1st Edition

Politicians Behaving Badly Men, Women, and the Politics of Sexual Harassment

By Paulina Cossette, Stephen Craig Copyright 2020
    178 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    178 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines citizens' attitudes about sexual harassment in the #MeToo era, seeking to determine how much these attitudes may have changed over the past few years. Using an innovative experimental research design, the authors look at how people react to allegations of harassment made against a fictional member of Congress. They consider whether those reactions vary with the offender's party affiliation, gender, and response to the allegations. Appropriate for students, scholars, and general readers alike, this book offers a timely analysis of an important political issue.

    1. Politicians and Many Others Behaving Badly
    2. The Political Cost of Scandal
    3. Surviving Scandal (Or Not): Image Repair
    4. Sexism and Sexual Harassment in the #MeToo Era
    5. The Political Costs of Harassment: An Empirical Test
    6. The Politics of Sexual Harassment: Unanswered Questions


    Paulina S. Cossette (PhD University of Florida) was most recently Assistant Professor of Political Science at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. Her research interests include the United States Congress, political parties and polarization, and campaigns and elections. She served as American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow for 2014–15 and is currently writing a book on bipartisan collaboration in the United States House and Senate.

    Stephen C. Craig (PhD Northwestern University) is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Graduate Program in Political Campaigning at the University of Florida. He is author of The Malevolent Leaders: Popular Discontent in America, editor or co-editor of five books including The Electoral Challenge: Theory Meets Practice, and has published numerous articles and book chapters dealing with attitude measurement, campaign effects, and various other aspects of contemporary public opinion and political behavior in the United States.

    "What explains voters' willingness to reelect some politicians facing allegations of sexual harassment, while punishing others at the polls? In Politicians Behaving Badly, Cossette and Craig leverage compelling evidence from original survey data – including a novel survey experiment – to offer nuanced insights into this pressing question." – Tiffany D. Barnes, University of Kentucky

    "Timely, incisive, and creative, Politicians Behaving Badly is a welcome addition to the study of sex, power, and politics. Run, do not walk, to read and assign this book." – Jane Junn, University of Southern California

    "Cossette and Craig have put together a piece of research that places them on the ground floor of what is sure to be a growing body of inquiry. Sexual harassment has been front and center on the public stage recently. Yet, research has not had the time to catch up. This book does exactly that; it catches us up. Not only do they give us a peek into public opinion surrounding this issue, but by using experimental data, they give us a sense of the political consequences. This book will certainly become foundational to our understanding of the politics of sexual harassment." – Jason Gainous, Co-author of Tweeting to Power