Gender Identity as a Political Cue: Voter Responses to Transgender Candidates

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Authors Philip Edward Jones, Paul R. Brewer
Journal/Conference Name THE JOURNAL OF POLITICS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Voters frequently use demographic characteristics such as race or gender as shortcuts when evaluating politicians. We use two survey experiments to show that candidates’ gender identity (specifically whether they identify as the same gender as the sex they were assigned at birth) functions as a similar cue. When a news story identified candidates as transgender, respondents rated them as more liberal and less likely to represent them, and less likely to receive their vote. The overall electoral penalty is moderated by voters’ party, ideology, religiosity, and authoritarianism. In contrast to research on other demographic cues, we find that these effects persist even in the presence of cues about the candidate’s party, suggesting that voters infer substantial information from politicians’ gender identity.
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language R
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