Political Science Gender Stereotypes in Politics
by
Angela L. Bos, Kiley Kinnard
  • LAST MODIFIED: 15 January 2020
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0291

Introduction

Over the past thirty years, scholars have explored the myriad ways that gender stereotypes may explain the dearth of women in elected office in the United States. That is, do stereotypes about women and men affect the ability of women to seek and attain political leadership roles? Early research demonstrated that female and male politicians were viewed differently, along the lines of gender stereotypes, with regard to their traits, beliefs, or ideology and the issues they were perceived as competent to handle. Because politics is a masculine domain, this presents challenges to and for women seeking political leadership roles and elected office. A large portion of the work on gender stereotypes explores how they shape voter choices in elections, as well as how female candidates anticipate and change their campaign strategies relative to stereotypes. Numerous observational studies of elections have not connected gender stereotypes and voter choice and often demonstrate the overwhelming impact of party identification. However, experimental and observational research on gender stereotypes more precisely identifies the mechanisms by which—and the contexts in which—gender stereotypes may influence candidate evaluations and vote choice. Gender stereotypes shape candidate recruitment and characterize voter impressions of the Republican and Democratic political parties in the United States. Research on stereotype activation, stereotype threat, and measurement has fruitfully been imported from social psychology to understand and explain gender stereotyping in politics. In addition, gender politics scholars have worked to explore the intersection of gender stereotypes with other group stereotypes relevant in politics such as race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Finally, a blossoming research area identifies various contexts in which gender stereotypes may hinder—or propel— women as political leaders. Media coverage of political campaigns—particularly coverage of female candidates for office—continues to reflect gender stereotypes, although coverage has improved over time and is shaped by a broader set of relevant factors such as partisanship and incumbency. In all, gender stereotypes have been and will continue to be an important area to explore in seeking to understand women’s descriptive underrepresentation in political office.

Foundational Works

Huddy and Terkildsen 1993 is an early, oft-cited work that laid the groundwork for future research on gender stereotypes and women’s candidacies for political office. Similarly, Kahn 1996 is a seminal book in this area that lays out important questions and methodologies for the field.

  • Huddy, Leonie, and Nayda Terkildsen. “Gender Stereotypes and the Perception of Male and Female Candidates.” American Journal of Political Science 37.1 (1993): 119–147.

    DOI: 10.2307/2111526Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Applies issue ownership theory to gender. Female candidates are seen as being better equipped to deal with “compassion” issues, such as women’s issues, education, health care, social welfare, and civil liberties and equality; men are viewed as better on issues such as military and defense, foreign policy, and the economy.

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  • Kahn, Kim Fridkin. The Political Consequences of Being a Woman: How Stereotypes Influence the Conduct and Consequences of Political Campaigns. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.

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    Examines how stereotypes of gender and sex roles affect women candidates’ strategies and successes when running for office.

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General Overviews

In an early review, Huddy 1994 examines prior work and argues that voters stereotype female political candidates as women, particularly when they lack information about her. More recently, Schneider and Bos 2019 broadly reviews the role of gender stereotypes, their origins in the social roles men and women occupy and have occupied and how they influence the path of women seeking political leader roles.

  • Huddy, Leonie. “The Political Significance of Gender Stereotypes.” In Research in Micropolitics: New Directions in Political Psychology. Edited by Michael X. Delli Carpini, Leonie Huddy, and Robert Y. Shapiro, 159–193. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1994.

    DOI: 10.1177/1532673X03255167Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Reviews research focused on the tendency of voters to stereotype women seeking political office.

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  • Schneider, Monica C., and Angela L. Bos. “The Application of Social Role Theory to the Study of Gender in Politics.” Advances in Political Psychology 40.1 (2019): 173–213.

    DOI: 10.1111/pops.12573Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Applying social role theory to voters’ gendered opinions and evaluations of candidates reveals how gender roles shape political behavior and how role incongruity can lead to prejudice.

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Gender Stereotypes Related to Political Leadership

A foundational study by Sapiro 1981 examines how gender stereotypes affect perceptions of female and male politicians with regard to traits, issue competencies, and beliefs or ideology. Alexander and Andersen 1993 further substantiates the myriad candidate evaluations affected by candidate gender. Examining belief or ideology stereotypes, Koch 2000 and Koch 2002 show that female candidates and politicians are viewed as more liberal than men and as more liberal than they actually are. More recently, Ondercin and Fulton 2019 explores how candidate sex is a “shortcut” for voters.

  • Alexander, Deborah, and Andersen, Kristi. “Gender as a Factor in the Attribution of Leadership Traits.” Political Research Quarterly 46.3 (1993): 527–545.

    DOI: 10.1177/106591299304600305Save Citation »Export Citation »

    In evaluating candidates, gender stereotypes shape voters’ trait attribution, perceptions of issue competency, and ideology.

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  • Fridkin, Kim L., and Patrick J. Kenney. “The Role of Gender Stereotypes in U.S. Senate Campaigns.” Politics & Gender 5.3 (2009): 301–324.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1743923X09990158Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Uses nationally representative survey data to demonstrate that male and female candidates for the U.S. Senate are viewed differently, and in some ways consistent with gender stereotypes (i.e., women viewed as more honest, caring, and more capable to address health-care policy).

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  • Koch, Jeffrey W. “Do Citizens Apply Gender Stereotypes to Infer Candidates’ Ideological Orientations?” Journal of Politics 62.2 (2000): 414–429.

    DOI: 10.1111/0022-3816.00019Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Gender stereotypes affect voter inference regarding a candidate’s ideological placement, specifically that women are seen as more liberal than their male counterparts.

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  • Koch, Jeffrey W. “Gender Stereotypes and Citizens’ Impressions of House Candidates’ Ideological Orientations.” American Journal of Political Science 46.2 (2002): 453-462.

    DOI: 10.2307/3088388Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines whether and how characteristics of candidates and citizen moderate how candidate gender affects impressions of candidate ideology.

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  • Ondercin, Heather L., and Sarah A. Fulton. “Bargain Shopping: How Candidate Sex Lowers the Cost of Voting.” Politics and Gender (2019).

    DOI: 10.1017/S1743923X19000254Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Candidate sex serves as a “shortcut” for voters, who are more likely to turnout to vote in elections featuring woman candidates. In particular, this effect is especially strong for female Democrats whose party and sex are consistent with the assumption that women are more Democratic.

