Original Paper

Political Behavior

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 587-618

First online:

Masculine Republicans and Feminine Democrats: Gender and Americans’ Explicit and Implicit Images of the Political Parties

  • Nicholas J. G. WinterAffiliated withWoodrow Wilson Department of Politics, University of Virginia Email author 

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During the past three decades Americans have come to view the parties increasingly in gendered terms of masculinity and femininity. Utilizing three decades of American National Election Studies data and the results of a cognitive reaction-time experiment, this paper demonstrates empirically that these connections between party images and gender stereotypes have been forged at the explicit level of the traits that Americans associate with each party, and also at the implicit level of unconscious cognitive connections between gender and party stereotypes. These connections between the parties and masculinity and femininity have important implications for citizens’ political cognition and for the study of American political behavior.


Public opinion Party images Masculinity Femininity Gender Implicit attitudes