Is There a Gender Bias in American Elections?

Lawless and I undertook a two-part study of gender stereotyping during the 2010 midterm elections.
We first conducted a detailed analysis of local newspaper coverage of House races in nearly 350 congressional districts across the country. Analyzing 4,748 articles, we found virtually no gender differences whatsoever.
News coverage of women was just as common as coverage of men. And the content of campaign stories was nearly indistinguishable across candidate sex. The frequency with which reporters referred explicitly to candidates’ sex or gender – for instance, noting how they dressed or their family roles – was the same for men and women. Paul Ryan, hustling to the tailor to get that suit taken in, wouldn’t be surprised.

That is Danny Hayes, describing his new research with Jennifer Lawless over at Wonkblog.  More here, as part of the new “Polisci Perspective” feature.

One Response to Is There a Gender Bias in American Elections?

  1. Dick Whitman November 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Wrote my senior thesis on just this topic. My findings were that there was no gender bias, just that women weren’t running for elected office frequently enough to make a significant gain towards making our representation look more like our actual population. The fact of the matter is, when women run, they usually win. So in due time and with some more participation amongst women to be candidates, our gap in gender representation will shrink significantly.