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Inhaltsangabe: As the number of women candidates for office in the U.S. increases each election cycle, scholars are confronted with questions about the impact of their sex on their chances of success. Chief among these questions involves the influence of gender stereotypes on the decisions voters make in elections in which women run against men. Previous research documents that voters see women and men as possessing different character traits and different abilities to handle policy issues. These findings, combined with anecdotal evidence of sexist attitudes toward women candidates, raises concerns that women candidates are hampered by their sex and gender considerations. Employing data from an original survey of 3150 U.S. adults conducted in 2010, this book confronts scholarly concerns that gender stereotypes work to undermine women's chances of success. Challenging the conventional wisdom, these data demonstrate that voters do not rely heavily on gender stereotypes when evaluating and voting for women candidates. Voters do hold gendered attitudes, both positive and negative, about women candidates, but these attitudes are not related to the political decisions voters make. Instead, in deciding for whom to vote, people are influenced by traditional political forces, like political party and incumbency, regardless of the sex of the candidates. There is also evidence that partisan stereotypes interact with gender stereotypes to influence reactions to candidates, both women and men, depending on their political party. In the end, this project demonstrates that women candidates win as often as do men and that partisan concerns trump gender every time.
Dolan provides significant suggestions for further analysis, noting a need for a better understanding of the interaction between stereotypes and party preferences, as well as analysis of candidates and stereotyping at the state and local level. ( M. A. Mueller, Eastern Illinois University, CHOICE)
In this must-read book for both scholars and practitioners, Kathleen Dolan offers compelling evidence that voters' gender stereotypes matter far less for women candidates' election outcomes than commonly believed. Her nuanced analysis of original panel study data from the 2010 election cycle significantly advances our understanding of how the effects of gendered attitudes and stereotypes vary depending on political party, level of office, and the gender of the candidates in the race. ( Susan J. Carroll, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University)
Do women who run for office face an uphill battle? Is sexism still an obstacle that female candidates must surmount? Do voters continue to rely on traditional gender stereotypes when they evaluate candidates and elected officials? Despite some high-profile examples of gender bias on the campaign trail, and a tenacious conventional wisdom, Kathleen Dolan argues that gender stereotypes do not systematically harm or hamper female candidates. And the original survey data on which she relies in When Does Gender Matter? make it hard to refute her case. Anyone interested in a detailed account of when gender matters in elections -or, perhaps more aptly put, when it does not - must read this book. You might be surprised by what you will learn. ( Jennifer L. Lawless, Professor of Government and Director of the Women & Politics Institute, American University)
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