The independence gap and the gender gap

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37 Scopus citations


An independence gap, in which women are on average 6 percentage points less likely than men to view themselves as political independents, has existed in the United States for at least 40 years. Women opt for weak partisanship, while men choose the leaning-independent category. Demographic differences between men and women do not explain this gap. Indirect evidence indicates it may be due to men placing a greater value on separateness and women placing a greater value on connections with others. When leaning independents are ignored, the partisan gender gap appears to be due mainly to women's greater attraction to the Democratic Party, but when these independents are folded in with the appropriate partisan group, the gender gap is seen to be due equally to mens' greater attraction for the Republicans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-476
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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