Lisa Hummel

Department of Sociology

Shifting Support: Changes in Support for Women in Politics Based on Political Ideology


Even in 2019, women are still not serving as political leaders at the same rates as men in the United States. Despite increases in the number of women in office, women’s participation in political office still pales in comparison to that of men. And the gains in women’s participation are not equally distributed across the political aisle; this disparity is especially stark when comparing the low levels of Republican women in office compared to Democrats. Given these issues it is important to consider the way an individual’s political ideology, or how liberal or conservative they are, impacts their support for women in political office. Based on results from a nationally representative sample of 1,835 U.S. adults, I have found that political liberals are more likely express support for women in political leadership than are conservatives. The results of a follow-up conjoint experiment of 1,000 U.S. adults show that when it comes to gender, liberals show a preference for women candidates compared to conservatives, whereas conservatives are less moved by candidate gender. These findings have important implications for the intersection of gender and politics within the United States.