Lisa Hummel

Lisa Hummel
Changes in Support for Women in Politics Based on Political Ideology
2019 American Democracy Fellowship

Last year with support from Laboratory for the Study of American Values, Hummel ran a conjoint experiment to look at differences in support for women in political leadership based on political ideology. The results demonstrated a pattern where liberals expressed more support for women in politics compared to conservatives. Conservatives did not show a preference for a candidate on the basis of their gender, they were as likely to select a woman as a man. Meanwhile, liberals were significantly more likely than conservatives to support women in leadership positions over men. These findings are in line with existing survey data that I analyzed, where liberals showed more support for women in leadership, however more research is needed to fully understand how and why this pattern is emerging. /  / In order to better understand how and why conservatives and liberals react to a candidate based on the candidate’s gender and other attributes, I plan to run a follow-up conjoint study of 2,000 individuals on the Lucid platform. I will keep many aspects of this study the same as my conjoint experiment, but I seek to build on those findings by collecting data on more respondents to ensure my findings are robust. Additionally, I plan to vary whether or not the candidate has had to overcome hardship to become a political candidate. Similar to colorblind racism (Bonilla-Silva 2006), there may be a genderblind sexism that conservatives are more likely to employ; it may be the case that liberals show more support for women in politics over men if liberals perceive that women candidates needed to overcome more hardships to become candidates compared to men. Conservatives may be less likely to believe it takes more effort for women to become candidates, so that might explain why they do not show a gender based preference in my original conjoint. / 

Shifting Support: Changes in Support for Women in Politics Based on Political Ideology
2018–19 Survey Lab Project

Even in 2019, women are still not serving as political leaders at the same rates as men in the United States. Despite increases in the number of women in office, women’s participation in political office still pales in comparison to that of men. And the gains in women’s participation are not equally distributed across the political aisle; this disparity is especially stark when comparing the low levels of Republican women in office compared to Democrats. Given these issues it is important to consider the way an individual’s political ideology, or how liberal or conservative they are, impacts their support for women in political office. Based on results from a nationally representative sample of 1,835 U.S. adults, I have found that political liberals are more likely express support for women in political leadership than are conservatives. The results of a follow-up conjoint experiment of 1,000 U.S. adults show that when it comes to gender, liberals show a preference for women candidates compared to conservatives, whereas conservatives are less moved by candidate gender. These findings have important implications for the intersection of gender and politics within the United States.