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Gender Differences in Public Opinion: Values and Political Consequences, Mary-Kate Lizotte

Reviewed by Sarah Niebler

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To what extent can gender gaps on public policy issues be attributed to gender differences in prosocial values such as humanitarianism, egalitarianism, universalism, and benevolence? This is the fundamental question explored in Gender Differences in Public Opinion. In the book, Mary-Kate Lizotte cites research showing that gender gaps exist on many public policy issues as well as on these values, which leads her to hypothesize that “pro-social values will substantially account for the gender gap in policy positions across several policy areas [and that] women's propensity to care about the well-being of other people leads them to differ from men on a number of public policy positions” (p. 34).

Lizotte finds that women's greater support of prosocial values mediates the gender gap on issues related to the use of force, the environment, equal rights, and social welfare. Each of these broad public policy issues is the subject of its own chapter featuring a review of gender gaps found in academic articles and recent polling. Using American National Election Studies data from 1980 to 2012, Lizotte then examines the gender gaps herself, first without including any measure of prosocial values and then with the inclusion of such variable(s). In each chapter, Lizotte discusses the amount of the initial gender gap that is mediated by gend

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