through EPAG prior to data collection. http://egap.org/registration-details/3098