Do Voters Read Gender? Stereotypes as Voting Cues in Electoral Settings
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University of Warsaw
Publication date: 2013-06-25
Polish Sociological Review 2013;182(2):223–238
In this paper, I examine the impact of voters’ stereotypes regarding candidate gender on their propensity to favour either male or female candidates to the parliament. I draw on two strands of literature: the proposition put forward by Huddy and Terkildsen (1993a) holding that candidate gender gives a rise to the emergence of stereotypes concerning their qualifications and stances on political issues, and Sanbonmatsu’s (2002) argument that such stereotypes breed voters’ preferences regarding their representatives’ gender. The link between gender stereotypes and voters’ gender preferences is examined in the context of Polish parliamentary election of 2005. I find out initial evidence suggesting that, indeed, stereotypes concerning candidate qualifications and beliefs, as well as a voter’s own gender, affect electoral preferences of Polish voters.
I wish to thank Maciej A. Górecki, Natalia Letki and the anonymous reviewer for their insightful comments on the drafts of this article.