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Gender, Feminism, and Partisanship among Women's PAC Contributors

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Objective. We examine the political attitudes and priorities of contributors to two prominent women's PACs for evidence of a gender gap. Methods. A survey of contributors to EMILY's List and to WISH List shows that contributors to both organizations are overwhelmingly women. However, because EMILY's List is so large, there is a sufficient number of men to compare to the two groups of women using percentages and difference-of-means tests. Results. Partisanship is the overriding influence on political priorities and attitudes toward economic and social welfare policy. However, partisanship and gender interact to influence political attitudes in at least two areas. First, EMILY's List men are more supportive of militarism and use of force than are EMILY's List women, but they are less supportive than WISH List women. Second, the women of EMILY's List are more staunchly feminist than either EMILY's List men or WISH List women. Conclusions. We conclude that the source of each group's financial commitment to women's political equality and reproductive rights is different: for EMILY's List women, it is liberal feminism; for WISH List women, it is libertarianism; and for EMILY's List men, it is general egalitarianism.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of New Orleans

Publication date: 01 December 2001

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