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  • Sapiro, Virginia. “If U.S. Senator Baker Were a Woman: An Experimental Study of Candidate Image.” Political Psychology 2 (1981): 61–83.

    DOI: 10.2307/3791285Save Citation »Export Citation »

    A candidate’s gender provides cues to voters when they evaluate them for public office, particularly when they have little information about the candidate.

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Politics and Political Roles are Perceived as Masculine

The characterization of politics as masculine is critical in understanding the impact of gender stereotypes on evaluations of political leaders. Rosenwasser and Dean 1989 shows that voters perceive political roles as masculine, and Rosenwasser and Seale 1988 confirms that voters prefer male candidates. Huddy and Terkildsen 1993 shows evidence that candidates with male-typical traits are preferred.

  • Huddy, Leonie, and Nayda Terkildsen. “The Consequences of Gender Stereotypes for Women Candidates at Different Levels and Types of Office.” Political Research Quarterly 46.3 (1993): 503–525.

    DOI: 10.1177/106591299304600304Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Despite large electoral successes in recent years for women, voters prefer candidates with male-typical characteristics, especially at higher levels of office.

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  • Rosenwasser, Shirley M., and Dean, Norma G. “Gender Role and Political Office: Effects of Perceived Masculinity/Femininity of Candidate and Political Office.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 13.1 (1989): 77–85.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1989.tb00986.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

    Respondents rated political offices as more masculine than feminine and masculine, and male candidates were perceived as more competent to handle masculine tasks, which were also rated as more important.

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  • Rosenwasser, Shirley M., and Jana K. Seale. “Attitudes toward a Hypothetical Male or Female Presidential Candidate.” Political Psychology 9.4 (1988): 591–598.

    DOI: 10.2307/3791529Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Experimentally demonstrates through a student sample that masculine presidential tasks are more valued by voters, and they perceive male candidates as more effective than female candidates at completing them.

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Gender Stereotypes and Electoral Campaigns

Because women are descriptively underrepresented in elected office, a large body of literature examines how gender stereotypes shape electoral campaigns. Using nationally representative survey data, Dolan 2010 and Dolan 2014 identify when and how gender stereotypes influence evaluations of women candidates relative to and in combination with other important factors such as incumbency and political party affiliation. Brooks 2014 finds that stereotypes do not, at a baseline, disadvantage women and that behaving in overtly feminine ways or overtly masculine ways affects candidates similarly across sex. Kahn, et al. 2009 underscores that gender stereotypes can sometimes create a positive effect for female candidates compared to male candidates. Teele, et al. 2018 underscores how voters desiring candidates with traditional household profiles like having children and being married creates a strong double bind for women candidates. Sanbonmatsu 2002 is an important study that demonstrates that many voters hold a baseline preference for electing male or female candidates, and this preference influences vote choice. Ditonto and Mattes 2018 and Ditonto 2018 show that candidate appearance influences trait inference about a female candidate’s competence.

  • Brooks, Deborah Jordan. He Runs, She Runs. Gender Stereotypes, Double Standards, and Political Campaigns. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.

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    Argues that women candidates do not start out at a disadvantage due to gender stereotypes nor face a double bind due to stereotypes about women and femininity and political candidates and toughness. Instead, voters only make gendered assumptions about candidates who are new to politics, and those stereotypes benefit, rather than hurt, women candidates. Public opinions are, therefore, not the reason for the lack of women in public office.

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  • Ditonto, Tessa. “A Face Fit for Office? Appearance-Based Competence Inferences in High-Information Environments.” Electoral Studies 54 (2018): 248–253.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.electstud.2018.04.007Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Trait judgements based on perceptions of facial competence can influence voters’ assessments of and support for candidates. Specifically, perceptions of facial incompetence may lead to negative electoral effects for female candidates.

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  • Ditonto, Tessa, and Kyle Mattes. “Differences in Appearance-Based Trait Inferences for Male and Female Political Candidates.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 39.4 (2018): 430-450.

    DOI: 10.1080/1554477X.2018.1506206Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines the influence of candidate competence and appearance in elections. Appearance matters than competence for female candidates except in mixed-gender contests when the female candidate is perceived as more competent than her male opponent.

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  • Dolan, Kathleen. “The Impact of Gender Stereotyped Evaluations on Support for Women Candidates.” Political Behavior 32.1 (2010): 69–88.

    DOI: 10.1007/sl1109-009-9090-4Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Although women may not be at more of an inherent disadvantage while campaigning than their male counterparts, gender stereotypes can and often do still influence voters’ likelihood of supporting female candidates in certain electoral situations.

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  • Dolan, Kathleen. When Does Gender Matter? Women Candidates and Gender Stereotypes in American Elections. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199968275.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Voters do not rely only on gender stereotypes when evaluating and voting for women candidates. Other factors, such as political party and incumbency, influence voters regardless of and in addition to the sex of the candidates.

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  • Kahn, Kim Fridkin, Patrick J. Kenney, and Gina Serignese Woodall. “Bad for Men, Better for Women: The Impact of Stereotypes during Negative Campaigns.” Political Behavior 31 (2009): 53–77.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11109-008-9065-xSave Citation »Export Citation »

    Develop and experimentally test a theory of whether and how gender stereotypes lead to differential effects of negative advertising on evaluations of male versus female candidates. The findings indicate that candidate gender shapes voter reaction to negative advertisements and evaluations of female candidates are less likely to be depressed as a result of the advertisements than male candidates.

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  • Sanbonmatsu, Kira. “Gender Stereotypes and Vote Choice.” American Journal of Political Science 46.1 (2002): 20–34.

    DOI: 10.2307/3088412Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Important work that demonstrates that a large number of voters have a baseline preference to voter for female over male, or male over female, candidates. This baseline preference is shown to be explained by voter gender as well as gender stereotypes related to traits, ideology, and issue competencies.

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  • Teele, Dawn Langan, Joshua Kalla, and Frances Rosenbluth. “The Ties That Double Bind: Social Roles and Women’s Underrepresentation in Politics.” American Political Science Review 112.3 (2018): 525–541.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000217Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Although there is no evidence of outright discrimination against female candidates, party elites and voters alike prefer candidates with traditional feminine traits, such as being married and having children, resulting in a double bind for many women and indicating that without a change in social expectations about gender roles, women are likely to remain underrepresented in politics.

