Skip to main content Accesibility Help
×
×
Home

The Role of Intersectional Stereotypes on Evaluations of Gay and Lesbian Political Candidates

  • Alesha E. Doan (a1) and Donald P. Haider-Markel (a1)
Abstract

Social scientists are increasingly taking a more complex theoretical approach to the role of stereotyping in the electorate's evaluation of political candidates. Within this literature, most studies investigate the impact of one stereotype on the public's evaluation of candidates from an underrepresented group. We build on and extend this literature by exploring what we term “intersectional stereotyping”: The role of stereotypes in shaping the electorate's evaluation of political candidates who share dual membership in stigmatized groups—women and sexual minorities. We empirically examine the impact of intersectional stereotyping in a unique 2003 survey of national adults. Our results indicate that gender, both of the respondent and the candidate, plays a key role in shaping attitudes toward gay and lesbian political candidates. These findings suggest that intersectional stereotyping plays a nuanced role in evaluations of candidates; in certain contexts gender stereotypes are more significant, and at other times stereotypes about sexual minorities appear to be driving evaluations of candidates.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Aday, Sean, and Devitt, James. 2001. “Style over Substance: Newspaper Coverage of Elizabeth Dole's Presidential Bid.” Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 6 (2): 5273.
Alexander, Deborah, and Andersen, Kristi. 1993. “Gender as a Factor in the Attribution of Leadership Traits.” Political Research Quarterly 46 (3): 527–45.
Biersack, Robert, and Herrnson, Paul S.. 1994. “Political Parties and the Year of the Woman.” In The Year of the Woman: Myths and Realities, ed. Cook, Elizabeth Adell, Thomas, Sue, and Wilcox, Clyde. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Brewer, Paul R. 2003a. “The Shifting Foundations of Public Opinion about Gay Rights.” Journal of Politics 65 (4): 1208–20.
Brewer, Paul R. 2003b. “Values, Political Knowledge, and Public Opinion about Gay Rights.” Public Opinion Quarterly 67 (2): 173201.
Brown, Irene, and Misra, Joya. 2003. “The Intersection of Gender and Race in the Labor Market.” Annual Review of Sociology 29: 487513.
Burrell, Barbara C. 1996. A Woman's Place Is in the House: Campaigns for Congress in the Feminist Era. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Burrell, Barbara C. 2005. “Campaign Finance: Women's Experience in the Modern Era.” In Women and Elective Office, ed. Thomas, S. and Wilcox, C.. New York: Oxford University Press.
Bystrom, Dianne, Robertson, Terry, and Banwart, Mary. 2001. “Framing the Fight: An Analysis of Media Coverage of Female and Male Candidates in Primary Races for Governor and U.S. Senate in 2000.” American Behavioral Scientist 44: 19992013.
Carroll, Susan J. 1995. Women as Candidates in American Politics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Collins, Todd, and Moyer, Laura. 2007. “Gender, Race, and Intersectionality on the Federal Appellate Bench.” Political Research Quarterly 20 (1): 19.
Crenshaw, Kimberlé Williams. 1991. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity, Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color.” Stanford Law Review 43 (6): 1241–99.
Crenshaw, Kimberlé Williams. 1993. “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” In Feminist Legal Theory, ed. Weisburg, D. Kelly. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 383–95.
Dabelko, Kirsten La Cour, and Herrnson, Paul S.. 1997. “Women's and Men's Campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives.” Political Research Quarterly 50 (1): 121–35.
Deber, Raisa. 1982. “‘The Fault, Dear Brutus’: Women as Congressional Candidates in Pennsylvania.” Journal of Politics 22 (2): 463–79.
Dolan, Kathleen. 1998. “Voting for Women in the ‘Year of the Woman.’” American Journal of Political Science 42 (1): 272–93.
Dolan, Kathleen. 2004a. “The Impact of Candidate Sex on Evaluations of Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.” Social Science Quarterly 85 (1): 206–17.
Dolan, Kathleen. 2004b. Voting For Women: How the Public Evaluates Women Candidates. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Dolan, Kathleen. 2005. “Do Women Candidates Play to Gender Stereotypes? Do Men Candidates Play to Women? Candidate Sex and Issues Priorities on Campaign Websites.” Political Research Quarterly 58 (1): 3144.
Eaton, M. 1994. “Patently Confused, Complex Inequality and Canada v. Mossop.” 1 Rev. Cons. Stud. 203 at 229.
