How Gender Affects Negative and Positive Campaigning

Hilde Coffe, Theodora Helimaki, Åsa von Schoultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


While studies investigating gendered ways of campaigning have primarily focused on negative campaign strategies, we explore the extent to which women and men engage in negative and positive campaigning and how they are combined. Our analyses, relying on the 2019 Finnish Parliamentary Candidates Survey, shows that even in the Finnish context, with comparatively high levels of gender equality in society and politics, distinct gender patterns in campaigning occur. Women candidates report having campaigned more positively than men candidates, while men candidates are more likely to report having campaigned negatively than women candidates. We also find that men are more inclined to incorporate a balanced mixture of positive and negative campaign messages, while women predominantly rely on positive campaigning. Based on our findings, we conclude that women and men still do not compete in politics on equal terms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-335
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Women, Politics & Policy
Issue number3
Early online date10 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by The Academy of Finland (Grant number 316239).


  • Finland
  • Gender
  • negative campaigning
  • positive campaigning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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