Is it Gender, Religion or Both? A Survey Experiment on Voter Preferences in Transitional Tunisia

54 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2013

See all articles by Amaney Jamal

Amaney Jamal

Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Lindsay Benstead

Portland State University

Ellen Lust

Yale University

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Scholars, policymakers, and citizens express concern about the impact of gender and Islam on political participation. Despite the attention, many questions remain: do male or female, religious or secular candidates, compete on an equal playing field? How do gender and Islam interact to affect electability? If biases exist, what explains them? We explore these questions through an experiment embedded in the Tunisian Post-Election Survey (TPES). We find little support for expectations drawn from modernization theory; secular, well-educated Tunisians are not more likely to support female candidates than religious, less-educated citizens. However, role congruity theory receives support. Religious voters of both genders support religious, female candidates, while those of both genders and religious orientations who value female participation support secular, female candidates. Explicating the mechanisms underlying biases extends our theoretical understanding of the relationship between gender, religion, and politics, and provides theoretical and policy insights into how biases can be diminished.

Suggested Citation

Jamal, Amaney and Benstead, Lindsay and Lust, Ellen, Is it Gender, Religion or Both? A Survey Experiment on Voter Preferences in Transitional Tunisia (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper, American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2299317

Amaney Jamal (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1013
United States

Lindsay Benstead

Portland State University ( email )

PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207
United States

Ellen Lust

Yale University ( email )

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