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Traditional Gender Attitudes, Nativism, and Support for the Radical Right

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 November 2021

Olyvia R. Christley*
University of Virginia


Using data from the 2017 European Values Study, I analyze the link between harboring traditional gender attitudes and supporting radical right-wing parties. I theorize that the intrinsically gendered elements of the radical right's platforms and rhetoric, which mirror traditional masculinity and femininity in both explicit and implicit ways, make the ideology a comfortable home for individuals who hold traditional gender attitudes. My analyses reveal that gender traditionalists are more likely than egalitarians to express support for the radical right, even after controlling for a host of existing explanations. The same impact is not replicated for mainstream conservative parties. In addition, holding more gender-traditional attitudes raises the probability of supporting the radical right among both nativists and non-nativists. These findings provide important evidence that gender attitudes seemingly constitute a significant pathway to support for the radical right across Europe.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Women, Gender, and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association

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The author wishes to thank B. Kal Munis, Nicholas Winter, Denise Walsh, David Waldner, Katinka Wijsman, members of the University of Virginia Quantitative Collaborative, and the three anonymous reviewers at Politics & Gender for their helpful comments on earlier drafts.



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