Good Girls Go to the Polling Booth, Bad Boys Go Everywhere

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Publication Title Good Girls Go to the Polling Booth, Bad Boys Go Everywhere
Description Participation research routinely reveals a gender gap with regard to most forms of political engagement. In the recent literature, differences in the availability of resources and civic skills are usually invoked as an explanation for this pattern. This theory focuses primarily on adult behavior and has not as yet been investigated among young people, for whom we can assume that resources are distributed more equally. In this article, we examine gender differences in the anticipation of political participation among American fourteen-year-olds, building on the 1999 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement study (n = 2,811). First, the results show that girls at this age mention even more actions they intend to engage in than do boys, so clearly the gender gap with regard to the level of participation has not yet emerged at that age. Second, we observe distinct patterns with regard to the kinds of actions favored, with girls being drawn more towards social movement-related forms of participation than boys, and with boys favoring radical and confrontational action repertoires as compared to girls. The results are important for the reconceptualization of the concept of political participation as well as for theories that explain the gender gap.
Publication Year 2008/10/15
Publication Author Dietlind Stolle, Marc Hooghe
Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Women & Politics
Major Funders
Publication Link https://doi.org/10.1300/J014v26n03_01