Exploring sex differences in attitudes towards the descriptive and substantive representation of women

Peter Allen, David Cutts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article unpacks the rationales that might be behind individual-level support for the idea that there ought to be more women present in political institutions. We outline two distinct rationales: the substantive position that sees an increase in women’s descriptive representation as important in bringing about a subsequent improvement in women’s substantive representation, or the justice-plus position that sees an increase in the descriptive representation of women as important for reasons of justice or other symbolic benefits. We find that women are more likely than men to support an increase in descriptive representation and that women are more likely to hold both the view that an increase in descriptive representation was desirable and that such an increase would improve the representation of women’s political interests. Men are found to be more likely to support an increase in descriptive representation but not relate descriptive representation to substantive representation in any way: the justice-plus rationale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)912-929
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Volume18
Issue number4
Early online date30 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

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