Participation of Young Female Voters

by Nina T on October 9, 2012 - 10:51pm

Kansas State University conducted a study in 2009 to see if the “Role Model Effect” played any role in young women having more political interest and participation. The “Role Model Effect” suggests that if there are female role models, such as Hilary Clinton, who ran in 2008 for the Democratic presidential nomination, there is an increased probability that young women will be more engaged in politics. Two studies were done to measure female engagement between 2006 and 2008 and whether or not young women were more gender-identified in 2008 than 2006.

The lack of female political leaders can make women feel as though they are not equally represented in government and that the issues that are important to them are not being heard. I find it surprising that the women were not significantly more connected to politics or more gender-identified when there is a female role model. This finding could be a result of not having a good representative sample because prior research has shown that there is a connection to a worthwhile female candidate and an increase in political conversation among young women.

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Reference:

Banwart, Mary Christine, Winfrey, Kelly. 2009. “Leadership, Gender, and Politics: Political Perceptions and Participation of Young Female Voters in a Presidential Primary.” Educational Characteristics 37 (1): 40-52.

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