Are There Any Gender Gaps on Women's Issues? The Case of Abortion Labels
20 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2014 8, 22
Social scientists studying public opinion on abortion concentrate their research on questions that ask about conditions under which abortion should be legal. Rarely, do social scientist investigate the labels of pro-life versus pro-choice. Yet, this is the language of the public debate on the issue, with politicians, interest groups and activists proclaiming allegiance to one side or the other. This paper examines the public’s adoption of the pro-life and pro-choice labels. While these self-identifications are shaped by individual’s preferences on specific abortion issues, they also are influenced by the broader political orientations of partisanship and ideology. A gender gap in pro-life self-identification exists because men have become more likely to adopt this label in recent years. The public’s use of the pro-choice and pro-life labels appears to be an extension of partisan sorting.
Keywords: abortion, gender gap, pro-life, pro-choice
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