Egan, Patrick J., and Sherrill, Kenneth. 2005. “Neither an In-Law nor an Outlaw Be: Trends in Americans' Attitudes Toward Gay People.” Public Opinion Pros. February. http://www.publicopinionpros.com/ (July 23, 2007).
Entman, Robert M., and Rojecki, Andrew. 2001. The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Fiske, Susan, and Neuberg, Steven. 1990. “A Continuum of Impression Formation, from Category-Based to Individuating Processes: Influences of Information and Motivation on Attention and Interpretation.” In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, ed. Zanna, M. P.. New York: Academic Press.
Fox, Richard. 1997. Gender Dynamics in Congressional Elections. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Fox, Richard. 2000. “Gender and Congressional Elections.” In Gender and American Politics: Women, Men and the Political Process, ed. Rinehart, Sue Tolleson and Josephson, Jyl J.. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Fox, Richard, and Oxley, Zoe M.. 2003. “Gender Stereotyping in State Executive Elections: Candidate Selection and Success.” Journal of Politics 65 (3): 833–50.
Fox, Richard, and Smith, Eric. 1998. “The Role of Candidate Sex in Voter Decision-Making.” Political Psychology 19 (2): 405–19.
Frega, Luis Ricardo, Valerie Martinez-Ebers, Linda Lopez, and Ramirez, Ricardo. 2006. “Strategic Intersectionality: Gender, Ethnicity, and Political Incorporation.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, D.C.
Golebiowska, Ewa A. 2001. “Group Stereotypes and Political Evaluation.” American Politics Research 29 (6): 535–65.
Golebiowska, Ewa A. 2002. “Political Implications of Group Stereotypes: Campaign Experiences of Openly Gay Political Candidates.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 32: 590607.
Golebiowska, Ewa A. 2003. “When to Tell? Disclosure of Concealable Group Membership, Stereotypes, and Political Evaluation.” Political Behavior 25 (4):313–37.
Golebiowska, Ewa A., and Thomsen, C. J.. 1999. “Group Stereotypes of Individuals: The Case of Gay and Lesbian Political Candidates.” In Gays and Lesbians in The Democratic Process: Public Policy, Public Opinion and Political Representation, ed. Riggle, E. D. B. and Tadlock, B.. New York: Columbia University Press.
Haider-Markel, Donald P., and Joslyn, Mark. 2008. “Understanding Beliefs about the Origins of Homosexuality and Subsequent Support for Gay Rights: An Empirical Test of Attribution Theory.” Public Opinion Quarterly 72 (2): 291310.
Hancock, Ange-Marie. 2007. “Intersectionality as a Normative and Empirical Paradigm.” Politics & Gender 3 (June): 248–53.
Hawkesworth, Mary. 2003. “Congressional Enactments of Race-Gender: Toward a Theory of Raced-Gendered Institutions.” American Political Science Review 97 (4): 529–49.
Heldman, Caroline, Carroll, Susan J., and Olson, Stephanie. 2005. “She Brought Only a Skirt: Print Media Coverage of Elizabeth Dole's Bid for the Republican Presidential Nomination.” Political Communication 22 (3): 315–35.
Herek, Gregory M. 2002. “Gender Gaps in Public Opinion about Lesbians and Gay Men.” Public Opinion Quarterly 66 (1): 4066.
Herrick, Rebekah, and Thomas, Sue. 1999. “The Effects of Sexual Orientation on Citizen Perceptions of Candidate Viability.” In Gays and Lesbians in the Democratic Process, ed. Riggle, Ellen D. B. and Tadlock, Barry. New York: Columbia University Press.
Herrick, Rebekah, and Thomas, Sue. 2001. “Gays and Lesbians in Local Races: A Study of Electoral Viability.” Journal of Homosexuality 42 (1): 103–26.
Herrnson, Paul S., Lay, J. Celeste, and Stokes, Atiya Kai. 2003. “Women Running ‘as Women’: Candidate Gender, Campaign Issues, and Voter-Targeting Strategies.” Journal of Politics 65 (1): 244–55.
Howard, Judith A. 2000. “Social Psychology of Identities.” Annual Review of Sociology 26: 367–93.
Huddy, Leonie, and Carey, Tony E. Jr. 2009. “Group Politics Redux: Race and Gender in the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primaries.” Politics & Gender 5 (1): 8195.
Huddy, Leonie, and Terkildsen, Nayda. 1993a. “Gender Stereotyping and the Perception of Male and Female Candidates.” American Journal of Political Science 37 (1): 119–47.
Huddy, Leonie, and Terkildsen, Nayda. 1993b. “The Consequences of Gender Stereotypes for Women Candidates at Different Levels and Types of Offices.” Political Research Quarterly 46 (3): 503–25.
