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Gender Differences in Political Knowledge: Bringing Situation Back In

  • Toni Alexander Ihme (a1) and Markus Tausendpfund (a2)

Abstract

One of the best-known empirical findings in the political sciences is the gender difference in political knowledge: women show less political knowledge than men. Conventional research argues that this difference is mainly a product of socialization, structural factors, and biology. Our paper brings a new perspective to the explanation of the gender gap in political knowledge. Based on an online survey and an experiment1, we emphasize the relevance of gender stereotypes as a situational pressure that reduces the performance of women in a political knowledge test. Two conclusions emerge from the analysis: First, our results indicate the existence of a negative stereotype related to the political knowledge of women. Second, the activation of gender stereotypes affects performance on a political knowledge test. Consistent with previous research on stereotype threat, our results indicate that the performance of men on a political knowledge test is affected by gender stereotypes.

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Gender Differences in Political Knowledge: Bringing Situation Back In

  • Toni Alexander Ihme (a1) and Markus Tausendpfund (a2)

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