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Campaign Information and Stereotypes

In stereotype theory, information in central in that having individuating information deters individuals from relying on group stereotypes in their evaluations of candidates. Group stereotypes regarding race and gender are shown to influence candidate assessments, and as McDermott 1998 shows, they have particular influence in low-information elections. More recently, Ditonto, et al. 2014 shows that gender stereotypes shape the amount and type of information voters seek about candidates with regard to perceived stereotypic strengths or deficits.

  • Ditonto, Tessa M., Allison J. Hamilton, and David P. Redlawsk. “Gender Stereotypes, Information Search, and Voting Behavior in Political Campaigns.” Political Behavior 36.2 (2014): 335–358.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11109-013-9232-6Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Using the Dynamic Process Tracing Environment, this paper demonstrates that candidate gender shapes how voters search for information about candidates. Voters seek more information about stereotypic deficits (competence) and strengths (compassion issues) for women candidates than for male candidates.

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  • McDermott, Monika L. “Race and Gender Cues in Low-Information Elections.” Political Research Quarterly 51.4 (1998): 895–918.

    DOI: 10.1177/106591299805100403Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Particularly in low-information elections, characteristics of a candidate, specifically gender and race, cue stereotypes about their ideology (women and black candidates as more liberal than a white male) and issue competencies (black candidates competent with regard to minority rights and women to emphasize honest government).

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Candidate Strategy and Stereotypes

Candidates for political office may adjust their campaign strategies in anticipation of voters’ gender stereotypes. Studies such as Kahn and Gordon 1997 analyze the content of campaigns with regard to gendered strategies, sometimes observing differences, whereas other studies, such as Dabelko and Herrnson 1997 and Dolan 2008, observe no differences between male and female candidates’ strategies. Dittmar 2015 uses evidence from surveys and interviews of campaign strategists to reveal that gender is central to strategic decisions about how to approach campaigns. Herrnson, et al. 2003 and Schneider 2014b illustrate how, in some cases, female candidates emphasize their stereotypic strengths successfully. Because political and leadership roles are perceived as masculine, female candidates sometimes select campaign strategies that demonstrate their masculine, counter-stereotypic issue and trait competencies. Bauer 2016, Bauer 2018, and Bauer and Carpinella 2018 investigate the impact of such strategies and Schneider 2014a specifically explores the effects on vote choice.

  • Bauer, Nichole M. “The Effects of Counterstereotypic Gender Strategies on Candidate Evaluations.” Political Psychology 38.2 (2016): 279–295.

    DOI: 10.1111/pops.12351Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Using counter-stereotypic gender strategies emphasizing masculine trait competencies during elections can improve voters’ evaluations of female candidates, without diminishing voters’ perceptions of feminine strengths such as likability and warmth.

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  • Bauer, Nichole M. “Running Local: Gender Stereotyping and Female Candidates in Local Elections.” Urban Affairs Review (2018).

    DOI: 10.1177/1078087418770807Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Female candidates, especially Republican female candidates, for local political office benefit more from emphasizing masculine stereotypes rather than feminine stereotypes during their campaigns.

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  • Bauer, Nichole M., and Colleen Carpinella. “Visual Information and Candidate Evaluations: The Influence of Feminine and Masculine Images on Support for Female Candidates.” Political Research Quarterly 71.2 (2018): 395–407.

    DOI: 10.1177/1065912917738579Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines the effects of the visual information voters receive about candidates, which may be congruent or incongruent with stereotypes about sex. Masculine visuals of women candidates decrease evaluations of her issue competence and electability.

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  • Dabelko, Kirsten la Cour, and Paul S. Herrnson. “Women’s and Men’s Campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives.” Political Research Quarterly 50.1 (1997): 121–135.

    DOI: 10.1177/106591299705000106Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Major differences that appear between women’s and men’s campaigns for Congress are due to incumbency, not gender.

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  • Dittmar, Kelly. Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2015.

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    Uses a survey of political consultants and interviews with insiders about campaign strategy to investigate the presence and effects of candidate strategic decisions about campaign communication. Supports the idea that candidates consider gender stereotypes when presenting themselves to the public and often use it as an advantage to appeal to certain groups of voters.

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  • Dolan, Kathleen. “Do Women Candidates Play to Gender Stereotypes? Do Men Candidates Play to Women? Candidate Sex and Issues Priorities on Campaign Websites.” Political Research Quarterly 58.1 (2008): 31–44.

    DOI: 10.1177/106591290505800103Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Finds that female candidates for Congress in 2000 and 2002 did not focus on a set of issue priorities that conformed to gender stereotypes or were distinctly different from the issue priorities of their male counterparts.

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  • Herrnson, Paul S., J. Celeste Lay, and Atiya Kai Stokes. “Women Running ‘as Women’: Candidate Gender, Campaign Issues, and Voter-Targeting Strategies.” Journal of Politics 65.1 (2003): 244–255.

    DOI: 10.1111/1468-2508.t01-1-00013Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Women political candidates gain an electoral advantage when they employ gender as an asset during campaigns by prioritizing female voters and policy issues that conform to gender stereotypes.

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  • Kahn, Kim Fridkin, and Ann Gordon. “How Women Campaign for the U.S. Senate: Substance and Strategy.” In Women, Media, and Politics. Edited by Pippa Norris, 59–76. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

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    Examines differences in campaign messages, strategies, and electoral success by gender. Women candidates of both parties strategically discuss “women’s” issues more often than their male counterparts, and female candidates who confirm gender stereotypes and focus on issues that are considered areas of expertise for women tend to be more successful in doing so than men.

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  • Leeper, Mark S. “The Impact of Prejudice on Female Candidates: An Experimental Look at Voter Inference.” American Politics Quarterly 19 (1991): 248–261.

    DOI: 10.1177/0044780391019002006Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Experimentally tests voter response to female candidates who pursue aggressive policy stands and finds that in this case voters continue to view female candidates as having female typical strengths.

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  • Schneider, Monica C. “The Effects of Gender-Bending on Candidate Evaluations.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 35.1 (2014a): 55–77.

    DOI: 10.1080/1554477X.2014.863697Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Regardless of gender, candidates who use gender-bending strategies during campaigns were able to mitigate the effects of stereotypes on vote choice.

