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The Political Paradox of Gender: The Attitudes of Women and Men Toward Socially Compassionate and Morally Traditional Policies, 1973-1998 (WP-02-13)

Alice H. Eagly and Amanda Diekman

The attitudes of women in the United States are more socially compassionate and morally traditional than those of men. This study determined that these attitudinal sex differences were generally stable between 1973 and 1998 in the General Social Survey but varied in magnitude across sociodemographic variables such as education, labor force participation, and minority or majority group status. The alignment of women with the socially compassionate positions of the political left and the morally traditional positions of the right has the potential to produce instability in women's political commitments and party identifications as the issues that are critical to elections shift with current events.

Alice H. Eagly, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University

Amanda Diekman, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University

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