Bad for Men, Better for Women: The Impact of Stereotypes During Negative Campaigns

Bad for Men, Better for Women: The Impact of Stereotypes During Negative Campaigns In this paper, we examine whether the impact of negative advertising on citizens’ evaluations of candidates depends on the gender of the candidates. Given common gender stereotypes, we expect negative campaigning aimed at women candidates will affect citizens differently than negative campaigning against male candidates. The results of our study, derived from a survey experiment conducted on a nationwide sample of more than 700 citizens, demonstrate that negative commercials are less effective at depressing evaluations of woman candidates, compared to male candidates. The findings are consistent and strong, across a range of forces that people use to assess competing candidates (i.e., affect and trait evaluations, people’s beliefs about issues, anticipated vote choice). The tight control of the experimental design, including randomization of respondents into different conditions that vary in only one way, demonstrates that the gender of the candidate influences people’s reactions to different types of negative commercials. Political Behavior Springer Journals

Bad for Men, Better for Women: The Impact of Stereotypes During Negative Campaigns

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Springer US
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
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