Scientific article
Open access

When All Parties Nominate Women: The Role of Political Gender Stereotypes in Voters’ Choices

Published inPolitics & gender, vol. 15, no. 4, p. 746-772
Publication date2018-11-28
First online date2018-11-28


Do political gender stereotypes exist in egalitarian settings in which all parties nominate women? Do they matter for candidate selection in systems of proportional representation with multiparty competition and preferential voting? To date, these questions remain unanswered because related research is limited to the U.S. case. Our pioneering study examines political stereotypes in one of the “least likely” cases, Finland—a global forerunner in gender equality. We find, first, that stereotypes persist even in egalitarian paradises. Second, when testing across settings of candidate choice, we find that the effect varies greatly: political gender stereotypes are powerful in hypothetical choices, but they work neither in favor of nor against female candidates when many “real,” viable, experienced, and incumbent female candidates are competing. Although in open-list systems with preferential voting, gender stereotypes can directly affect female candidates’ electoral success, in Finland, their actual impact in real legislative elections appears marginal.

Citation (ISO format)
LEFKOFRIDI, Zoe, GIGER, Nathalie, HOLLI, Anne Maria. When All Parties Nominate Women: The Role of Political Gender Stereotypes in Voters’ Choices. In: Politics & gender, 2018, vol. 15, n° 4, p. 746–772. doi: 10.1017/S1743923X18000454
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1743-923X

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