Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-ndqjc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-27T08:17:21.576Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Party Polarization, Ideological Sorting and the Emergence of the US Partisan Gender Gap

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2018

Daniel Q. Gillion
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
Jonathan M. Ladd*
Affiliation:
McCourt School of Public Policy and Department of Government, Georgetown University
Marc Meredith
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
*
*Corresponding author. Email: jonathan.ladd@georgetown.edu

Abstract

This article argues that the modern American partisan gender gap – the tendency of men to identify more as Republicans and less as Democrats than women – emerged largely because of mass-level ideological party sorting. As the two major US political parties ideologically polarized at the elite level, the public gradually perceived this polarization and better sorted themselves into the parties that matched their policy preferences. Stable pre-existing policy differences between men and women caused this sorting to generate the modern US partisan gender gap. Because education is positively associated with awareness of elite party polarization, the partisan gender gap developed earlier and is consistently larger among those with college degrees. The study finds support for this argument from decades of American National Election Studies data and a new large dataset of decades of pooled individual-level Gallup survey responses.

Type
Articles
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2018

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Abramowitz, AI (2010) The Disappearing Center: Engaged Citizens, Polarization, & American Democracy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Abramson, PR and Ostrom, CW Jr (1991) Macropartisanship: an empirical reassessment. American Political Science Review 85 (1):181192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Achen, CH and Bartels, LM (2016) Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anderson, K (1997) Gender and public opinion. In Norrander B and Wilcox C (eds), Understanding Public Opinion. Washington, DC: CQ Press, pp. 1936.Google Scholar
Barnes, TD and Cassese, EC (2017) American party women: a look at the gender gap within parties. Political Research Quarterly 70 (1):127141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bartels, LM (1996) Uninformed votes. American Journal of Political Science 40 (1):194230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beckwith, K (2005) A common language of gender? Politics & Gender 1 (1):128137.Google Scholar
Berinsky, AJ (2006) American public opinion in the 1930s and 1940s: the analysis of quota-controlled sample survey data. Public Opinion Quarterly 70 (4):499529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berinsky, AJ (2009) In Time of War: Understanding American Public Opinion from World War II to Iraq. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bonk, C (1988) The selling of the ‘gender gap’: the organizing role of feminism. In Mueller CM (ed.), The Politics of the Gender Gap: The Social Construction of Political Influence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 82101.Google Scholar
Box-Steffensmeier, JM, De Boef, S and Lin, T-M (2004) The dynamics of the partisan gender gap. American Political Science Review 98 (3):515528.10.1017/S0003055404001315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brady, HE and Sniderman, PM (1985) Attitude attribution: a group basis for political reasoning. American Political Science Review 79 (4):10611078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burden, BC (2008) The social roots of the partisan gender gap. Public Opinion Quarterly 72 (1):5575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Campbell, A et al. (1980) The American Voter. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, Midway Reprint.Google Scholar
Carmines, EG and Stimson, JA (1989) Issue Evolution: Race and the Transformation of American Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Carroll, SJ (1988) Women’s autonomy and the gender gap: 1980 and 1982. In Mueller CM (ed.), The Politics of the Gender Gap: The Social Construction of Political Influence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 236257.Google Scholar
Carroll, SJ (2006) Voting choices: meet you at the gender gap. In Carroll SJ and Fox R (eds), Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 7496.Google Scholar
Chaney, CKR, Alvarez, M and Nagler, J (1998) Explaining the gender gap in U.S. presidential elections, 1980–1992. Political Research Quarterly 51 (2):311339.Google Scholar
Clark, AK (2017) Updating the gender gap(s): a multilevel approach to what underpins changing cultural attitudes. Politics & Gender 13 (1):2656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clarke, HD et al. (2005) Men, women and the dynamics of presidential approval. British Journal of Political Science 35 (1):3151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Conover, PJ (1988) Feminists and the gender gap. Journal of Politics 50 (4):9851010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Converse, PE (1964) The nature of belief systems in mass publics. In Apter DE (ed.), Ideology and Discontent. New York: Free Press, pp. 206261.Google Scholar
