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Like Mother, Like Daughter: Intergenerational Transmission of DK Response Rates

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Abstract

Attitude expression (and its opposite, DK response rate) is an important personal and political characteristic which is related to an individual's psychological and demographic traits. It is also transmitted from parent to child. In fact, it is transmitted to a greater degree than other political attitudes examined here, with the exception of partisanship. Owing to the fact that males show higher levels of attitude expression, and because this tendency is reinforced by cultural norms, the transmission process for attitude expression is conditioned by the sex of child and of parent. Compared with the father's impact, mothers are particularly influential in transmitting attitude expression to daughters. While fathers have a somewhat stronger effect on sons than do mothers, the difference is substantially smaller.

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... 3 the impact of biological differences, is often advanced for gender differences in political orientation (e.g., Verba, Schlozman, and Brady, 1995;Carroll, 1994;Darcy, Welch, and Clark, 1994;Thomas, 1994;Welch and Sigelman, 1989;Welch, 1978Welch, , 1977Kirkpatrick, 1974), the most enduring explanation for differences in political orientation in childhood stresses gender role socialization (Carroll, 1994: chapter 2, Note 10). Essentially, boys and girls are socialized differently (Lips, 1995;Gilligan, 1982), and girls actively are socialized away from endeavors such as politics that are widely perceived as a "man's game" (Sherkat and Blocker, 1994). 1 With the onset of feminism and the women's movement in the 1970s, some evidence suggested that gender differences in the political interest of boys and girls were narrowing (Owen and Dennis, 1988;Rapoport, 1985). Much of this research is decades old now, and not nearly enough is known about gender-related political differences in childhood in the early feminist era because research on childhood political differences and on the secondary consequences of gendered political socialization is sparse. ...
... Also, it has contributed to a re-evaluation of some of the fundamental assumptions about child socialization. Second, there is the recurrent theme that the gender gap in political orientation will waver over time due to changes in socialization and accompanying generational replacement (Abramson and Inglehart, 1992;Bennett and Bennett, 1989;Rapoport, 1982Rapoport, , 1985. Finally, the differing emphases on child socialization across racial and ethnic groups could exacerbate gender differences in childhood political orientation (Almquist, 1984). ...
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... Hence, we would expect mothers to have a stronger impact than fathers on the turnout of their daughters whereas fathers have more influence than mothers on their sons. Studies of political socialization have consistently shown that the mother-daughter link holds (see Atkeson and Rapoport 2003;Gidengil, O'Neill, and Young 2010;Owen and Dennis 1988;Rapoport 1985), whereas the father-son association has proved less consistent. Rapoport (1985) found that fathers had a somewhat stronger influence than mothers on their sons' opinion expression, though the difference between the fathers' and the mothers' influence was much smaller for sons than for daughters. ...
... Studies of political socialization have consistently shown that the mother-daughter link holds (see Atkeson and Rapoport 2003;Gidengil, O'Neill, and Young 2010;Owen and Dennis 1988;Rapoport 1985), whereas the father-son association has proved less consistent. Rapoport (1985) found that fathers had a somewhat stronger influence than mothers on their sons' opinion expression, though the difference between the fathers' and the mothers' influence was much smaller for sons than for daughters. However, other studies have reported that both parents appeared to influence their sons to more or less the same extent (Owen and Dennis 1988) or that neither parent influenced their sons' willingness to express political opinions (Atkeson and Rapoport 2003). ...
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... The men, by contrast, gave more consistent responses; only 4 of the 24 men changed a response to a DHS question in the baseline CIs. This gender difference corroborates those found in other settings, in which women more often than men express ambivalent responses to attitudinal questions (Atkeson and Rapoport 2003;Rapoport 1982Rapoport , 1985. In this context, this gender difference may have arisen because men in these communities are socialized to be much more sure of what they think is right. ...
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... Some argue that such responses reflect a non-random process and have substantive meanings for some questions in certain contexts (see discussion in Presser 1977, 1996). In the U.S., don't know has been a systematic response to a range of attitudinal questions, with common predictors including female gender, lower schooling, higher age, and minority race or ethnicity (e.g., Atkeson and Rapoport 2003;Francis and Busch 1975;Rapoport 1982Rapoport , 1985Presser 1977, 1996). Yet, the relevance of such findings for attitudinal questions about gender relations, or more specifically about IPV against women, in crosscultural context remains highly uncertain (Pulerwitz and Barker 2007). ...
