Experimental Tests of an Attitudinal Theory of the Gender Gap in Voting

Alice H. Eagly*, Amanda B. Diekman, Monica C. Schneider, Patrick Kulesa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This research examined the hypothesis that gender gaps in voting stem from differences in the extent to which men and women agree with candidates' issue stances. Two initial experiments portraying candidates by their sex and attitudes and a third experiment that also included information about political party produced the predicted attitudinal gender-congeniality effect: Participants of each sex reported greater likelihood, compared with participants of the other sex, of voting for the candidate who endorsed positions typically favored more by their own sex than the other sex. In addition, this gender-congeniality effect was present among Republican and independent participants but absent among Democratic participants because Democratic men as well as women favored candidates who advocated the positions typically favored by women. Interpretation invoked the importance of group interest based on gender as an influence on women's voting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1245-1258
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


  • Attitudes
  • Gender
  • Sex differences
  • Voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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