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Political Socialization, Party Identification, and the Gender Gap

Margaret C. Trevor
The Public Opinion Quarterly
Vol. 63, No. 1 (Spring, 1999), pp. 62-89
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2991269
Page Count: 28
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Political Socialization, Party Identification, and the Gender Gap
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Abstract

While it is a key explanatory factor in many areas, socialization is seemingly neglected as an explanation for differences in partisanship between men and women. Using a Markov model, I will show that individual level socialization patterns that appear in several studies of the American electorate as early as the 1960s can account for some of the aggregate differences that have been labeled as the "gender gap" in the 1980s and 1990s. Predictions of aggregate identification levels generated by this model can then be used to generate dynamic baselines of predicted levels of Democratic, independent, and Republican identification that clearly show differences between men and women. These baselines can be used to measure true effects of issues on party identification. Furthermore, ignoring these effects at the aggregate level can lead to incorrect conclusions about the relative levels influence of other factors on differences in voting patterns between men and women.

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