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Using data from 165 participants in a survey experiment in six Ban-gladeshi villages, we explored the levels and correlates of women's indeterminate responses to a five-part attitudinal question on intimate partner violence (IPV) against women from the 2007 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. Over 80 % had indeterminate responses to all five parts of the question. Indeterminate responses included silence or initial non-response (53-58 %), misunderstanding the question (30-37 %), and conditional opinions (7-13 %). The percentages of women who justified IPV were lower when indeterminate responses were permitted (7-12 %) than when they were not (37-57 %). Older women (≥26 years) with less schooling (≤2 grades) whose husbands were older (≥36 years), had less schooling (≤8 grades), and were at least 7 years older than the respondent often had higher odds of giving indeterminate responses. Husbands' attributes and spousal age gaps were most consistently associated with women's indeterminate responses. Latent power, or fears of expressing transgressive views, may underlie women's indeterminate responses to attitudinal questions about IPV against women. Recommendations for further research are discussed.
... The first goes back to the earliest studies of gender and political action and that is the puzzle of women's low psychological involvement with politics, or, put the other way, the way Lazarsfeld, Berelson, and Gaudet would have preferred, men's high level of psychological involvement with politics. Evidence of these different levels of psychological involvement with politics is abundant (Delli Carpini and Keeter 1996; Delli Carpini and Keeter 1993; Bennett and Bennett 1989; Andersen 1975; Baxter and Lansing 1983; Beckwith 1986; Tolleson Rinehart 1992; Sapiro 1983; Soule and McGrath 1977; Rapoport 1985; Rapoport 1982). The most successful recent efforts to understand women's lower levels of political engagement have turned to look at politics itself, at the paucity of elite women in politics, especially. ...
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The literature on gender and political action comes in two forms–one that is aggregate, sometimes institutional, and often centered historically, and one that is individual and largely focused on the here and now. We care about both, of course–about the social organization and deployment of gender and about what gender means in individual lives. In this chapter, I argue that we should encourage these two kinds of analysis to engage each other more intimately. This engagement would give political scientists the tools to say more about when, for whom, and for which outcomes gender matters. The conversation would give us better ways to understand how context makes gender relevant.I believe gender is a property of collections of people and social systems. We care about it because it is about systematic disadvantage and advantage. In this chapter, I am especially interested in thinking about tools for identifying the political contexts in which this disadvantage and advantage come to matter in individual lives. If Iris Young is right in saying that gender is not much about a “self–consciously, mutually acknowledging collective with a self–conscious purpose,” that instead gender is a “less organized and unself-conscious collective unity” (Young 1994, 724), then part of our task as social scientists interested in gender is to come to understand when social and political contexts canmake gender relevant, sometimes in a way that people notice and call “gender,” and sometimes not.
... Nie, Junn, and Stehlik-Barry (1996) argue that education facilitates the acquisition and use of political information through expanded cognitive abilities (see also Krosnick and Milburn 1990;Zaller 1992). Atkeson and Rapoport (2003; see also Shapiro and Mahajan 1986) report that women choose "don't know" at a higher rate than men fairly consistently over the history of the NES, in part because of education and political awareness, but also because of intergenerational socialization (Rapoport 1982(Rapoport , 1985 and subjective political competence (Krosnick and Milburn 1990). For women, while political resources partly explain the opinionation gap (similar to selected findings of Burns, Schlozman, and Verba [2001] for the effect of resources on participation), they do not close the gap (Atkeson and Rapoport 2003). ...
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... Because cognitive dispositions such as the need to evaluate and need for cognition are also stable characteristics (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982;Cacioppo et al., 1996;, we may expect parents to play a formative role in how children come to process and integrate political information. Previous work has found significant parentchild correlations in the need for closure (Dhont, Roets, & Van Hiel, 2013), risk-taking (Dohmen, Falk, Huffman, & Sunde, 2012), the negative interpretation of novel or ambiguous information (i.e., interpretation bias; Creswell, Schniering, & Rapee, 2005), and the tendency to reply "don't know" on political questions (Rapoport, 1985), as well as mixed results on constructs like attributional biases (see, e.g., Alloy et al., 1999) and weaker parent-child correlations in broader thinking styles (Zhang, 2003). ...
