The political socialization effects of marriage for American women voters
Coloroso, Christina M.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Gender plays a critical role in the development of political behavior. Beginning at the earliest stages of life and continuing through adulthood, males and females are socialized to approach politics in accordance with prevalent gender norms and expectations. Socialization, especially when reinforced by situational and structural factors, aptly prepares women for roles as wives and homemakers rather than effective political actors. Despite these constraints, adult women express robust political preferences distinct from men. Women and men differ in partisan affiliation, ideology, issue and candidate preferences, and general approaches to politics. Combined these disparities are referred to as the Gender Gap. Though adulthood is generally considered a time of political stability, women commonly undergo one final socializing event which virtually eliminates the Gender Gap; marriage. This thesis examines the political socialization effects of marriage for women, using the American National Election Studies 2000, 2002 and 2004 Full Panel Survey. Results of logistic regressions indicate that as women transition from singlehood to marriage, they are significantly more likely to also change their political preferences to mirror those of their spouse.
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