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Sexism, Racism, and Ageism in Voting Behavior: An Experimental Analysis

Lee Sigelman and Carol K. Sigelman
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 45, No. 4 (Dec., 1982), pp. 263-269
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3033922
Page Count: 7
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Sexism, Racism, and Ageism in Voting Behavior: An Experimental Analysis
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Abstract

In order to assess the impact of candidate characteristics and condidate-voter similarity on voting preferences, descriptions of candidates were presented to 1,158 voters in a simulated mayoral election. Five experimental candidates-white female, black female, black male, young white male, and elderly white male-were pitted in two-candidate races against a middle-aged, white male opponent. Ageism in voting patterns was stronger overall than either sexism or racism. The hypothesis that similarity breeds attraction received strong support in the form of pro-female bias among women, pro-black bias among blacks, and pro-white male bias among white males.

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