Jones, Charisse, and Shorter-Gooden, Kumea. 2003. Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America. New York: HarperCollins.
Jones, Jeffrey M. 2007. “Congress Approval Rating Matches Historical Low.” Gallop News Service, August 21.
Kahn, Kim. 1992. “Does Being Male Help? An Investigation of the Effects of Candidate Gender and Campaign Coverage on Evaluations of U.S. Senate Campaigns.” Journal of Politics 54 (2): 497512.
Kahn, Kim. 1994. “Does Gender Make a Difference? An Experimental Examination of Sex Stereotypes and Press Patterns in Statewide Campaigns.” American Journal of Political Science 38 (1): 162–95.
Kahn, Kim. 1996. The Political Consequences of Being a Woman: How Stereotypes Influence the Conduct and Consequences of Political Campaigns. New York: Columbia University Press.
Kite, Mary, and Whitley, B. E.. 1996. “Sex Differences in Attitudes toward Homosexual Persons, Behavior, and Civil Rights: A Meta-Analysis.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 22: 336–53.
Koch, Jeffrey W. 2000. “Do Citizens Apply Gender Stereotypes to Infer Candidates' Ideological Orientations?” Journal of Politics 62 (2): 414–29.
LaMar, Lisa, and Kite, Mary. 1998. “Sex Differences in Attitudes toward Gay Men and Lesbians: A Multidimensional Perspective.” Journal of Sex Research 35 (2): 189–96.
Langford, Tom, and MacKinnon, Neil J.. 2000. “The Affective Bases for the Gendering of Traits: Comparing the United States and Canada.” Social Psychology Quarterly 63 (1): 3448.
Lawless, Jennifer L. 2009. “Sexism and Gender Bias in Election 2008: A More Complex Path for Women in Politics.” Politics & Gender 5 (1): 7080.
Lawless, Jennifer L., and Fox, Richard L.. 2005. It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Leeper, Mark Stephen. 1991. “The Impact of Prejudice on Female Candidates: An Experimental Look at Voter Inference.” American Politics Quarterly 19 (2): 248–61.
McCall, Leslie. 2005. “The Complexity of Intersectionality.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 30 (3): 1771–800.
McDermott, Monika L. 1997. “Voter Cues in Low-Information Elections: Candidate Gender as a Social Information Variable in Contemporary US Elections.” American Journal of Political Science 41 (1): 270–83.
McDermott, Monika L. 1998. “Race and Gender Cues in Low-Information Elections.” Political Research Quarterly 59 (4): 895918.
Niven, David, and Zilber, Jeremy. 2001. “How Does She Have Time for Kids and Congress? Views on Gender and Media Coverage from House Offices.” Women and Politics 23: 147–65.
Orey, Byron D'Andra, Marvin Overby, L., and Larimer, Christopher W.. 2007. “African-American Committee Chairs in U.S. State Legislatures.” Social Science Quarterly 88 (3): 619–39.
Rosenwasser, Shirley M., and Seale, Jana. 1988. “Attitudes Toward a Hypothetical Male or Female Presidential Candidate—A Research Note.” Political Psychology 9: 591–98.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2002. “Gender Stereotypes and Vote Choice.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (1): 2034.
Schaffner, Brian, and Nenad, Senic. 2006. “Rights or Benefits? Explaining the Sexual Identity Gap in American Political Behavior.” Political Research Quarterly 59 (1): 123–32.
Shapiro, Robert Y., and Mahajan, Harpreet. 1986. “Gender Difference in Policy Preferences: A Summary of Trends from the 1960s to the 1980s.” Public Opinion Quarterly 50 (1): 4261.
Simien, Evelyn M. 2007. “Doing Intersectionality Research: From Conceptual Issues to Practical Examples.” Politics & Gender 3 (June): 264–70.
Smith, Raymond A., and Haider-Markel, Donald P.. 2002. Gay and Lesbian Americans and Political Participation. Denver: ABC-CLIO.
Smooth, Wendy. 2006. “Intersectionality in Electoral Politics: A Mess Worth Making.” Politics & Gender 2 (September): 400–14.
Witt, Linda, Paget, Karen, and Matthews, Glenna. 1994. Running as A Woman: Gender and Power in American Politics. New York: Free Press.
Yang, Alan S. 1997. “Trends: Attitudes Toward Homosexuality.” Public Opinion Quarterly 61 (3): 477507.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Politics & Gender
  • ISSN: 1743-923X
  • EISSN: 1743-9248
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-gender
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed