Do Voters Judge the Performance of Female and Male Politicians Differently? Experimental Evidence from the United States and Australia
Authorde Geus, RA; McAndrews, JR; Loewen, PJ; Martin, A
Source TitlePolitical Research Quarterly
PublisherSAGE PUBLICATIONS INC
University of Melbourne Author/sMartin, Aaron
AffiliationSchool of Social and Political Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
Citationsde Geus, R. A., McAndrews, J. R., Loewen, P. J. & Martin, A. (2020). Do Voters Judge the Performance of Female and Male Politicians Differently? Experimental Evidence from the United States and Australia. POLITICAL RESEARCH QUARTERLY, 74 (2), pp.302-316. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912920906193.
Access StatusOpen Access
<jats:p> Do gender stereotypes about agency affect how voters judge the governing performance of political executives? We explore this question using two conjoint experiments: one conducted in the United States and the other in Australia. Contrary to our expectations, we find no evidence in either experiment to suggest that female political executives (i.e., governors, premiers, and mayors) receive lower levels of credit than their male counterparts for positive governing performance. We do find evidence that female executives receive less blame than male executives for poor governing performance—but only in the U.S. case. Taken together, our findings suggest that the stereotype of male agency has only a limited effect on voters’ retrospective judgments. Moreover, the results indicate that—when performance information is presented in unframed, factual terms—agentic stereotyping by voters does not, in itself, present a serious obstacle to the re-election of women in powerful executive positions. </jats:p>
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