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  • Schneider, Monica C. “Gender-Based Strategies on Candidate Websites.” Journal of Political Marketing 13.4 (2014b): 264–290.

    DOI: 10.1080/15377857.2014.958373Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Explores the extent to which both male and female political candidates target voters by emphasizing gendered traits and issues through rhetoric used on their websites during campaign cycles. Female candidates are more likely to emphasize gender-congruent issues on their websites during campaigns than their male counterparts.

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Gender Stereotypes, Political Parties, and Candidate Recruitment

The impact of gender stereotypes has been explored across U.S. political parties and within the recruitment of candidates for political office, which is important since McDermott 2016 illustrates how gender—particularly masculinity—pervades U.S. politics and political institutions.

  • McDermott, Monika. Masculinity, Femininity, and American Political Behavior. London: Oxford Scholarship Online, 2016.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190462802.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Because politics is gendered, gendered personalities—specifically, levels of masculinity and femininity—shape participation in and choices related to politics. Those who identify as masculine more likely identify with the Republican party and those identifying as more feminine identify with the Democratic party. Those with more masculine personalities are more likely to engage in various forms of political participation.

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Political Parties Viewed as Masculine and Feminine

Perceptions of U.S. political parties are gendered. Winter 2010 shows that that citizens view Republicans as masculine and Democrats as feminine with regard to the issues they are perceived as capable to handle; Hayes 2005 demonstrates the same effect with regard to the traits attributed to partisans.

  • Hayes, Danny. “Candidate Qualities through a Partisan Lens: A Theory of Trait Ownership.” American Journal of Political Science 49.4 (2005): 908–923.

    DOI: 10.2307/3647705Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Extends the theory of issue ownership to traits and specifically shows that the issues owned by the U.S. political party connect to how voters perceive the traits held by the candidates within the party. Republicans are seen as more moral and a strong leaders, whereas Democrats are perceived to have more integrity and compassion. Perceptions of Republicans align with gender stereotypes of men, whereas Democrats align with gender stereotypes for women, which has implications for gender stereotyping in elections.

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  • Winter, Nicholas J. G. “Masculine Republicans and Feminine Democrats: Gender and Americans’ Explicit and Implicit Images of the Political Parties.” Political Behavior 32.4 (2010): 587–618.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11109-010-9131-zSave Citation »Export Citation »

    Partisan philosophical values underlie and influence the ways in which the two parties understand and handle issues of gender. These strategies correspond to preconceived notions of gendered traits and issue ownership. Democratic issues often, therefore, overlap with issues considered traditionally “feminine,” while traditionally Republican issues are also more often considered “masculine.”

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Effects of Party and Gender Stereotypes in Evaluations

Because a citizen’s party affiliation in the U.S. political context so strongly shapes their political behavior, a large body of literature identifies the roles gender stereotypes play in candidate evaluations that are strongly influenced by partisanship. Bauer 2018b, Hayes 2011, and Sanbonmatsu and Dolan 2009 all suggest that, while the influence of party is strong, gender interacts with partisanship to affect evaluations. Scholars have uncovered multiple dynamics in which party and gender stereotypes combine to influence politics. Bauer 2018a shows that male candidates are more able to successfully “trespass” by highlighting issues and traits associated with the opposing party, and Cassese and Holman 2018 demonstrates that the impact of campaign attacks on evaluations of a candidate depend on whether the attack focuses on stereotypic expectations for their group. King and Matland 2003 shows that female Republican candidates make up for loss of support within their party with support from Independent and Democratic voters partly because voters see them as trustworthy based on gender stereotypes.

  • Bauer, Nichole M. “The Effects of Partisan Trespassing Strategies across Candidate Sex.” Political Behavior (2018a).

    DOI: 10.1007/s11109-018-9475-3Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Tests whether partisan trespassing—strategies to highlight trait and issue strengths associated with the opposing party—differ across candidate sex. Experimentally, this paper shows that such strategies both help and hurt female candidates. Female candidates are not able to use trespassing strategies to attract votes from out-partisan voters, but male candidates are.

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  • Bauer, Nichole M. “Untangling the Relationship between Partisanship, Gender Stereotypes, and Support for Female Candidates.” Journal of Women, Politics, & Policy 9.1 (2018b): 1–25.

    DOI: 10.1080/1554477X.2016.1268875Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Both feminine stereotypes and partisanship join to influence perceptions of female candidates.

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  • Cassese, Erin C., and Mirya R. Holman. “Party and Gender Stereotypes in Campaign Attacks.” Political Behavior 40.3 (2018): 785–807.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11109-017-9423-7Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Argues and finds that campaign attacks are affected by the interactions between candidate gender and partisan affiliation and the stereotypes related to candidate gender and party identification. Testing a theory of expectancy violation theory, this paper shows that candidates lose the most when attacked on the stereotypic expectations of their group with regard to traits and issues. Evaluations of women candidates diminished most when attacks challenge assumed feminine strengths.

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  • Hayes, Danny. “When Gender and Party Collide: Stereotyping in Candidate Trait Attribution.” Politics and Gender 7.2 (2011): 133–165.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1743923X11000055Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines how a candidate’s gender and party affiliation interact to influence candidate evaluations. Concludes that party stereotypes are more powerful than gender stereotypes and will continue to be so as the major U.S. political parties polarize.

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  • King, David C., and Richard E. Matland. “Sex and the Grand Old Party: An Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Candidate Sex on Support for a Republican Candidate.” American Politics Research 31.6 (2003): 595–612.

    DOI: 10.1177/1532673X03255286Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Experimental study showing that female Republican candidates receive more support from Democratic and Independent voters than male Republican candidates and less support from voters of their own party. Specifically, Republican female candidates make up for this loss of party support through being seen as more qualified and trustworthy due to their gender.

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  • Sanbonmatsu, Kira, and Kathleen Dolan. “Do Gender Stereotypes Transcend Party?” Political Research Quarterly 62.3 (2009): 485–494.

    DOI: 10.1177/1065912908322416Save Citation »Export Citation »

    A key piece that considers whether party identification diminishes any impact of gender stereotypes on candidate evaluations. The findings demonstrate that party cues do not render gender stereotypes inconsequential as citizens perceive gender differences within both the Republican and Democratic political parties.

