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Political Behavior

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 587–618 | Cite as

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

  • Nicholas J. G. Winter
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Public opinion Party images Masculinity Femininity Gender Implicit attitudes 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Lisa Frenchik and Kathleen Doherty for their coding assistance. For helpful advice I am grateful to Scott Allard, Larry Bartels, Adam Berinsky, Nancy Burns, Paul Freedman, Danny Hayes, Vince Hutchings, Don Kinder, Brian Nosek, Eric Patashnik, Lynn Sanders, Abby Stewart, Timothy Stewart-Winter, Nicholas Valentino, Ismail White, Vickie Wilson, David Winter, Sara Winter, Tucker Winter, and three anonymous reviewers. I would also like to thank the audiences at the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy at the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan, the Department of Politics brownbag at the University of Virginia, and the Social Psychology brownbag at the University of Virginia for helpful feedback.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Woodrow Wilson Department of PoliticsUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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