Cook, EA and Wilcox, C (1991) Feminism and the gender gap: a second look. Journal of Politics 53 (4):11111122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cook, EA, Jelen, TG and Wilcox, C (1992) Between Two Absolutes: Public Opinion and the Politics of Abortion. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
Costain, AM (1988) Women’s claims as a special interest. In Mueller CM (ed.), The Politics of the Gender Gap: The Social Construction of Political Influence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 150172.Google Scholar
Deitch, C (1988) Sex differences in support for government spending. In Mueller CM (ed.), The Politics of the Gender Gap: The Social Construction of Political Influence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 192216.Google Scholar
Delli Carpini, MX and Keeter, S (1996) What Americans Know about Politics and Why it Matters. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
DiMaggio, P, Evans, J and Bryson, B (1996) Have American’s social attitudes become more polarized? American Journal of Sociology 102 (3):690755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edlund, L and Pande, R (2002) Why have women become left-wing? The political gender gap and the decline in marriage. Quarterly Journal of Economics 117 (3):917961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eichenberg, RC and Stoll, RJ (2012) Gender difference or parallel publics? The dynamics of defense spending opinions in the United States, 1965–2007. Journal of Conflict Resolution 56 (2):331348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Erikson, RS, MacKuen, M and Stimson, JA (2002) The Macro Polity. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Fiorina, MP, Abrams, SJ and Pope, JC (2011) Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Longman.Google Scholar
Fiske, ST, Lau, RR and Smith, RA (1990) On the varieties and utilities of political expertise. Social Cognition 8 (1):3148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gillion, Daniel Q, Ladd, Jonathan M and Meredith, Marc (2018) “Replication Data for: Party Polarization, Ideological Sorting and the Emergence of the U.S. Partisan Gender Gap”, https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/TIYCHO, Harvard Dataverse, V1, UNF:6:q0DSUacbw3/zpL8hwqREEg==Google Scholar
Goldin, C, Katz, LF and Kuziemko, I (2006) The homecoming of American college women: the reversal of the college gender gap. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 20 (4):133156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Green, DP, Palmquist, B and Schickler, E (2002) Partisan Hearts and Minds: Political Parties and the Social Identity of Voters. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Hayes, D and Guardino, M (2013) Influence from Abroad: Foreign Voices, the Media, and U.S. Public Opinion. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huddy, L, Cassese, E and Lizotte, M-K (2008a) Gender, public opinion, and political reasoning. In Wolbrecht C, Beckwith K and Baldez L (eds), Political Women and American Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 3149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huddy, L, Cassese, E and Lizotte, M-K (2008b) Sources of political unity and disunity among women. In Whitaker LD (ed.), Voting the Gender Gap. Urbana, University of Illinois Press, pp. 141169.Google Scholar
Hutchings, VL et al. (2004) The compassion strategy: race and the gender gap in campaign 2000. Public Opinion Quarterly 68 (4):512541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Inglehart, R (1977) Silent Revolution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Inglehart, R and Norris, P (2000) The developmental theory of the gender gap: women’s and men’s voting behavior in global perspective. International Political Science Review 21 (4):441463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Inglehart, R and Norris, P (2003) Rising Tide: Gender Equality and Cultural Change around the World. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iversen, T and Rosenbluth, F (2006) The political economy of gender: explaining cross-national variation in the gender division of labor and the gender voting gap. American Journal of Political Science 50 (1):119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iversen, T and Rosenbluth, F (2010) Women, Work and Politics: The Comparative Political Economy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Jennings, MK and Niemi, RG (1981) Generations and Politics: A Panel Study of Young Adults and their Parents. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Karol, D (2009) Party Position Change in American Politics: Coalition Management. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kaufmann, KM (2002) Culture wars, secular realignment, and the gender gap in party identification. Political Behavior 24 (3):283307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kaufmann, KM (2006) The gender gap. PS: Political Science & Politics 39 (3):447453.Google Scholar
Kaufmann, KM and Petrocik, JR (1999) The changing politics of American men: understanding the sources of the gender gap. American Journal of Political Science 43 (3):864887.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ladd, EC (1997) Media framing of the gender gap. In Norris P (ed.), Women, Media, and Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 113128.Google Scholar