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Gender Stereotypes in Candidate Nomination and Recruitment

Gender stereotypes can play a role in candidate selection processes prior to elections—for example, Fox and Oxley 2003 demonstrates this in state executive elections—and this can be exacerbated depending on the form of candidate nomination used. Bos 2011 shows that statewide party nomination processes can exacerbate the effects of stereotypes, whereas Crowder-Meyer, et al. 2015 demonstrates that certain forms of city elections can provide advantages to female candidates based on stereotypes. Both Karpowitz, et al. 2017 and Sanbonmatsu 2006 underscore how parties can shape the candidates who seek office.

  • Bos, Angela L. “Out of Control: Delegates’ Information Sources and Perceptions of Female Candidates.” Political Communication 28.1 (2011): 87–109.

    DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2010.540306Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Analyzes survey data from state political party convention delegates for gender stereotyping in the candidate nomination process. Findings show that when delegates receive information controlled by female candidates, they develop a balanced view of their masculine and feminine strengths, which increases support. Information from other delegates, in contrast, reinforces stereotype expectations and decreases support.

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  • Crowder-Meyer, Melody, Shana Kushner Gadarian, and Jessica Trounstine. “Electoral Institutions, Gender Stereotypes, and Women’s Local Representation.” Politics, Groups, and Identities 3.2 (2015): 318–334.

    DOI: 10.1080/21565503.2015.1031803Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Gender stereotypes are identified as a partial explanation for women’s advantage in some types of city elections in California.

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  • Fox, Richard M., and Zoe L. Oxley. “Gender Stereotyping and State Executive Elections.” Journal of Politics 65.3 (2003): 833–850.

    DOI: 10.1111/1468-2508.00214Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Documents that stereotyping influences candidate selection and success in state executive offices. Women are less likely to run for masculine statewide offices, but this effect declines somewhat over time.

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  • Karpowitz, Christopher F., J. Quin Monson, and Jessica Robinson Preece. “How to Elect More Women: Gender and Candidate Success in a Field Experiment.” American Journal of Political Science 61.4 (2017): 927–943.

    DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12300Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Uses a field experiment to show that messages from state party leaders can increase women delegates at a statewide nominating convention.

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  • Sanbonmatsu, Kira. Where Women Run: Gender and Party in the American States. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006.

    DOI: 10.3998/mpub.168630Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines the relationship between political representation and candidate recruitment and motivation in six states, showing how parties’ informal recruitment processes often influence who runs for political office.

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Political Elites Seek Male-Typical Traits When Recruiting Candidates

Political elites are influential in selecting which candidates will seek—and eventually win—political office. Gender stereotype expectations play a role in these early processes. Niven 2006 shows that female candidates do not fit with the traits perceived as valued. Niven 1998a and Niven 1998b further substantiate that this renders elites less likely to recruit them. Regardless of sex, Oliver and Conroy 2017 shows that masculine female and male prospective candidates are more likely to be recruited to run for office.

  • Niven, David. The Missing Majority: The Recruitment of Women as State Legislative Candidates. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998a.

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    Survey of local political party leaders and statewide female elected officials that demonstrates that women do not avoid running for office because they are unqualified or work in a field not traditionally compatible with politics. Instead, male political leaders tend to act as gatekeepers who recruit candidates more similar to themselves.

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  • Niven, David. “Party Elites and Women Candidates: The Shape of Bias.” Women and Politics 19.2 (1998b): 57–80.

    DOI: 10.1300/J014v19n02_03Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Uses a survey of county political party chairs to directly examine stereotyping in candidate recruitment. The survey data reveal that chairs prefer male typical candidate traits (e.g., aggressive, competitive, and outspoken).

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  • Niven, David. “Throwing Your Hat Out of the Ring: Negative Recruitment and the Gender Imbalance in State Legislative Candidacy.” Politics and Gender 2 (2006): 473–489.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1743923X06060120Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines all Florida candidacies for state legislature in 2000 and 2002 and shows that even while female candidates are no more likely to drop out than male candidates, political elites continue to value men’s political leadership over women’s.

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  • Oliver, Sarah, and Meredith Conroy. “Tough Enough for the Job? How Masculinity Predicts Recruitment of City Council Members.” American Politics Research 46.6 (2017): 1094–1122.

    DOI: 10.1177/1532673X17729719Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Uses an original survey of city council members to show that males and females who identify as more masculine are more likely to be recruited to run for political office.

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Gender Stereotypes and Political Ambition

Due to their pervasiveness, gender stereotypes influence aspects of politics beyond evaluations of candidates for political office. As a result of politics and political roles being perceived as masculine and because gender stereotypes are internalized and performed, Lawless and Fox 2012 and Schneider, et al. 2015 demonstrate that women underestimate their potential in—and qualification for—political careers.

  • Lawless, Jennifer L., and Richard L. Fox. It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office. London: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

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    The masculinized ethos of politics and the tendency of women to self-stereotype leads women to seek political office less frequently than men.

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  • Schneider, Monica C., Mirya R. Holman, Amanda B. Diekman, and Thomas McAndrew. “Power, Conflict, and Community: How Gendered Views of Political Power Influence Women’s Political Ambition.” Political Psychology 37.4 (2015): 515–531.

    DOI: 10.1111/pops.12268Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Women aspire to achieve communal goals and are uninterested in achieving the power-related goals (e.g., competition and self-promotion) that political careers are viewed as fulfilling. This study shows that while women’s low interest in power-related goals mediates the relationship between gender and ambition to seek political office, framing a political career as a way to fulfill communal goals reduces the gap.

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Stereotype Threat and Backlash to Women Leaders

McGlone, et al. 2006 shows that gender stereotypes with regard to political knowledge create stereotype threat for women. Okimoto and Brescoll 2010 shows that women experience various forms of backlash when they seek political office, while Bauer, et al. 2017 points to backlash toward women holding political office.

  • Bauer, Nichole M., Laurel Harbridge Yong, and Yanna Krupnikov. “Who Is Punished? Conditions Affecting Voter Evaluations of Legislators Who Do Not Compromise.” Political Behavior 39.2 (2017): 279–300.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11109-016-9356-6Save Citation »Export Citation »

    The extent to which lawmakers are punished for not compromising their beliefs when making policy is conditional on the intersection of gender, partisanship, and issue area. Voters are more willing to forgive a legislator’s unwillingness to compromise when party, gender, and issue ownership align than when party, gender, and issue ownership are incongruent.

