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The Gender Gap in US Politics

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr Tessa Ditonto (Durham University) explores the gender gap in US Politics and electoral behaviour. In the first module, we introduce the concept of the gender gap and discuss how this relates to turnout in US elections. Then, in the second module, we discuss the gender gap and electoral choice (ie. how women and men vote in US elections), covering key statistics on 2016 and 2020. In the third module, we explore the origins of the gender gap, before turning in the fourth module to explore the existence of a gender gap outside of elections, including the gender gap as it pertains to women candidates and the concept of baseline gender preference. In the fifth and final module, we explore some of the consequences of the gender gap, focusing in particular on how the gender gap affects how political candidates campaign. Throughout, we underline the heterogeneity of women as a group and the importance of other demographic factors, beyond gender, in affecting how people vote in US elections. This course is particularly relevant to the US Politics section of the AQA and Edexcel A Level Politics specifications.

About the Lecturer

Dr. Ditonto is an associate professor in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. Her research interests include gender and politics, political psychology, American politics, and voting behaviour. Her work focuses in particular on perceptions of female political candidates, the role of stereotypes and prejudice in voter decision-making, and the effects of information and cognition on political behaviour. She recently wrote the entry for 'Voting and Gender' for The Sage Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender.