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Has the gender gap in voter turnout really disappeared?

Kostelka, Filip and Blais, André and Gidengil, Elisabeth (2019) 'Has the gender gap in voter turnout really disappeared?' West European Politics, 42 (3). pp. 437-463. ISSN 0140-2382

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According to conventional wisdom, the traditional gender gap in voting has disappeared or even reversed in most established democracies. Drawing on the existing literature on sex differences in political engagement and on pioneering voter turnout theories, this article questions the conventional assumption and hypothesises that women still participate at lower rates in less important elections. It systematically tests this hypothesis by exploring the impact of sex on voter turnout in different electoral arenas. The empirical analyses of two cross-national datasets (Making Electoral Democracy Work and the European Election Study) demonstrate that although there is generally no gender gap in first-order elections, women tend to vote less than men in second-order contests. This reflects women’s weaker interest in politics and their lower levels of knowledge about politics in second-order electoral arenas.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Voter turnout, gender gap, multilevel governance, political participation, European elections
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2019 15:45
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:56

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