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A high bar or a double standard? Gender, competence, and information in political campaigns.

Ditonto, Tessa (2017) 'A high bar or a double standard? Gender, competence, and information in political campaigns.', Political Behavior, 39 (2). pp. 301-325.


This study seeks to determine whether subjects in two dynamic process tracing experiments react differently to information related to a candidate’s competence when that candidate is a woman, vs. when he is a man. I find that subjects evaluate a candidate whose competence is in doubt less favorably, and are less likely to vote for the candidate, when she is a woman. In general, evaluations of women seem to be influenced much more by information related to their competence than are evaluations of men. I also find that competence as portrayed by the composition of a candidate’s facial features does not alter this relationship. My findings suggest that gender-based stereotypes may have an indirect effect on candidate evaluations and vote choice by influencing how voters react to information about them.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Political Behaviour. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:04 January 2021
Date of first online publication:04 August 2016
Date first made open access:04 January 2021

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