Sex Differences in Political Participation: Processes of Change in Fourteen Nations

By Carol A. Christy | Go to book overview

( Christy 1980, pp. 407-15; see also Bashevkin ( 1984) and Lovenduski ( 1986, p. 121) for France, and Christy ( 1986a and 1986b) for Norway, Sweden, and Canada). Only more extensive data that include trends among groups can precisely determine and explain these crossnational variations in the rate of change.


Conclusion

None of the three models of change satisfactorily explain trends in sex differences in political participation in first world nations. Adequate interpretations must be worked out individually for each type of political participation. Trends in voting and campaign activity, for instance, are almost entirely shaped by institutional and political factors. German trends in participatory attitudes and communications activity do support the diffusion model, but the corresponding U.S. trends do not. And in neither country do these trends support either the development or the generational models: the pace of change is too irregular ( Germany) or weak ( United States), and the controls have no effect. The period of time covered by the surveys witnessed striking changes in egalitarian norms and sometimes also family organization. However, these changes often did not translate into greater equality in participatory resources, nor sometimes in participatory attitudes and behavior as well.

In the last chapter 1 will address the broader implications of these findings.


Notes
1.
Published information on economic development rates, including changes in the per capita GDP, are presented in Christy ( 1980). This information shows that the diminution of the primary sector in Germany has been more extensive than the survey data indicate, but that education, measured by years of schooling, has risen more extensively in the United States. Discrepancies between this information and the survey data are partly due to survey variations in the measure of head of household, treatment of the retired, and the coding of farm workers. However, both survey and published data concur that economic development was more rapid in Germany by some indicators but not others.
2.
Here and for communications activities the German election studies show a curvilinear trend, but the Allensbach data indicate a more linear diminution. The small number of data points in the Allensbach data may mask the curvilinearity of the trends. Or certain elections may particularly stimulate the participation of one sex. Perhaps the 1980 results were affected by the discussion of an election boycott by women to protest the

-112-

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Sex Differences in Political Participation: Processes of Change in Fourteen Nations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 32
  • 2 - Cross-National Variations 35
  • Notes 66
  • 3 - Within-Nation Variations 67
  • Notes 93
  • 4 - Temporal Variations 95
  • Notes 112
  • 5 - Conclusion 115
  • Appendix A The Surveys 123
  • Appendix B The Intervening and Dependent Variables 127
  • Appendix C The Independent Variables 133
  • Appendix D Sex Differences in Political Participation 139
  • References and Bibliography 155
  • Index 179
  • About the Author 193
  • Series Editors' Sketches 195
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