Gender Gap

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When women obtained the right to vote nationwide in 1920, many observers argued that women would vote differently than men and, thus, change politics in America. Some even argued that the US would become a more peaceful country now that women had the vote. From 1920 until 1980, this was simply not true. Women voted on most issues about the same as men.

However, starting around 1980, the women’s vote began to diverge from the men’s vote. Women increasingly identified and voted for the Democratic Party, and they began to diverge from men giving more of their support to Democratic positions on economic, social, and foreign policy. There is some indication that men also began to lean toward Republican positions. In fact, because of this gender gap, some political observers jokingly refer to the Republican Party as the “daddy” party and the Democratic Party as the “mommy” party. In other words, men are taking a harder line on the issues and women a more nurturing position.

These are general observations about the sexes. Among women, there are definite differences. One may also note that there are distinct differences among women of different ethnicities and between married and single women. Nevertheless, the trends definitely demonstrate an overall gender gap.


Source 1: Percentage Who Favor Activist Government

Source 2: Party Identification by Marital Status

Source 3: Women, Men, and the Birth Control Insurance Mandate

Source 4: Gender Differences over Government Help for Elderly, Children, and the Poor

Source 5: Percentage Who Favor Legalized Abortion

Source 6: Percentage Who Favor Same-Sex Marriage

Source 7: Percentage Who Favor Environmental Protections, 2011

Source 8: Percentage Who Favor Diplomatic Solutions, 2011


Based on the sources provided, what do you predict would be voting women’s position or opinion on current issues? What specific source or sources provide the evidence? Answering in the follow chart.

Prediction Chart

Current Issue

Prediction of Women’s Position


Issue 1: Supreme Court decision favoring welfare reform

Women are in favor of the decision by the Supreme Court supporting welfare reforms. This is seen through the percentage of women who are in favor of an activist government that will foster development for citizens and enable home ownership among other benefits of a capitalist government system. The numbers of women supporting this decision has been higher than that of men over the years

Source 1: Percentage Who Favor Activist Government

Issue 2: Eliminating an old law that gives a man the right to control his wife’s share of their estate against her wishes

Women are in support of elimination of laws that put a man in control of a woman’s property through supporting an activist government. An activist government will result in more women being able to own property and make more decisions without their male counterparts governing their decisions or being in control over them. Women also offered more support to the Democratic Party and offered a nurturing position with their issues addressed by the party.

Source 2: Party Identification by Marital Status

Issue 3: Government assistance with the purchase of birth control pills for poor women

Most women share sentiments that the government does not do enough for people across all boards and therefore, the need for increased interventions to help in birth control. Women have also voiced their opinion in favor of religious institutions to stop objecting for contraceptive use to help in birth control.

Source 3: Women, Men, and the Birth Control Insurance Mandate

Issue 4: Universal pre-kindergarten care for children

Women voiced their voice in the surveys to show that they feel that children are not sufficiently cared for by the government. There is need for more interventions by the government to support children in kindergarten and other areas of their growth and development.

Source 4: Gender Differences over Government Help for Elderly, Children, and the Poor

Issue 5: Eliminating a law that prevents gay people from teaching in public schools

Women are in favor of same sex marriages, therefore, they are proponents for people being allowed to carry out their work duties as long as they carry them out effectively and not to be discriminated against in their workplace. There has been an increase in support for same-sex marriages which indicates that a higher percentage of women are not discriminative of people due to their sexual orientation.

Source 6: Percentage Who Favor Same-Sex Marriage

Issue 6: A new law that lowers the mileage standard on new trucks

Women are proponents for the country needing to put in more efforts in environmental management with most citing that not enough has been done to protect the environment.  Women, therefore, are against lowering the mileage standards for new trucks since this would increase pollution and lead to increased environmental corruption.

Source 7: Percentage Who Favor Environmental Protections, 2011

Issue 7: Sending ground troops to Syria

Women are more in support for good diplomacy efforts as opposed to military strength. In response to sending ground troops to Syria, more women are against it while many being in support of diplomatic efforts to maintain peace.

Source 8: Percentage Who Favor Diplomatic Solutions, 2011

Question: What are two compelling reasons in your opinion that the women’s vote diverged from the men’s vote starting around 1980? Type in a 50-word answer to this question.

I believe that the vote of women diverged from that of men because of their support on the positions of the Democratic Party on matters social, political and economic. The gender gap and men taking a hard line while women adopted a nurturing position towards issues thus leading to differing perspectives on the issues. Women also have issues that affect them in different ways from how they affect men such as issues of childbirth control, equality and ownership of property that result in the differences.

August 21, 2023


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Gender Roles

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