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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Dec;87(6):796-816.

Gender gaps in sociopolitical attitudes: a social psychological analysis.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA. eagly@northwestern.edu


This research examined the proposition that differential role occupancy by women and men fosters gender gaps in sociopolitical attitudes. Analyses of the General Social Survey (J. A. Davis & T. W. Smith, 1998) and a community sample showed that women, more than men, endorsed policies that are socially compassionate, traditionally moral, and supportive of equal rights for women and for gays and lesbians. To clarify the sources of these gaps, the research examined (a) similarities between gender gaps and gaps associated with other respondent attributes such as race and parenthood, (b) interactions between respondent sex and other attributes, (c) the temporal patterning of gender gaps, and (d) the mediation of attitudinal gender gaps by 3 ideological variables--commitment to equality, group-based dominance, and conservatism versus liberalism.

((c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved).

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