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Gender and Citizen Participation: Is There a Different Voice?

Kay Lehman Schlozman, Nancy Burns, Sidney Verba and Jesse Donahue
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 39, No. 2 (May, 1995), pp. 267-293
DOI: 10.2307/2111613
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111613
Page Count: 27
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Gender and Citizen Participation: Is There a Different Voice?
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Abstract

Gender differences are considered in relation to citizen participation, an aspect of politics subject to more speculation than data when it comes to what Carol Gilligan so aptly termed "a different voice." Male and female activists specialize in different forms of activity, derive different gratifications from taking part, and bring different policy concerns to their participation. Tabular and logit analysis of survey data from the Citizen Participation Study. We find, overall, more similarity than difference between women and men. Gender differences are not necessarily what we might have expected. Although women are slightly less active than men, there is substantial similarity in the overall pattern of the participatory acts they undertake. With respect to the gratifications attendant to participation, women and men are similar in terms of how they recalled the reasons for their activity. Men and women address similar issues; when it comes to the content of participation, however, men and women do speak with different voices, with educational issues and abortion weighing especially heavily in the policy agendas of female activists.

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