The Different Effects of Gender and Sex on Vote Choice

Peter K. Hatemi, Rose McDermott, J. Michael Bailey, Nicholas G. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Explanations for differences in political preferences between men and women continue to be debated, generating more heat than light in attempts to locate their source and potential influence. The reason for this confusion rests on the lack of conceptual clarity concerning the difference between sex, typically referring to biological differences, and gender, assumed to result from socialization, and the difference these constructs might elicit in political outcomes. Utilizing two gender scales, the authors find gender identity exerts an impact on voter preferences above and beyond sex. They also find that individual differences in gender identity are not found to result from social influences but largely derive from unique experiences and innate disposition. The results have substantial implications for social scientists who theorize about and investigate sex and gender in studies of political attitudes and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-92
Number of pages17
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • gender
  • genetics
  • identity
  • personality
  • voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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