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Cognitive motivations (e.g., need for cognition and need to evaluate) and decision strategies (e.g., rational choice vs. heuristic-based) importantly shape political understanding, evaluations, and vote choice. Despite the importance of these cognitive factors, few studies have examined their origins. Adopting an exploratory framework with a primary focus on parental influence, we uniquely address this research gap by identifying potential pathways through which parents can affect this development. Using a convenience sample of college students who participated in a 10-week panel study with their parents, we reveal that, unlike many other political characteristics, there is little parent-child similarity in cognitive motivations and decision strategies. We, however, find some similarity in the information search behaviors parents and children exhibit during the mock election campaign. The findings highlight the need to further investigate not only additional parenting behaviors, but also the socializing role of the information environment itself.
... If this preponderance of DKs occurs because scales tap both knowledge and personality, then past research using these scales possibly has misattributed identified effects. 6 Social scientists have addressed the possibility that DKs tap psychological states unrelated to the phenomena of interest, but this research has focused on attitude measures (e.g., Francis and Busch 1975;Rapoport 1979Rapoport , 1982Rapoport , 1985. The thinking that motivated these studies must now be used to guide reconsideration of the measurement of political knowledge. ...
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Political knowledge has emerged as one of the central variables in political behavior re- search, with numerous scholars devoting considerable effort to explaining variance in citizens' levels of knowledge and to understanding the consequences of this variance for representation. Although such substantive matters continue to receive exhaustive study, questions of measurement also warrant attention. I demonstrate that conventional mea- sures of political knowledge—constructed by summing a respondent's correct answers on a battery of factual items—are of uncertain validity. Rather than collapsing incorrect and "don't know" responses into a single absence-of-knowledge category, I introduce es- timation procedures that allow these effects to vary. Grouped-data multinomial logistic regression results demonstrate that incorrect answers and don't knows perform dissimi- larly, a finding that suggests deficiencies in the construct validity of conventional knowledge measures. The likely cause of the problem is traced to two sources: knowledge may not be discrete, meaning that a simple count of correct answers provides an imprecise measure; and, as demonstrated by the wealth of research conducted in the field of educational test- ing and psychology since the 1930s, measurement procedures used in political science potentially result in "knowledge" scales contaminated by systematic personality effects.
... The mother's influence is not confined to the elite level. When Ronald Rapoport (1985) examined the intergenerational transmission of political attitude expression, he found that mothers have more influence than fathers on their daughters' propensity to respond " don't know " . However, the mother-daughter correspondence was highest when the mother had a low level of opinionation, which undercuts the notion of a positive role model effect. ...
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This paper draws on data from a survey of women in English-speaking Canada to examine whether early exposure to politics in the home can serve to counteract the effects of female socialization. We examine the effect of parents' political activity on their adult daughters' interest in politics, political knowledge, and participation in both electoral (e.g. party membership and voting) and non-electoral (e.g. demonstrations and political consumerism) forms of political action. We argue that a politically active mother can have a role-model effect (net of other factors, such as education and age that might affect a women's level of political engagement) and that her influence will outweigh that of a politically active father.
... In one study women do so fairly consistently over the history of the NES (Atkeson and Rapoport 2003). Explanations based on gaps in political resources (Atkeson and Rapoport 2003), intergenerational socialization (Rapoport 1982Rapoport , 1985), network composition (Djupe forthcoming), and subjective political competence (Krosnick and Milburn 1990) together suggest the view of women as private actors. Whether choosing " don't know " means having no opinion, feeling inhibited about expressing one, or is reflective of some other process, more women than men are unable or unwilling to take part in the critical dialogue over public problems and policies. ...
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A generation of political network research has paid little attention to gender, rarely treating it as the subject of inquiry. At the same time, mechanisms of social influence often go unexamined in the literature. Troubled by these oversights, we employ original data and innovative survey items to consider how network construction, and importantly, network usage, are shaped by gender. Looking at dyadic interactions, we introduce the concept of “balance” (i.e., who initiates a conversation) and focus on its interplay with conflict avoidance and social location. Our results build on existing research noting differences in the structural determinants of the composition of men's and women’s political networks, but also indicate that men’s and women’s network usage is situational, subject to the context in which a relationship is formed.
... Likewise, fathers are expected to exert a stronger influence on their sons. Previous studies have thus distinguished a same-gender pattern of transmission (Langton & Jennings, 1969;Rapoport, 1985;Rico & Jennings, 2012). The stronger relationship between same-gender parent-child dyads builds on the process of social learning, of which imitation is an important mechanism. ...