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  • McGlone, Matthew S., Joshua Aronson, and Diane Kobrynowicz. “Stereotype Threat andthe Gender Gap in Political Knowledge.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 30.4 (2006): 392–398.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2006.00314.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

    Although men tend to score higher than women on tests of political knowledge, these differences are mitigated by using female interviewers and removing explicit references to gender. Suggests that political knowledge is negatively affected by stereotype threat.

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  • Okimoto, Tyler G., and Victoria L. Brescoll. “The Price of Power: Power Seeking and Backlash Against Female Politicians.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 36.7 (2010): 923–936.

    DOI: 10.1177/0146167210371949Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines how voters perceive women who seek political power more negatively than men because of the implied violation of communal norms that occurs. Voter preferences for men who seek power are unaffected.

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Intersectional Identities and Stereotypes

A large literature has explored the ways in which gender stereotypes interact with other group stereotypes to influence political evaluations. Stereotypes with regard to race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, and class are also influential, and Cassese 2019 reviews how the intersection of these group stereotypes with gender can produce unique expectations. Ginley 2009 shows that a candidate’s intersecting identities can lead to different campaign strategies. Multiple chapters in the collection of works by Brown and Gershon 2016 provide an excellent starting point for considering questions of intersectional stereotyping in politics.

  • Brown, Nadia E., and Sarah Allen Gershon. Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics. New York: Routledge, 2016.

    DOI: 10.4324/9781315661018Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Collection of studies of minority women—compared to other groups of women and minorities and well as within groups of minority women—with regard to voting behavior, policy preferences, and as elected officials.

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  • Cassese, Erin. “Intersectional Stereotyping in Political Decision Making.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Political Decision Making. Edited by David Redlawsk and Zoe Oxley. London: Oxford University Press, 2019.

    DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.773Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Lays out a clear framework for intersectional stereotypes—those that are unique to a compound social group based on categories such as race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability—that may influence political judgments.

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  • Ginley, Ann C. “Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Obama: Performing Gender, Race, and Class on the Campaign Trail.” Denver University Law Review 86 (2009): 709–725.

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    Examines the ways Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Obama performed gender to differing degrees during the 2008 presidential election. Through how they dressed, their backgrounds, the styles of leadership they employed, their speech patterns, and the types of political issues they highlighted, they emphasized masculinity and femininity when it benefited them and de-emphasized it in situations in which the opposite was true.

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Intersections with Racial, Ethnic, and Sexual Identities

Harris-Perry 2011 shows how gender combines with other marginalized identities such as those based on race, ethnicity, and sexuality to shape women’s experiences in politics. Women’s experiences as political leaders are also shaped by their intersectional identities as shown in Brown 2014 and Haider-Markel and Bright 2014. Finally, Cargile 2016 shows that voter evaluations are influenced by a candidate’s intersectional identities. Jones and Brewer 2019 uses a survey to show how stereotypes create an electoral penalty for transgender candidates. While Carew 2016 shows that multiple marginalized identities can compound to produce negative effects, others such as Bejarano 2014 give evidence that in some cases they also provide positive benefits.

  • Bejarano, Christina E. The Latina Advantage: Gender, Race, and Political Success. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014.

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    Uses data to examine state legislative candidacies in Texas and California to demonstrate a strategic advantage based on the intersectional identity of Latina women candidates.

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  • Brown, Nadia E. “Black Women’s Pathways to the Statehouse: The Impact of Race/Gender Identities.” National Political Science Review 16 (2014): 81–96.

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    Case study of African American female state legislators in Maryland. Shows that, although black women candidates’ experiences are far from homogenous, they are all shaped by the intersections of their racial and gender identities rather than one identity.

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  • Carew, Jessica D. Johnson. “How Do You See Me? Stereotyping of Black Women and How It Affects Them in an Electoral Context.” In Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics. Edited by Nadia E. Brown and Sarah Allen Gershon, 95–115. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis, 2016.

    DOI: 10.4324/9781315661018Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Chronicles Charlene Mitchell and Shirley Chisholm’s campaigns for president and how they demonstrate the unique barriers that African American women face when running for high-level elected office.

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  • Cargile, Ivy A. M. “Latina Issues: An Analysis of the Policy Issue Competencies of Latina Candidates.” In Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics. Edited by Nadia E. Brown and Sarah Allen Gershon, 134–150. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis, 2016.

    DOI: 10.4324/9781315661018-18Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines voters’ perceptions of which policy issues Latina candidates are stereotyped as competent in handling. The low number of Latinas holding elected office may make it more difficult to convince voters to associate Latinas with policy competencies.

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  • Harris-Perry, Melissa V. Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011.

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    Showcases how negative stereotypes shape the experiences of African American women and demonstrates the political and emotional costs of these stereotypes.

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  • Haider-Markel, Donald P., and Chelsie Lynn Moore Bright. “Lesbian Candidates and Officeholders.” In Women and Elective Office: Past, Present, and Future. Edited by Sue Thomas and Clyde Wilcox, 253–272. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199328734.003.0015Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Tracks the increase in LGBT candidates in office since the 1990s and shows how LGBT political candidates experience gender in unique ways.

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  • Jones, Philip Edward, and Paul R. Brewer. “Gender Identity as a Political Cue: Voter Responses to Transgender Candidates.” Journal of Politics 81.2 (2019): 697–701.

    DOI: 10.1086/701835Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Survey shows that, regardless of party, transgender candidates receive an electoral penalty from voters, who rate them as more liberal and less representative of the public. The degree of penalty is determined by voters’ party, ideology, religiosity, and level of authoritarianism.

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Stereotype Measurement, Models, and Activation

Several streams of research draw from social psychology theory and methods to carefully identify the mechanisms involved in how gender stereotypes affect political evaluations and choices. Huddy and Capelos 2002 identifies what models of stereotyping best explain how gender stereotypes affect evaluations, and Schneider and Bos 2016 explores how gender stereotypes combine with other group stereotypes. Schneider and Bos 2014 draws on psychological theories of subtyping and subgrouping, as well as stereotype measurement work, to identify the content of stereotypes of female politicians—whether and how it differs from stereotypes of women and of politicians. Bos, et al. 2018 lays out how best to consider and choose stereotype measures in politics. Bauer 2013 and Bauer 2015a importantly identify that stereotype activation is a prerequisite to group stereotypes impacting political evaluations, noting that activation had been considered automatic until recent work carefully identified the contexts in which activation occurs. Finally, Bauer 2015b explores individual differences in stereotype reliance.

