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Understanding ambivalent sexism and its relationship with electoral choice in Britain

De Geus, R. ORCID:, Ralph-Morrow, E. and Shorrocks, R. (2022) Understanding ambivalent sexism and its relationship with electoral choice in Britain. British Journal of Political Science, 52 (4). pp. 1564-1583. ISSN 1469-2112

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0007123421000612


We investigate the prevalence and correlates of sexism in the British political context, using a measure of ambivalent sexism (Glick and Fiske 1996) which distinguishes between hostile and benevolent sexist attitudes. Drawing on original data from two nationally representative online surveys, we find that more than half of the population hold some sexist attitudes, and these are predicted by gender, education, religiosity, and authoritarian values. We demonstrate that the most significant division in sexist attitudes within the British electorate falls along political rather than gender lines, with men and women expressing more similar views about sexism than either Conservative and Labour voters, or Leave and Remain supporters. We also find that endorsing hostile sexism is associated with voting Conservative in the 2019 General Election, even after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and political values. Our findings reveal that sexism is important for political competition in contexts where gender is not obviously salient.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:100271
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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