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External threat environments and individual bias against female leaders

Nam Kyu Kim and Alice J. Kang

Political Science Research and Methods, 2022, vol. 10, issue 1, 1-17

Abstract: We argue that a country's international security context influences individual bias against female leaders and propose three mechanisms: by increasing individual demand for defense, by shaping individual ideological orientations, and by increasing society's level of militarization. Using survey data of more than 200,000 individuals in 84 countries, we show the more hostile the country's security environment, the more individuals are likely to agree that men make better political leaders than do women. We also find support for some of our proposed mechanisms and that the effect of security environments is greater for men than women. Our study presents the first cross-national evidence that the country's international security environment correlates with bias against women leaders.

Date: 2022
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