  • Bauer, Nichole M. “Rethinking Stereotype Reliance: Understanding the Connection between Female Candidates and Gender Stereotypes.” Politics and the Life Sciences 32.1 (2013): 22–42.

    DOI: 10.2990/32_1_22Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Compares the different approaches in political science and social psychology to studying how stereotypes affect evaluations of female candidates and politicians. Evaluates the assumptions behind the work and the measures and methods used to arrive at ideas about how social psychology can be further implemented in research to clarify the relationships between gender stereotypes and candidate evaluations.

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  • Bauer, Nichole M. “Emotional, Sensitive, and Unfit for Office? Gender Stereotype Activation and Support Female Candidates.” Political Psychology 36.6 (2015a): 691–708.

    DOI: 10.1111/pops.12186Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Challenges and tests the common assumption that gender stereotypes are automatically activated when voters evaluate female candidates. Uses experimental and observational data to demonstrate that stereotype activation during a campaign is required for gender stereotypes to affect evaluations, thereby diminishing support for female candidates. Campaign communication can activate gender stereotypes in campaigns.

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  • Bauer, Nichole M. “Who Stereotypes Female Candidates? Identifying Individual Differences in Feminine Stereotype Reliance.” Politics, Groups, and Identities 3.1 (2015b): 94–110.

    DOI: 10.1080/21565503.2014.992794Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines individual differences in relying on gender stereotypes—specifically, feminine stereotypes—in forming evaluations of female candidates. When they rely on feminine stereotypes, they are less likely to vote for female candidates, Individual characteristics like attention to politics, partisanship, and demographics affect stereotype reliance.

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  • Bos, Angela L., Heather Madonia, and Monica C. Schneider. “Stereotype Measurement in Political Decision Making.” In Oxford Encyclopedia of Political Decision-Making. Edited by David Redlawsk and Zoe Oxley. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

    DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.775Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Outlines the difficulty of measuring stereotypes, which, in turn, leads to the importance of developing accurate, consistent measures of stereotypes when conducting social science research.

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  • Huddy, Leonie, and Theresa Capelos. “Gender Stereotyping and Candidate Evaluation.” In The Social Psychology of Politics. Edited by Victor C. Ottati, R. Scott Tindale, John Edwards, et al., 29–53. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum, 2002.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4615-0569-3_2Save Citation »Export Citation »

    This chapter lays out the expectations of a “good” politician relative to gender stereotypes while also laying out how female politicians may lose or benefit from gender stereotypes depending on the context. The parallel processing model of stereotyping is examined to (i) consider whether a female candidate’s counter-stereotypic strategies allow her to bypass gendered expectations and (ii) determine whether gender or partisan affiliation shape evaluations of female candidates more so.

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  • Schneider, Monica C., and Angela L. Bos. “Measuring Stereotypes of Female Politicians.” Political Psychology 35.2 (2014): 245–266.

    DOI: 10.1111/pops.12040Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Demonstrates that female politicians constitute a subtype of the larger stereotyped group women. Female politicians do not gain advantage from being seen to have qualities ascribed to women and also lose in perceptions of them with regard to having male stereotypical qualities.

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  • Schneider, Monica C., and Angela L. Bos. “The Interplay of Party and Gender Stereotypes in Evaluating Political Candidates.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 37.3 (2016): 274–294.

    DOI: 10.1080/1554477X.2016.1188598Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Defines and tests models of stereotyping to help explain and understand whether gender and party stereotypes work individually, or in additive or interactive ways, to affect candidate evaluations. Findings suggest that both gender and party influence candidate evaluations.

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Stereotyping and Contexts

The impact of gender stereotypes—both positive or negative—for female candidates depends on the electoral context. Barnes and Beaulieu 2014 illustrates that female candidates benefit from gender stereotypes in times of corruption. Times of threat can also benefit female candidates as shown in Brown, et al. 2011. Finally, Kelly, et al. 2018 shows similar positive effects in declining socioeconomic times. Yet, scholars demonstrate that in many contexts female candidates face barriers to seeking political leadership roles based on gender stereotypes. Holman, et al. 2011; Holman, et al. 2016; and Holman, et al. 2017 demonstrate this clearly during terrorist threats, and Lawless 2004 shows this during war.

  • Barnes, Tiffany D., and Emily Beaulieu. “Gender Stereotypes and Corruption: How Candidates Affect Perceptions of Election Fraud.” Politics & Gender 10.3 (2014): 365–391.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1743923X14000221Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Because gender stereotypes characterize female politicians as more ethical, honest, and trustworthy than male politicians, female candidates reduce perceptions of election fraud investigations even in suspicious circumstances, especially among male voters and individuals of the same political party.

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  • Brown, Elizabeth R., Amanda B. Diekman, and Monica C. Schneider. “A Change Will Do Us Good: Threats Diminish Typical Preferences for Male Leaders.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 37.7 (2011): 930–941.

    DOI: 10.1177/0146167211403322Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Applies role congruity theory to explore how threat decreases preference for male leaders. This is because threat induces a desire for change verses stability, and stereotypes align women with change and men with stability. Threat changes the perceptions of the leader role, better aligning women leaders with the role.

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  • Holman, Mirya R., Jennifer L. Merolla, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. “Sex, Stereotypes, and Security: A Study of the Effects of Terrorist Threat on Assessments of Female Leadership.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 32.3 (2011): 173–192.

    DOI: 10.1080/1554477X.2011.589283Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines how security threats negatively affect women candidates based on gender stereotypes. Republican women and women with issue expertise in security policy may be able to counter these stereotypes.

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  • Holman, Mirya R., Jennifer L. Merolla, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. “Terrorist Threat, Male Stereotypes, and Candidate Evaluations.” Political Research Quarterly 69.1 (2016): 134–147.

    DOI: 10.1177/1065912915624018Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Explores whether, within terrorist threat contexts, the effect of stereotypes on candidate evaluation is conditions by the politician’s partisanship. Male Republican leaders are most preferred in situations of terrorist threat, and female Democrats are least preferred.

