Political Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 817–838 | Cite as

Revisiting the Gender Gap in Political Knowledge

Original Paper


Gender-based differences in political knowledge are pervasive in the United States and abroad. Previous research on the source of these differences has focused on resource differentials or instrumentation, with scholars arguing either that the gender gap is real and intractable, or that it is an artifact of the way the concept is measured. Our study differs from past work by showing that (1) male–female differences in political knowledge persist even when knowledge is measured with recommended practices, but that (2) knowledge gaps can be ameliorated. Across laboratory, survey, and natural experiments, we document how exposure to information diminishes gender-based differences in political knowledge. The provision of facts reduces—and often eliminates—the gender gap in political knowledge on questions covering a range of topics.


Gender gap Knowledge Experiment 



The authors thank Nichole Bauer, Emily Farris, and the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions. They also thank Scott Clifford for help programming Study 1. Previous versions of this paper were presented at the Political Science Department at Aarhus University and the annual meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology. Replication files are available at Political Behavior’s Dataverse page.

Supplementary material

11109_2016_9380_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (320 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 320kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science, Social and Behavioral Sciences BuildingStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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