The impact of gender and quality opposition on the relative assessment of candidate competency

Regina Branton, Ashley English, Samantha Pettey, Tiffany D. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Extant women & politics literature suggests males are perceived to be better leaders than females. Men are more likely than women to be perceived as competent, decisive, and capable of handling crises–all important qualities for elected officials. This research suggests, on average, female elected officials are viewed as less competent than their male colleagues. Yet, extant literature typically examines perceived competency of elected officials in a vacuum. Notably, the research does not take in to account how the gender and quality of opposing candidates may influence the perceived competency of an elected official. In this research note, we address this limitation by examining evaluations of members of the U.S. House (henceforth MC) relative to the evaluations of their challenger. We find gender differences are larger and more pronounced when we compare male and female MCs competing against quality challengers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalElectoral Studies
Volume54
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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