This studies findings suggest that
although gender bias for political candidates is decreasing, there is still
significant gender bias when it comes to the policies in which candidate’s
support. These results could be a reflection of a study done by Kathleen Dolan
et al., in 2010, where results revealed that people want to see women in
elected office but still hold policy and trait stereotypes about women and men.

Meaning that when it comes to policy, stereotypical male issues (such as
foreign policy a federal budget and deficit) are deemed more important. We see
these results over and over again. Issues such as funding for planned
parenthood and gender equal pay initiatives are viewed as feminist issues that
people stray away from (Burn 2000). Since a majority of women who run for
office tend to be on the left of the political spectrum (Center for American
Women in Politics), the likelihood of them supporting such issues tend to be
greater. Resulting in less support for female related issues by voters. 

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Given the current political climate
the results of this study make sense. In the aftermath of the past two
Presidential elections, voting for women is what we “should” be doing. Voter’s
want to give off the appearance that they support gender equality in order to
obtain social acceptance (Hayes et. al. 2014). In short, voting for a female
candidate who does not support pro-female policy issues is the lesser of the
two gender evils. What this means is that people can feel good about voting for
a woman, (because society is telling them that is what they should be doing)
but are not willing to support females completely with policy issues. One
explanation for these findings could be that although participants feel
comfortable voting for a female candidate they are still apprehensive
supporting pro-female policies. Since issues such as funding for planned
parenthood and gender equal pay initiatives are hot button topics, people are
less willing to make definitive decisions on about them (Dolan, 2010).

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