Women, War, and Winning Elections: Gender Stereotyping in the Post-September 11th Era

Citation:

Lawless, Jennifer L. 2004. “Women, War, and Winning Elections: Gender Stereotyping in the Post-September 11th Era.” Political Research Quarterly 57 (3): 479–90.

Author: Jennifer Lawless

Abstract:

Scores of political science studies reveal that female candidates fare as well as their male counterparts. But the percentage of citizens willing to support a woman presidential party nominee has significantly decreased over the last two years. Based on the results of a Knowledge Networks national random sample survey, this article offers the first empirical examination of the manner in which the atmosphere of war might affect women candidates’ electoral prospects. I find that citizens prefer men’s leadership traits and characteristics, deem men more competent at legislating around issues of national security and military crises, and contend that men are superior to women at addressing the new obstacles generated by the events of September 11, 2001. As a result of this gender stereotyping, levels of willingness to support a qualified woman presidential candidate are lower than they have been for decades. These findings carry broad implications for the study of women and politics. If women fare as well as men when the political climate is dominated by issues that play to women’s stereotypical strengths, but are disadvantaged when “men’s issues” dominate the political agenda, then we must reconsider the conclusion that winning elections has nothing to do with the sex of the candidate.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Political Participation

Year: 2004

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.