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... Finally, the socialization process in gender roles establishes different beliefs and attitudes about politics (Jennings, 1983;Jennings and Niemi, 1971;Rapoport, 1985;Sapiro, 2004;Verba et al., 1997). Societies transmit gender roles to the new cohorts which will determine the political expectations of teenagers (Hooghe, 2004). ...
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Este artículo explora el rol de los recursos individuales, los factores situacionales y el proceso de socialización en la persistencia de las diferencias de género en las actitudes políticas, principalmente en el interés por la política. Prestamos especial atención a los factores situacionales, sobre todo aquellos que tienen que ver con el tiempo dedicado a las responsabilidades domésticas y de cuidado. A pesar de la creciente participación de la mujer en el mercado de trabajo y la progresiva equiparación en el nivel educativo de hombres y mujeres, la persistente desigualdad en la división sexual del trabajo doméstico reduce el tiempo libre de las mujeres así como las habilidades, recursos y conexiones sociales que podrían fomentar su implicación política, contribuyendo a mantener las diferencias de género en el interés por la política. This article explores the role of individual resources, situational factors, and the socialization process in the persistence of a gender gap in political dispositions, principally in political interest. We pay special attention to situational factors, especially those related to the time devoted to housework and caring responsibilities. Despite the growing participation of women in the labor market and increasingly comparable levels of male and female educational attainment, the enduring unequal sexual division of household tasks reduces women's time availability as well as the pool of skills, resources and social networks which could foster their political engagement, thus helping to sustain the gender gap in political interest.
... These patterns appear related to findings that women tend to trust those with whom they have direct relationships, while men trust those sharing group affiliations (Maddux and Brewer 2005). Women have been shown to be more likely to " tend and befriend " rather than engage in " fight or flight " when subjected to stress (Taylor et al. 2000 shows that women are more conflict avoidant (Ulbig and Funk 1999) and tend to evince opinions at lower rates (Atkeson and Rapoport 2003; Djupe 2010; Rapoport 1982 Rapoport , 1985), which can be seen as another way of avoiding conflict. Mondak and Anderson (2004) attribute at least part of women's lack of opinions to the way questions, especially political knowledge questions, are asked – these questions promote guessing, which men are more willing to do. ...
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Prior research on communication in social networks demonstrates its influence on a variety of democratic behaviors including opinion formation, tolerance, voting behavior, and participation. Largely unexplored in this literature is the potential for unexplored heterogeneity in social influence, particularly across gender lines. In this paper, we move the discussion forward by examining how classic results in the field of social communication, which often did not even control for gender, yield different results when we consider gender dynamics. Women's networks are constructed differently than men's, but women also use their networks differently and process information from them differently than men do. The gender dynamics of supply of and demand for political communication combine to change how we think about social influence, fundamentally altering some classic findings about social network effects.
... When studied longitudinally, however, parental attitudes did significantly predict the children's attitudes after childhood. In a political survey (Rapoport, 1985), partisanship and attitude expression (including "don't know" response rates) were found to have significant correlations across two generations. ...
... Much of the research on female office holders, for example, has emphasized the role of important female role models in their youth (Kirkpatrick 1974). Rapoport (1985) found that females were influenced disproportionately by mothers, and sons by fathers, in their patterns of attitude expression. We might expect to find similar relationships here if we had the appropriate data. ...
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We examine the differences in attitude expression between men and women over the past 50 years. Using the National Election Study (NES), we examine both the number of open-ended comments expressing like and dislike of candidates and parties and the percentage of times women responded "don't know" to specific closed-ended questions relating to policies, candidates, and groups. We find that women are less likely to express as many likes and dislikes toward the parties and candidates and are more likely to respond "don't know" than men. It is interesting that this difference has shown little change over the past 50 years. Using models that tap traditional reasons for differences between men and women, including political and psychological resources, we find that a political resource model diminishes the gender effect but does not eliminate it. The continued and unabated differences between men and women in their willingness to openly express political attitudes suggest that political socialization differences between men and women have not disappeared despite female increases in resources and other forms of political activity such as voting. We show that this failure to express attitudes in the survey situation helps explain the continuing gender differences for forms of political activity other than voting.
... Finally, the socialization process in gender roles establishes different beliefs and attitudes about politics (Jennings, 1983;Jennings and Niemi, 1971;Rapoport, 1985;Sapiro, 2004;Verba et al., 1997). Societies transmit gender roles to the new cohorts which will determine the political expectations of teenagers (Hooghe, 2004). ...
