The Political Psychology of Women in U.S. Politics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Political Psychology of Women in U.S. Politics

1st Edition

Edited by Angela L. Bos, Monica C. Schneider


254 pages

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The Political Psychology of Women in U.S. Politics is a comprehensive resource for students, researchers, and practitioners interested in women and politics. Highly original and drawing from the best available research in psychology and political science, this book is designed to summarize and extend interdisciplinary research that addresses how and why men and women differ as citizens, as political candidates, and as officeholders. The chapters in this volume are focused on differences in the political behavior and perceptions of men and women, yet the chapters also speak to broader topics within American politics – including political socialization, opinion formation, candidate emergence, and voting behavior. Broadly, this volume addresses the causes and consequences of women’s underrepresentation in American government.

This book is the ideal resource for students and researchers of all levels interested in understanding the unique political experiences of diverse women, and the importance of rectifying the problem of gender disparities in American politics.


'This book is a fascinating exploration of cutting edge research on the many ways that gender influences political participation and preferences—it’s a must read for anyone with an interest in the intersection of gender and politics.' - Linda J. Skitka, Social and Political Psychologist, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

'The Political Psychology of Women in U.S. Politics lays bare the diverse and complex ways in which gender influences American political behavior. Drawing on psychology for insight, the authors advance our understanding of the gender gap in political attitudes and political ambition, the effects of voter stereotypes on female political figures, and factors that promote and impede women’s political involvement. Gender is not a deterministic influence on political behavior, as the authors in this volume make clear. The gender gap in vote choice varies in magnitude across elections and both male and female political candidates win and lose elections. Nonetheless, gender matters politically and this book adds needed insight into when and how that occurs.' - Leonie Huddy, SUNY at Stonybrook, USA

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Studying the Political Effects of Gender using a Psychology Lens

Angela L. Bos and Monica C. Schneider

Part I: Women as Citizens

Gender Socialization

Chapter 2: Gender and the Socialization of Party Identification

Zoe M. Oxley

Chapter 3: Promoting Adolescent Girls’ Civic Engagement and Activism

Britney G. Brinkman

Chapter 4: The Gender Gap in Public Opinion: Exploring Social Role Theory as an Explanation

Mary-Kate Lizotte

Gender Gaps in Public Opinion, Public Policy and Political Action

Chapter 5: Economic Inequality and the Gendered Politics of Redistribution

Heather E. Bullock and Harmony A. Reppond

Chapter 6: Political Consciousness and Gender Collective Action: A Case and Place for Self-Objectification

Rachel Calogero

Chapter 7: New Directions at the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

Christina E. Bejarano

Part II: Women as Candidates

Gender and Political Ambition

Chapter 8: Gender Differences in Political Ambition

Kristin Kanthak

Chapter 9: Women’s Decisions to Run for Office: A Relationally Embedded Model

Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan J. Carroll

Gender Stereotypes and Group Identity

Chapter 10: Gender Stereotypes and Voter Evaluations of Female Candidates

Nichole M. Bauer

Chapter 11: The Impact of Motherhood and Maternal Messages on Political Candidates

Jill Greenlee, Grace Deason and Carrie Langner

Part III: Women in Political Leadership

Chapter 12: The Impact of Gender in the Legislative Process

Brian Frederick and Shannon Jenkins

Chapter 13: Gender and the Bench: Does Judge Sex Influence Citizens?

Kjersten Nelson

Chapter 14: Conclusion

Angela L. Bos and Monica C. Schneider

About the Editors

Angela L. Bos is Associate Professor of Political Science at the College of Wooster. Her teaching and research in US politics is focused in the areas of women and politics, political psychology, media and politics, political parties and elections, and research methods.

Monica C. Schneider is Associate Professor of Political Science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She studies gender and racial stereotypes in American politics, and the gender gap in ambition. She is also passionate about the advancement of women in the academy and improving outcomes for undergraduates.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Political Psychology

Advisory Board: Ted Brader, University of Michigan; Eugene Borgida, University of Minnesota; Marc Ross, Bryn Mawr College and Linda Skitka, University of Illinois, Chicago

Political psychology is dedicated to the analysis of the interrelationships between psychological and political processes. The field is interdisciplinary in nature, bidirectional in influence (the psyche influences political orientation and the polity leaves its mark on who we are), and draws on a broad range of disciplinary sources, including cultural anthropology, history, economics, neuroscience, behavioral genetics, sociology, and organizational behavior. From a psychological perspective, politics is not only about "who gets what" in the material sense; it is also about how psychological predispositions, social identities and bounded information processing capacities fundamentally shape and constrain how individuals interact with their government and society at large.

The Routledge Studies in Political Psychology was developed to publish books representing the widest range of theoretical, methodological and epistemological approaches in political psychology. The series is intended to expand awareness of the creative application of psychological theory within the domain of politics and foster deeper appreciation of the psychological roots of political behavior. We are particularly interested in scholarly monographs, but proposals for edited volumes will also be considered. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Women in Politics