The dynamics of the partisan gender gap

Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Suzanna De Boef, Tse Min Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


Gender differences in vote choice, opinion, and party identification have become a common feature of the American political landscape. We examine the nature and causes of gender differences in partisanship using a time series approach. We show that gender differences are pervasive-existing outside of the context of specific elections or issues-and that they are a product of the interaction of societal conditions and politics. We find that from 1979 to 2000, the partisan gender gap has grown when the political climate moved in a conservative direction, the economy deteriorated, and the percentage of economically vulnerable, single women increased. The gender gap is likely to be a continual feature of the American political landscape: one that shapes everything from elite political behavior to election outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-528
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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