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This article explores the role of individual resources, situational factors, and the socialization process in the persistence of a gender gap in political dispositions, principally in political interest. We pay special attention to situational factors, especially those related to the time devoted to housework and caring responsibilities. Despite the growing participation of women in the labor market and increasingly comparable levels of male and female educational attainment, the enduring unequal sexual division of household tasks reduces women's time availability as well as the pool of skills, resources and social networks which could foster their political engagement, thus helping to sustain the gender gap in political interest.
... Es decir, «las habilidades valiosas en el mercado son (al menos) parcialmente función del tiempo dedicado al trabajo doméstico» (Iversen y Rosenbluth, 2006: 6) (traducción de los autores). Y, fi nalmente, el proceso de socialización en roles de género establece diferentes creencias y actitudes sobre la política ( Jennings, 1983;Jennings y Niemi, 1971; Rapoport, 1985;Sapiro, 2004;Verba et al., 1997). Las sociedades transmiten roles de género a las nuevas cohortes, lo que determina las expectativas políticas de los y de las adolescentes (Hooghe, 2004). ...
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Este artículo explora el rol de los recursos individuales, los factores situacionales y el proceso de socialización en la persistencia de las diferencias de género en las actitudes políticas, principalmente en el interés por la política. Prestamos especial atención a los factores situacionales, sobre todo aquellos que tienen que ver con el tiempo dedicado a las responsabilidades domésticas y de cuidado. A pesar de la creciente participación de la mujer en el mercado de trabajo y la progresiva equiparación en el nivel educativo de hombres y mujeres, la persistente desigualdad en la división sexual del trabajo doméstico reduce el tiempo libre de las mujeres así como las habilidades, recursos y conexiones sociales que podrían fomentar su implicación política, contribuyendo a mantener las diferencias de género en el interés por la política.
... There are numerous studies of the link between interest and DK responses (Converse 1976-77;Francis and Busch 1975). And Rapoport (1985) discovered intergenerational connections between DK response rates of mothers and daughters. As noted above, our hypothesis combines these perspectives by suggesting that education, interest, and gender should distinguish three levels of responses-substantive-accurate, substantive-inaccurate, and DK. ...
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Responses to autobiographical questions are known to represent more than simply retrieval of information from memory; inference, cuing, and “availability” all play a role. Using responses to items in four different surveys, we find that respondent motivation and ability, together with contextual cues, help determine how survey respondents answer knowledge questions about the world around us. Thus, we extend the domain of factual items for which the role of inferential processes is recognized, and we specify more precisely the kinds of factors that respondents use in answering such questions. We also find suggestive evidence that attitudes influence answers to information questions, thus extending as well the kinds of factors seen as likely to affect reports about facts.
... Thus, upon reaching adulthood daughters need not necessarily replicate their mothers' behaviour (Schino et al., 2004). Despite Altmann's (1980) suggestion that female baboons (and thereby other primate species) may be specially primed to learn social relationships from mothers' behaviour, few studies directly address whether or how offspring sex interacts with the use of mother as a referential model (Rapoport, 1985; McGrew, 1992; Bernstein et al., 1993; Deputte & Quris, 1996; Lonsdorf et al., 2004; Lonsdorf, 2005 Lonsdorf, , 2006 ). Most of the prior work focuses on daughters or analyzes and reports sex differences as an intervening variable , rather than being included in hypotheses, even though sex differences in learning abilities during development exist (). ...
... On the other hand, a second group of authors has highlighted the fact that socialization goes further than the social division of roles. Cultural feminism, evolutionary psychology, and biosocial role theory have argued for the existence of "feminine values" of cooperation and care, opposed to "masculine values" of confrontation and aggressiveness (Eichenberg and Read 2015;Jelen, Thomas, and Wilcox 1994;Rapoport 1985). The gendered division of social roles reflects these varying sensibilities and has a subsequent impact on career choices. ...
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In recent decades, differences between men and women have blurred in many social dimensions, including levels of educational attainment or access to the labor market. However, this increase in equality has not been reflected in a proportional reduction in the gender gap in political interest. This paper evaluates the extent of gender differences in political interest regarding different arenas, considering the moderating effect of marriage and caring for others using data from the Citizenship, Involvement, and Democracy Project. Although women generally find local politics more interesting than national politics, family, and caring responsibilities are still a source of disadvantage.
