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Ronald F. Inglehart photo

The developmental theory of the gender gap: women's and men's voting behavior in global perspective

Publication Abstract

Inglehart, Ronald F., and Pippa Norris. 2010. "The developmental theory of the gender gap: women's and men's voting behavior in global perspective." In Women, gender, and politics: A Reader edited by Mona Lena Krook, Sarah Childs. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press.

Studies carried out in many countries in previous decades found that women were more conservative than men and less likely to participate in politics. Here, it is examined whether this traditional gender gap persists today, or whether gender cleavages in the electorate have converged, and whether the phenomenon of the modern gender gap, with women more left wing, has become evident elsewhere. The article draws on evidence from the World Values Surveys in the early 1980s, and the early and mid-1990s carried out in over sixty countries around the world. This study establishes that gender differences in electoral behavior have been realigning, with women moving toward the left of men throughout advanced industrial societies (though not in postcommunist societies or developing countries) and explores the reasons for this development, including the role of structural and cultural factors. The conclusion considers the political implications of the findings.

ISBN: 9780195368802

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