Wiley Periodicals Early View - Online Version
campaigns, gender, gender essentialism, stereotypes
People often form negative attitudes against those who deviate from gender norms. Within the political realm, this has the potential to translate into effects on perceptions of candidate likability and traits. Female candidates who tend to focus on issues stereotypically thought of as feminine are generally more positively evaluated than those who focus on stereotypically masculine domains. The current studies investigate whether these effects vary depending on the extent to which people endorse gender essentialism, which is the tendency to attribute gender differences to relatively more intrinsic, innate, and immutable factors versus believing that gender differences are largely due to cultural and learned factors. Current data with adults across two studies suggest a number of interesting findings: Evaluations of candidates depended on an interaction between respondents’ gender essentialism and whether or not the candidate’s message fit traditional stereotypes. In particular, high essentialist respondents felt significantly more negative toward male candidates with nonstereotypic messages.
Meyer, Meredith, "Gender Essentialism and Responses to Candidates’ Messages" (2018). Psychology Faculty Scholarship. 2.