... It is possible that this may suggest an overarching awareness of the value of the coast more broadly, rather than saltmarshes in particular and could be indicative of public perceptions towards other, historically under-valued and misunderstood, temperate coastal fringe systems. Furthermore, it should be noted that female respondents are often more likely to agree with statements presented to them (Rapoport, 1985), which may explain some of the variation in the results seen in this study. However, more in-depth work is required to understand both positive and negative attitudes and perceptions towards saltmarshes and other coastal fringe environments. ...
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As the field of public perceptions research continues to grow alongside an increasing recognition of the importance of understanding the complex interactions between society and the natural environment, this needs to consider all types of ecosystem, habitat and species. Although interest in public perceptions towards the global seas and coasts is increasing, the field is dominated by research focused on charismatic environments and species (e.g. coral reefs or marine mammals), and specific activities or human interactions with the seas and/or coasts (e.g. beach use, marine renewable energy). Whilst there has been some research on beaches and sand dunes, this is the first discrete piece of research which evaluates public views on the less ‘attractive’ coastal fringe environments, such as saltmarshes or mudflats, particularly in temperate regions. This paper presents the findings of a national survey (n = 1136) that aimed to understand public awareness and attitudes towards Welsh saltmarshes, and the ecosystem services and benefits derived from such systems. Through the questionnaire, we found limited public awareness, and a high amount of uncertainty, associated with saltmarshes and their societal benefits, indicating a need to foster and enhance current levels of public knowledge and understanding of saltmarshes, and their role within the wider coastal landscape. The influence of a range of respondent characteristics on perceptions. Given the position of salt marshes at the land-sea interface, the myriad of socio-ecological interactions they experience, and ongoing efforts to develop effective complementary marine and land-based planning and management, it is increasingly apparent that understanding public perceptions towards saltmarshes is crucial. This study contributes to the evidence base of public attitudes for the more commonly under-valued coastal fringe environments, such as saltmarshes.
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This paper develops and describes latent class models which can be used to analyze dichotomous questions that include don't know (DK) responses. The models allow the researcher to account for different origins of the DK response; in particular, to account for DKs originating from nonattitudes, from equivocation, from an item whose cut point lies near a respondent's ideal point on the attitude, and from item misunderstanding. The models are illustrated on data involving the trade-off between environmental and economic concerns obtained by mail survey in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area. A model which includes a modified Guttman scale structure for substantive attitude holders and a separate DK class fits these data very well. In order to show the usefulness of the models, the respondents are assigned to latent classes according to this model and the characteristics of the latent classes are contrasted on attitudinal, behavioral, and demographic variables.
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Although don't know replies are often observed in survey research in sizable frequencies, relatively little systematic attention has been focused on understanding the nature of such responses across multiple topic areas. Decisions about the meaning of don't know responses have important ramifications in designing research methodology, conducting data analysis, and interpreting statistical findings. This article 1) outlines consequences of these decisions in survey research analysis, 2) investigates demographic and involvement correlates of don't know responses, and 3) examines the noncontent nature of don't know responses measured in terms of within-subject tendencies to give such responses across topic areas.
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Objectives. This study examines gender gaps in civic participation by describing gaps in on-line participation and by explaining whether socialization, situation, or structure best account for gaps. Methods. Cross-tabulations and OLS regression were used to analyze 2000 GSS data, which show that men are more likely to have used a computer or the web and to use the web or chat rooms more. Results. Few gender differences exist in on-line civic participation. Men more frequently use government information websites and discuss political views, the economy, foreign affairs, and taxes on the web. Women tend to visit websites to better understand issue complexities and to discuss or learn about gender or women's issues. Marital or work situations do not influence discussion, but the structural variable of education specifies some on-line civic participation. Conclusion. Social status is better than gender at explaining civic participation in general, political information source gathering, and versatility of political interests pursued on-line.
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A considerable body of data suggests that men know more about politics than do women. Although gender gaps exist in other aspects of political behavior, the unusual magnitude of the gender gap makes it particularly perplexing. In this paper, we advance and test the hypothesis that the knowledge gap is partly an artifact of how knowledge is measured. If men are disproportionately more likely to guess than are women, then observed gender disparities in knowledge will be artificially inflated. To test this hypothesis, we reexamine data used in two recent inquiries concerning the gender gap in knowledge, along with experimental data from the 1998 NES Pilot Study. All analyses point to a common conclusion: approximately 50% of the gender gap is illusory, reflecting response patterns that work to the collective advantage of male respondents.