Layman, GC and Carsey, TM (2006) Changing sides or changing minds? Party identification and policy preferences in the American electorate. American Journal of Political Science 50 (2):464–177.Google Scholar
Lenz, GS (2012) Follow the Leader? How Voters Respond to Politicians’ Performance and Policies. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levendusky, M (2009) The Partisan Sort: How Liberals Became Democrats and Conservatives Became Republicans. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
MacKuen, MB, Erikson, RS and Stimson, JA (1989) Macropartisanship. American Political Science Review 83 (4):11251142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
MacKuen, MB, Erikson, RS and Stimson, JA (1992) Question wording and macropartisanship. American Political Science Review 86 (2):475486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mansbridge, JJ (1985) Myth and reality: the ERA and the gender gap in the 1980 election. Public Opinion Quarterly 49 (2):1641787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mansbridge, JJ (1986) Why We Lost the ERA. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manza, J and Brooks, C (1998) The gender gap in U.S. presidential elections: when? Why? Implications? American Journal of Sociology 103 (5):12351266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCarty, N, Poole, KT and Rosenthal, H (2016) Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches. 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Miller, A (1988) Gender and the vote: 1984. In Mueller CM (ed.), The Politics of the Gender Gap: The Social Construction of Political Influence. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE Publications, pp. 258282.Google Scholar
Mueller, CM (ed.) (1988) The Politics of the Gender Gap: The Social Construction of Political Influence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
Noel, H (2013) Political Ideologies and Political Parties in America. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norrander, B (1997) The independence gap and the gender gap. Public Opinion Quarterly 61 (4):464476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norrander, B (1999) The evolution of the gender gap. Public Opinion Quarterly 63 (4):566576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norris, P (1988) The gender gap: a cross-national trend. In Mueller CM (eds), The Politics of the Gender Gap: The Social Construction of Political Influence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 217234.Google Scholar
Norris, P (2003) The gender gap: old challenges, new approaches. In Carroll SJ (ed.), Women and American Politics: New Questions, New Directions. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 146170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Price, V and Zaller, J (1993) Who gets the news? Alternative measures of news reception and their implications for research. Public Opinion Quarterly 57 (2):133164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sapiro, V (2003) Theorizing gender in political psychology research. In Sears DO, Huddy L and Jervis R (eds), Voting the Gender Gap. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 601634.Google Scholar
Sapiro, V and Canon, DT (2000) Race, gender, and the Clinton presidency. In Campbell C and Rockman BA (eds), The Clinton Legacy. New York: Chatham House, pp. 169199.Google Scholar
Sapiro, V and Conover, PJ (1997) The variable gender basis of electoral politics: gender and context in the 1992 US election. British Journal of Political Science 27 (4):497523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sapiro, V and Shames, SL (2010) The gender basis of public opinion. In Norrander Barbara and Wilcox C (eds), Understanding Public Opinion. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, pp. 524.Google Scholar
Seltzer, RA, Newman, J and Leighton, MV (1997) Sex as a Political Variable: Women as Candidates and Voters in U.S. Elections. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
Shapiro, RY and Mahajan, H (1986) Gender differences in policy preferences: a summary of trends from the 1960s to the 1980s. Public Opinion Quarterly 50 (1):4261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, TW (1984) The polls: gender and attitudes toward violence. Public Opinion Quarterly 48 (1):384396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Winter, NJG (2008) Dangerous Frames. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wirls, D (1986) Reinterpreting the gender gap. Public Opinion Quarterly 50 (3):316330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wolbrecht, C (2000) The Politics of Women’s Rights: Parties, Positions, and Change. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Zaller, JR (1992) The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zaller, JR (1994) Elite leadership of mass opinion: new evidence from the Gulf War. In Lance Bennet W and Paletz DL (eds), Taken by Storm: The Media, Public Opinion, and U.S. Foreign Policy in the GulfWar. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, pp. 186209.Google Scholar
Zaller, JR (1996) The myth of massive media impact revived. In Mutz DC, Sniderman PM and Brody RA (eds), Political Persuasion and Attitude Change. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 1778.Google Scholar
Supplementary material: PDF

Gillion et al. supplementary material

Appendix

Download Gillion et al. supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 578 KB
Supplementary material: Link

Gillion et al. Dataset

Link