Sociology Index


Gender Roles, Gender and Women, Social Construction of Gender, Glass Ceiling Hypothesis,

Paula England argues that the “gender gap” in pay is an expression of the generally devalued social status of women. - England, Paula (1992), Comparable Worth: Theories and Evidence. Gender gap is also the gap between the political party preferences of men and women. The political party preferences of men and women are gender specific. Women will generally favour peace loving welfare oriented parties than men. During the 1990s gender gap became significant, with women in most western societies more likely to support liberal or socialist parties favouring public welfare programmes and men more likely to support conservative or right of centre parties.

All political parties are now bridging this gender gap by giving some attention to positioning their policies and advertising to appeal to both women and men. A gender gap of six to eight percentage points differentiated the vote of women from that of men throughout the presidential elections of the 1980s. Women's greater preference for Democratic candidates, coupled with an increased rate of voting relative to men, has increased women's influence on electoral politics for the first time since the suffrage period. Despite the fact that women's voting behavior does not correspond to many criteria of group politics, the large numbers of women voters are beginning to have an impact on the nature of campaign discourse and election issues. These changes were apparent in the 1988 Republican campaign to win the undecided women voters. - The Gender Gap and Women's Political Influence - CAROL MUELLER 

The "Gender Gap" in Authorship of Academic Medical Literature - A 35-Year Perspective
ABSTRACT: Background Participation of women in the medical profession has increased during the past four decades, but issues of concern persist regarding disparities between the sexes in academic medicine. Advancement is largely driven by peer-reviewed original research, so we sought to determine the representation of female physician-investigators among the authors of selected publications during the past 35 years.

The Partisan Paradox - Religious Commitment and the Gender Gap in Party Identification 
Karen M. Kaufmann 
A large body of scholarly literature points to the growing influence of religious devotion on U.S. partisanship. This article attempts to reconcile the growing religious commitment cleavage in the American party system with the commensurate growth in the gender gap. If women are, on average, more religiously devout than men, and if contemporary shifts in partisanship are disproportionately founded on religious and cultural cleavages, then why are women more likely to identify with the Democratic Party? I pose three possible explanations for this apparent paradox: (1) that the influence of religion is only considerable among the most committed; (2) that men and women politicize their religious beliefs in different ways; and (3) that gender differences in opinion on nonreligious issues sustain the partisan gap, over and above the conservative influence of religiosity. Findings from structural equation analyses demonstrate that religious devotion affects the politics of men and women in similar ways. Religious commitment affects partisan choices but does not override the powerful effects of gender. Gender differences in support for the social welfare state and the preeminence of social welfare opinion in the partisan calculus of men and women largely explain the persistence of the gender gap.

The Compassion Strategy - Race and the Gender Gap in Campaign 2000 
Vincent L. Hutchings, Nicholas A. Valentino, Tasha S. Philpot and Ismail K. White 
Recent studies have shown that social "compassion" issues, and not those directly linked to women’s interests, seem to drive the gender gap in presidential vote choice. Some of these compassion issues are associated with the plight of racial minorities in the media and in the minds of average citizens. Drawing on theories of gender role socialization, we predict that traditional partisan stands on racial issues may help to explain the gender gap. Specifically, we hypothesize that gender gap emerges because men and women react differently to cues about how compassionate candidates are toward vulnerable social groups. In one experiment, we manipulate news information regarding George W. Bush’s commitment to blacks versus women. The gender gap is maximized when Bush takes the traditional Republican stance, while it is reduced significantly when Bush espouses a more moderate position. The gender gap is unaffected by variation in the position that Bush takes on women’s issues. In another experiment, we also find that the gender gap emerges when traditional partisan appeals are racialized.