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Based on data from the 1990s, this article analyses the gender gap in political participation in Spain and the factors which explain it. Three alternative theoretical models are empirically considered: the structural, the situational, and the 'political disposition' models. Two-step regression analyses show that these three theoretical accounts are needed to understand gender differences in political participation, but, even then, some of these differences remain unexplained. Lastly, reference is made to the importance of considering the effects of latent factors such as socialization processes in gender roles.
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Converse (1964) proposed the black-an-white model of attitude stability to describe over-time resonses to repeated questions. The model consist of two groups who are maximally heterogeneous on the crystallization dimension of attitudes. The class of "true attitude" holders provides an identical response at each time period with certainty; the over-time responses of the class of "nonattitude" holders are statistically independent. Previous research employing this model with three-wave panel data has considered all respondents who provided even one "no opinion" or equivocal response as nonopinion holders and combined this group with the estimated nonattitudes under the model. This results in very high levels of nonattitudes. In this research, an argument is developed for treating the nonsubstantive responses probabilitstically. When the tabulations analyzed include an equivocal response category, the simple black-and-white model no longer fits. An alternative black-gray-white model is proposed that fits the...
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This research addresses the effects of interviewer gender on responses to a broad array of gender-related survey questions, using data from a probability sample of adults in the United States. We focus on whether gender-of-interviewer effects are evident, whether they vary by respondent gender, and whether they vary across several attitudinal domains relevant to gender inequality. While many items do not show statistically significant gender-of-interviewer effects, we document significant effects across a variety of items. When such effects are evident, they tend to involve both male and female respondents expressing more egalitarian gender-related attitudes or greater criticism of existing gender inequalities to female interviewers. Male respondents offer significantly different responses to male and female interviewers on questions dealing with gender inequality in employment. For female respondents, interviewer-gender effects are evident for items addressing gender-related collective action, policy, and group interests. Using multivariate models that allow us to represent both respondent-level and interviewer-level variables, we find that interviewer-gender effects are statistically significant in most attitudinal domains but that the interaction between interviewer gender and respondent gender does not tend to be statistically significant. We consider the implications of these findings both for understanding the survey process and for understanding gender relations more generally.
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Although women now vote in national elections at the same rate as men, they are still less politically interested. Using regression analysis and two new scales to tap an orientation toward women's place in the public arena (Traditional Feminine Role Scale) and political interest (Political Apathy Scale), this article seeks to test the utility of the three standard explanations for women's political orientations (situational, structural, and sex-role socialization) in understanding the continuing "gender gap" in political interest. Other than education, situational and structural factors are found to have minimal explanatory capacity. Aside from education, political dispositions far outstrip situational and structural factors as predictors of attentiveness. Strongest support for the impact of socialization is provided by the different predictors of interest among different age groups. Among women under 30 education is less important as a predictor than is partisanship. Among women over 45, the Traditional Feminine Role Scale emerges as an increasingly important predictor as they age. We also report different motivations behind men's and women's decisions to vote or to abstain.
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In previous research scholars consistently have documented that women in the United States are less psychologically engaged in the political process than men. Utilizing the unique electoral circumstances surrounding the 1990 and 1992 Senate elections, I determine if the presence of female candidates increases the psychological engagement of women in the electoral process. The empirical analyses suggest that the presence of female candidates by itself does not serve to increase women's engagement in the electoral process. Instead, the combination of issues involving women's representation in politics and female candidates serves to heighten women's psychological engagement in the electoral process. The importance of these results for a symbolic theory of representation and women's engagement in politics is discussed.
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General Social Surveys from 1974 to 1989 show that, although traditional conceptions of gender roles in politics have declined, one-fifth of the public adhered to older beliefs in the late 1980s. Multivariate statistical analyses show that, among women and men, the strongest predictors of attitudes about political gender roles are age, education, religious fundamentalism/modernism, political ideology, region, and frequency of church attendance. Although the percentage of the public with modern views of political gender roles will increase as older, lesser educated persons pass from the electorate, there is concern, for well-educated young men in the late 1980s were no more committed to gender equality than were men who attended college in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
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American citizens differ from one another in terms of the number of opinions they have toward government policies. This article proposes and tests a psychological model of the determinants of political opinionation that accounts for this variation across citizens. The theory posits four causal factors that are thought to interact with one another in determining an individual's level of opinionation: objective political competence, subjective political competence, perceptions of politicians' interest in citizens' opinions on policy issues, and general cognitive sophistication. Analyses of data from all of the American National Election Studies conducted in presidential election years between 1956 and 1984 provided support for some aspects of the theory and challenged others. Our analyses also identified relations of age, gender, and race to political opinionation and provided explanations for these relations.
