Gender Gap is about Freedom vs. Security

It is well known that there is a political philosophy gender gap.  More men than women consider themselves libertarians and conservatives, while women are more likely to be liberals.

The dividing line seems to be on the role of government. Women, who tend to be the largest recipients of government services, tend to want to see a larger role for government than men.  Men tend to support the concept of limited government that is closer to the founding ideals of the United States.  Consequently, more men than women vote for Libertarian or Republican candidates while Democrats enjoy an advantage with women.

On the psychological level, we know there is a gender difference with respect to what men and women say they value. Men tend to value freedom, while most women place security at the top of their list of values. This a gender difference that may be connected to biology and will probably never change. The political gender gap reflects the psychological difference, especially as we have shifted from a society in which family and community were the primary guarantors of security to one in which government is playing a larger role.

The political gender gap is not surprising because big government advocates have been able to make a strong case that government services are keeping women secure. Apparently less men are convinced.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jack Thorsen on June 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Hmmm…. A corollary might be that a wife who feels that her husband provides her with security may also be more inclined to vote Republican than an unmarried woman or a woman married to a deadbeat! I’ll have to go check out the statistics on that.


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