Terrorist threat, male stereotypes, and candidate evaluations

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From: Political Research Quarterly(Vol. 69, Issue 1)
Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.
Document Type: Author abstract
Length: 156 words

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Abstract :

How does the threat of terrorism affect evaluations of female (vs. male) political leaders, and do these effects vary by the politician's partisanship? Using two national surveys, we document a propensity for the U.S. public to prefer male Republican leadership the most in times of security threat, and female Democratic leadership the least. We theorize a causal process by which terrorist threat influences the effect of stereotypes on candidate evaluations conditional on politician partisanship. We test this framework with an original experiment:a nationally representative sample was presented with a mock election that varied the threat context and the gender and partisanship of the candidates. We find that masculine stereotypes have a negative influence on both male and female Democratic candidates in good times (thus reaffirming the primacy of party stereotypes), but only on the female Democratic candidate when terror threat is primed. Republican candidates-both male and female-are unaffected by masculine stereotypes, regardless of the threat environment.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A452616264