Revisiting Gender Inequalities in Political Attitudes and Behavior: Current Challenges and Contemporary Trends
Inequalities in cognitive political involvement and active political participation undermine the quality of deliberation, representation, and legitimacy in the democratic process. While in the past women used to participate less than men in different forms of political action (voting, joining political parties, engagement in political campaigns, attending demonstrations etc.), recent research points to increasingly type-specific gender gaps in political participation across a set of industrialized democracies (Coffé and Bolzendahl 2010; Durovic 2020; Pfanzelt and Spies 2018). In recent decades, women are increasingly more likely to vote than men, however, gender gaps in turnout seem to vary to a large extent by country and type of election (Kostelka, Blais and Gidengil 2018). At the same time, there are large and persisting gender differences in attitudes and orientations (such as political discussions, knowledge or interest) that lead to active political participation and which have the potential to restrict or widen the scope of policy demands (Fraile and Raul 2017; Sánchez-Vítores 2019). Further, in most countries, men are more likely to vote for populist and radical right parties than women (Givens 2004; Immerzeel, Coffé, and van der Lippe 2015). Gender inequalities in political orientations and political participation have thus an increasing potential to impact election outcomes.
This section invites papers and panels organized around the themes of gender, political attitudes and behavior. We interpret this topic to include formal and more informal ways of political participation as well as various types of attitudes and opinion. We welcome panels and research papers to analyze the ways gender affects homogenously and heterogeneously political attitudes and behavior by thinking about factors that drive intra-gender variation (such as education, income, social class or ideological positioning) which allow us to delve further into the complexities of gender inequalities in political attitudes. Going beyond an exclusive focus on aggregate differences between all women and all men, we are interested in how other structural (such as class and education) and situational factors (such as position in the life-cycle, cohort belonging or specific events) interact with gender and produce increasing political inequalities or fragmentation among women or among men. In light of this, we welcome Panels and Papers that take on a comparative approach either with regard to intra-gender variation, different measurements (types of elections, forms of participation, varieties of attitudes), inter-country or over-time variations in gender inequalities in political orientations or engagement. Within this broad landscape, we especially encourage submissions that address contemporary trends and/or research that push the analysis of gender inequalities in political attitudes and behavior in new directions.