This one’s for the boys: how gendered political socialization limits girls’ political ambition and interest

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January 27, 2022

This one’s for the boys: how gendered political socialization limits girls’ political ambition and interest

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This one’s for the boys: how gendered political socialization limits girls’ political ambition and interest  /Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

By Angela L. Bos, Jill S. Greenlee, Mirya R. Holman, Zoe M. Oxley and J. Celeste Lay

This article develops and tests a new theoretical framework, gendered political socialization, which offers important insights into how children perceive gender in politics and the consequences of these perceptions on sex differences in political interest and ambition. Based on data from 1,604 children who live in four different regions across the United States, we find that children not only perceive politics to be a male-dominated space, but with age, girls increasingly see political leadership as a “man’s world.” Simultaneously, as children grow older, they internalize gendered expectations, which direct their interests toward professions that embody the gendered traits that fit with their own sex. One result of this mismatch between women and politics is that girls express lower levels of interest and ambition in politics than do boys.

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Resource type: 
Author: 
Angela L. Bos, Jill S. Greenlee, Mirya R. Holman, Zoe M. Oxley and J. Celeste Lay
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press
Publication year: 
2021
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