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Religion and Gender Politics: The Impact of Religion on Women and Gender Attitudes

Gender Politics Final Research Project

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Religion and Gender Politics: The Impact of Religion on Women and Gender Attitudes

Cameron Cowger, Derrick Williams, and JB Norcott

 

Abstract

There has been a rapid change and influx in new ideas and issues in the political arena. Politicians must understand that there is a rank of importance on issues in our modern society and it is intrinsically influenced by religion. Religion is a strong indicator in assessing voting behavior and how citizens perceive specific issues such as reproductive rights, women’s rights, economic equality, homosexuality, and even how men and women think about these issues differently. This study explains the effects of religion on voter’s attitudes towards women’s rights and gender equality issues. The results from a 2016 ANES Pilot study, which sought to discover preferences in the presidential primary, stereotyping, the economy, discrimination, race and racial consciousness, police use of force, and numerous policy issues, indeed showed a direct correlation between religion and voting behavior and a dissimilarity between women and men’s political views.
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Literature Review

Literature Review

In order to understand how religiosity affects voting behavior on women’s rights and gender equality issues, we wanted to first comprehend how religion shapes voter’s perception on gender rights and women’s flexibility in the political arena. The most interesting factor that we found are the social and political implications of religion that still make an impact on aspects like inequitable gender attitudes. Specifically, the political implications of religion have contested for much of the political and public roles. It is assumed that equality is a key indicator of the quality of our democratic culture. However, research shows that there are pivotal inconsistencies of democratic values such as human rights and gender equality. This has sparked constant debates of the political consequences and influences of religion.

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Findings

Findings

When we began the research project we formed two hypotheses: (H1) The more religious a person is, the less likely they are to support pro-women’s rights and gender equality issues, and (H2) Women will be more likely to support pro-women’s rights and gender equality issues than men, regardless of religiosity.  After examining data from the 2016 American National Election Survey, we found that we were partially correct on both of these predictions, and the correct answer was more complicated than we anticipated. Our results are represented using tables and graphs with all numbers plotted as percentages unless otherwise noted. The color coding represents the level of church attendance for each respondent with dark green meaning “often”, red meaning “sometimes”, and light green indicating “never”.

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Methodology

Methodology

In order to examine the potential effect of religion on gender related and women women’s rights issues, we used nationally representative survey data from 2016, designed and gathered by the American National Election Study(ANES) staff. This data shows the influence church attendance has on various aspects of gender related policy issues.  The ANES 2016 Pilot Study surveyed 1,200 US citizens over the age of 18 from across the country through an online opt-in panel. The respondents were selected from a large panel and matched in order to make the individuals completing the survey representative of the US population. Each respondent was asked a series of questions related to presidential primaries, stereotyping, the economy, discrimination, race and racial consciousness, police use of force, and numerous policy issues.

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