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This paper is aimed at analysing the current low level of gender parity representation to Spanish Congress of Representatives along the 11 general elections. To achieve parity with the current legislation depends on the will of the political parties. It is set out as alternative the method of triple zipper applied to the closed and blocked lists, and it is shown the effect that this method would had in all the general elections. The triple zipper requires that each party heads the half of its lists with a given gender and the other half with the opposite gender, and in each constituency the half of the parties heads their lists with a gender and the other half with the opposite one. Thereby a high parliamentary gender parity is achieved, but it limits the decision-making power of parties in the elaboration of their lists.
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An Assessment of Articles About Women in the “Top 15” Political Science Journals* - Volume 26 Issue 3 - Rita Mae Kelly, Kimberly Fisher
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Objectives. This article examines the impact of “don't know” responses on cross-national measures of knowledge regarding science and the environment. Specifically, we explore cross-national variance in aggregate knowledge levels and the gender gap in knowledge in each of 20 nations to determine whether response-set effects contribute to observed variance. Methods. Analyses focus on a 12-item true-false knowledge battery asked as part of a 1993 International Social Survey Program environmental survey. Whereas most research on knowledge codes incorrect and “don't know” responses identically, we differentiate these response forms and develop procedures to identify and account for systematic differences in the tendency to guess. Results. Substantial cross-national variance in guessing rates is identified, variance that contributes markedly to variance in observed “knowledge” levels. Also, men are found to guess at higher rates than women, a tendency that exaggerates the magnitude of the observed gender gap in knowledge. Conclusions. Recent research has suggested that “don't know” responses pose threats to the validity of inferences derived from measures of political knowledge in the United States. Our results indicate that a similar risk exists with cross-national measures of knowledge of science and the environment. It follows that considerable caution must be exercised when comparing data drawn from different nations and cultures.
Article
This paper starts from the premise that traditional views of political roles among married couples emphasize role-differentiation, leading to masculine superiority; more recent perspectives stress role-sharing, leading to equality. The implications for individual political participation and political socialization vary according to the prevalence of and conditions surrounding the two patterns. Interview data from a national sample of middle-aged couples reveal substantial equality with respect to command over political resources, attention paid to politics, and manifest political participation. Levels of equality remain high under a variety of controls. When inequalities do exist, male dominance is more common, but the extent of that dominance varies across the range of political labor. Superiority of either parent in one arena tends to occur in others also, suggesting fixed modes of behavior. The relative advantage in education and personal efficacy which one partner holds over the other vitally affects the political advantage. These factors and mother's employment status operate more strongly among working class than middle class couples. Age of children has no appreciable impact. To achieve political parity or superiority mothers ordinarily need extraordinary resources to overcome the built-in constraints of culturally-defined sex roles.
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Females have consistently shown higher DK response rates than males in surveys. Using the 1972 Center for Political Studies National Election Study, this sex difference is shown to be a largely generational phenomenon which is much greater among older than younger respondents. It also declines at higher levels of political knowledge and interest. Finally, using the CPS 1972–76 national panel, DK response rate shows high test-retest reliability.
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On poll questions, levels of expressed public ignorance or indifference—No Opinion or Don't Know—can be explained in some part by certain properties of the questions pollsters ask, although the educational level of respondents is the single best predictor. No Opinion levels are analyzed in two large sets of recent poll questions published by Gallup and Harris. A measure of the language complexity of the questions shows no relationship to DK. Of the three other question predictors assessed, it is question content which best illuminates levels of No Opinion in both polls and points to some unique characteristics of each. The importance of question content is demonstrated in two additional sets of Gallup and Harris data. The more difficult kind of question content dominates in all four sets of poll questions examined.
Article
Does the fact that only a third of the respondents answering a mail questionnaire answer all items reduce substantially the reliability of the results? This is a study of 14,600 usable questionnaires from a 40,000 mailing. It analyzes item nonresponses by characteristics of respondents and by type, position, and repetition of questions.