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  • Holman, Mirya R., Jennifer L. Merolla, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. “Can Experience Overcome Stereotypes in Times of Terror Threat?” Research & Politics 4.1 (2017): 1–7.

    DOI: 10.1177/2053168016688121Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Following up on their finding that terrorist threat negatively affects perceptions of female politicians, the authors examine whether and how partisanship and prior leadership experience mitigate this. Republican leaders, including women, were unaffected by terrorist threat. The negative impact on Democratic women with significant leadership experience is somewhat lessened compared to democratic women without that experience.

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  • Kelly, Jarrod T., Elizabeth R. Brown, Amanda B. Diekman, and Monica C. Schneider. “The Change We Believe In: The Role of Economic Conditions in Evaluations of Black Political Candidates.” Electoral Studies 54 (2018): 254–260.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.electstud.2018.04.008Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Stereotypes aligning female candidates and candidates of color to change and white and male candidates to stability affect trait evaluations and support for candidates depending on changing socioeconomic climates.

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  • Lawless, Jennifer L. “Women, War, and Winning Elections: Gender Stereotyping in the Post-September 11th Era.” Political Research Quarterly 57.3 (2004): 479–490.

    DOI: 10.1177/106591290405700312Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Because of gender stereotypes that regard male candidates more competent on military and security policy, voters prefer male leadership traits during times of war. Therefore, election results have more to do with political context than with candidate sex.

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Gender Stereotypes in the Media

Media coverage of political campaigns reflects gender stereotypes. The media often emphasizes the masculine nature of politics, which is at odds with how voters assess female candidates based on gender stereotypes (Conroy 2015; Gidengil and Everitt 2003). Niven and Zilber 2001 shows that coverage is biased in how the media exaggerate differences between male and female candidates. Fowler and Lawless 2009 shows that the media differentially cover political statements made by male and female candidates, and Kahn 1994 indicates that the media emphasizes policy less for female candidates and highlight a female candidate’s limited likelihood for success. According to evidence presented in Heldman, et al. 2006, there is a tendency as well for the media to emphasize women candidates’ personal traits and appearance and highlight their novelty as a political candidate. Major and Coleman 2008 also shows that the media have a tendency to generally emphasize a candidate’s gender and racial identities. Recently, Hayes and Lawless 2015 and Hayes, et al. 2014 identify other factors that influence media portrayals, such as a candidate’s partisanship, ideology, and incumbency.

  • Conroy, Meredith. Masculinity, Media, and the American Presidency. New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2015.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-1-137-45645-8Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Content analysis examining gender conflict framing in U.S. presidential campaigns that shows that the media greatly relies on gendered media language that emphasizes masculine traits which disadvantages women candidates seeking higher office who, based on gender stereotypes, are not perceived to possess those traits.

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  • Fowler, Linda, and Jennifer L. Lawless. “Looking for Sex in All the Wrong Places: Press Coverage and the Electoral Fortunes of Gubernatorial Candidates.” Perspectives on Politics 7.3 (2009): 519–536.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1537592709990843Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines media coverage of gubernatorial candidates in the 1990s, revealing continued gender bias in media coverage. Specifically, the authors demonstrate that the press differentially cover candidates’ political statements based on their sex.

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  • Gidengil, Elisabeth, and Joanna Everitt. “Talking Tough: Gender and Reported Speech in Campaign News Coverage.” Political Communication 20.3 (2003): 209–232.

    DOI: 10.1080/10584600390218869Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Explores how media frames politics as stereotypically masculine and the negative implications these frames can have on women’s chances of electoral success.

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  • Hayes, Danny, and Jennifer L. Lawless. “A Non-Gendered Lens? Media, Voters, and Female Candidates in Contemporary Congressional Elections.” Perspectives on Politics 13.1 (2015): 95–118.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1537592714003156Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Candidate sex does not have a direct impact on media coverage or voters’ attitudes toward candidates. Media portrayals and voter opinions of candidates are instead results of partisanship, ideology, and incumbency.

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  • Hayes, Danny, Jennifer L. Lawless, and Gail Baitinger. “Who Cares What They Wear? Media, Gender, and the Influence of Candidate Appearance.” Social Science Quarterly 95.5 (2014): 1194–1212.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1537592709990843Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Regardless of candidate sex, media coverage of candidate appearance can influence voters’ perceptions of both male and female candidates. However, more impactful factors include incumbency, partisanship, and ideology.

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  • Heldman, Caroline, Susan J. Carroll and Stephanie Olson. “She Brought Only a Skirt: Print Media Coverage of Elizabeth Dole’s Bid for the Republican Presidential Nomination.” Political Communication 22.3 (2006): 315–335.

    DOI: 10.1080/10584600591006564Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines print media coverage of Republican candidate Elizabeth Dole in the 1999 presidential nomination process. Dole received less coverage than expected compared to her standing in the race, and the coverage she received emphasized personality traits and appearance more than coverage of her male opponents. Finally, she was often highlighted as the “first woman” to seriously content for the presidency, which indicated the novelty of her candidacy and perhaps low likelihood she could win.

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  • Kahn, Kim Fridkin. “The Distorted Mirror: Press Coverage of Women Candidates for Statewide Office.” Journal of Politics 56.1 (1994): 154–173.

    DOI: 10.2307/2132350Save Citation »Export Citation »

    The press present a distorted mirror for female candidates running in U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races. Specifically, in Senate campaigns, women candidates received less coverage than male candidates, and the coverage they received negatively highlighted their unlikely victories. Male candidates also receive more issue coverage.

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  • Major, Lesa Hatley, and Renita Coleman. “The Intersection of Race and Gender in Election Coverage: What Happens When the Candidates Don’t Fit the Stereotypes?” Howard Journal of Communication 19.4 (2008): 315–333.

    DOI: 10.1080/10646170802391722Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Media coverage of women and minority candidates’ gender and race remains significant even without a white, male candidate competitor.

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  • Niven, David, and Jeremy Zilber. “Do Women and Men in Congress Cultivate Different Images? Evidence from Congressional Web Sites.” Political Communication 18 (2001): 395–405.

    DOI: 10.1080/10584600152647100Save Citation »Export Citation »

    Examines congressional websites and finds no significant difference overall on issue focus between male and female members of Congress, concluding that gendered distinctions between candidates of different genders are exaggerated by the media.

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