.

  • Written by Leah Ruppanner, Associate Professor in Sociology and Co-Director of The Policy Lab, University of Melbourne
Women’s perceptions of 'gender linked fate' were contingent on two dimensions: their race and their marital status. Shutterstock

The polls were wrong in the last US and Australian federal elections. Hillary Clinton was favoured to win at a margin of 85% to Donald Trump’s 15%. And Bill Shorten was expected to defeat Scott Morrison.

But what the polls perhaps didn’t reveal was that conservative candidates in both countries had captured an unexpected electorate: women.

Hillary Clinton performed poorly among white women because, as some argued, she couldn’t emotionally connect to voters.

Bill Shorten also lost women’s votes, pushing them towards the Coalition.


Read more: She'll be right: why conservative voters fail to see gender as an obstacle to political success


Women are swinging elections in the US and Australia in ways analysts have struggled to predict. So, what is going on with female voters? Our two recent studies can help explain.

Gender linked fate

Our earlier study suggests a key to understanding women’s political attitudes is their perception their futures are connected to what happens to other women, or their “gender linked fate”.

The idea of a linked fate has long been used to explain voting patterns of racial minority groups. Individual African-Americans, for example, have generally understood their futures to be closely tied to the well-being of the whole group.

This sense of linked fate helps explain why African-Americans vote as a block for more liberal candidates. Supporting the group is more important than individual preferences.

In this study, we assessed whether women experience a sense of linked fate to other women. And we found something striking in our US sample. Women’s perceptions of gender linked fate were contingent on two dimensions: their race and their marital status.

African-American women reported higher levels of gender-linked fate than whites, regardless of whether they were married, single or divorced. But for white and Latina women, gender-linked fate was tied to their marital status.

Only 18% of married white women reported their futures were strongly connected to other women compared to 38% of single and 30% of divorced white women. The patterns are similar for Latina women. This means for these two racial groups, heterosexual marriage leads them to feel less connected to other women.


Read more: NZ was first to grant women the vote in 1893, but then took 26 years to let them stand for parliament


Marriage is shown to shift couples’ attitudes, making them more similar to each other over the course of marriage. But, the shift is not even.

Rather, women become more conservative and see themselves as less connected to other women over the duration of the marriage.

Single women, on the other hand, are more supportive of feminist issues than married women, with feminist attitudes intensifying for women who rely more heavily on their own earnings.

Essentially, the institution of marriage traditionalises women’s attitudes and, as our study shows, this is pronounced for white women.

Weak gender linked fate

In the US, we found white married women’s lower levels of gender-linked fate helps explain their tendency to identify as a conservative and vote for the Republican party, and their weaker support for abortion.

These findings are important in the context of American politics. The election of Donald Trump and the passage of heartbeat bills (a ban of any abortion once a heartbeat of a fetus can be detected, six to eight weeks after conception) across six US states are major swings to the right.

The assumption that women would vote for Clinton or that women would support abortion because they are women are not shown in the data.

Our research helps explain one piece of this puzzle – married white and Latina women don’t necessarily see their futures as tied to other women.

So, who are they tied to? Our research suggests men.

Women’s connection to men

We have since collected new data on 317 American white women and asked them about their connection to women and men.

From our interviews, we found conservative women were more likely to report that as things get better for men, they believed their own life also improved. Women who are more liberal were less likely to agree with this statement.

In contrast, liberal married women were more likely to say they would give up some of their resources (such as economic resources or class privilege) to benefit other women – a claim conservative women by and large did not make.

And, more politically liberal women reported their connection to other women has strengthened by 25% in the current political climate, over the past two years, compared to 8% among conservative women.

Simply, conservative white women are less connected to other women and more connected to men.


Read more: A 'woman problem'? No, the Liberals have a 'man problem', and they need to fix it


The US is distinct in its racial, political and marital composition, but there are some lessons to be learned for the current Australian political climate.

The 2019 federal election showed women weren’t aligned with Labor in the way the polls predicted.

Something in Coalition’s message resonates with Australian women. Our research suggests these messages may be particularly powerful to certain groups of women – married, white and conservative – who are watching their family’s futures change.

Leah Ruppanner receives funding from the Australian Research Council.

Christopher Stout, Gosia Mikolajczak, and Kelsy Kretschmer do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Authors: Leah Ruppanner, Associate Professor in Sociology and Co-Director of The Policy Lab, University of Melbourne

Read more http://theconversation.com/why-white-married-women-are-more-likely-to-vote-for-conservative-parties-124783

Golf Polo Shirts - Dressing Etiquette While Playing Golf

Have you ever pondered as to why the game of Golf has a more formal look and feel than most other sports? The origin of the sport has a lot to do with the dress code. Yes, you may be already guessin...

News Company - avatar News Company

Albanese promises a 'productivity project' in an economic vision statement harking back to Hawke and Keating

Anthony Albanese puts a “productivity project” at the centre of his economic agenda in the second of his “vision statements”, which seeks to further distance him from the Short...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Friday essay: George Eliot 200 years on - a scandalous life, a brilliant mind and a huge literary legacy

A portrait of George Eliot at 30 by Alexandre-Louis-François d'Albert-Durade. Her masterpiece Middlemarch is often claimed to be the greatest novel in the English language. Wikimedia CommonsMa...

Camilla Nelson, Associate Professor in Media, University of Notre Dame Australia - avatar Camilla Nelson, Associate Professor in Media, University of Notre Dame Australia

These young Muslim Australians want to meet Islamophobes and change their minds. And it's working

While most research participants believe in the power of contact, dialogue and exchange to transform negative attitudes. ShutterstockThe political influence of the far-right, along with a more salien...

Ihsan Yilmaz, Research Professor and Chair in Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue, Deakin University - avatar Ihsan Yilmaz, Research Professor and Chair in Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue, Deakin University

From Marie Kondo's tuning fork to vibrators for 'hysteria': a short, shaky history of curing with vibrations

Vibration devices have been used to treat everything from 'hysteria' to hair loss. So Marie Kondo's tuning forks and crystals are nothing new. from www.shutterstock.comYou might remember how Gwyneth P...

Philippa Martyr, Lecturer, Pharmacology, Women's Health, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Western Australia - avatar Philippa Martyr, Lecturer, Pharmacology, Women's Health, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Western Australia

Five ways parents can help their kids take risks – and why it’s good for them

Have real conversations with your kids about what they're doing, and the potential consequences of their actions. from shutterstock.comMany parents and educators agree children need to take risks. In ...

Linda Newman, Associate Professor, University of Newcastle - avatar Linda Newman, Associate Professor, University of Newcastle

Smoke haze hurts financial markets as well as the environment

Sydney is currently blanketed by smoke haze from severe bushfires that have burned through New South Wales. Air pollution levels on Thursday reached hazardous levels for the second time in a week. T...

Naomi Soderstrom, Professor of Accounting and Deputy Head of Department, University of Melbourne - avatar Naomi Soderstrom, Professor of Accounting and Deputy Head of Department, University of Melbourne

Vital Signs. Untaxing childcare is a bold idea that seems unfair, but might benefit us all

Win-win? No-one would be worse off under the UNSW proposal. Over time it should pay for itself ShutterstockAustralia’s system of childcare support is pretty good. It ensures high-quality care ...

Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW - avatar Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW

Curious Kids: why does wood crackle in a fire?

If you've ever put wet wood on to a fire, you may have noticed it makes a lot more noise than dry wood. Shutterstock Why does wood crackle in a fire? – Rocco, age 6 (nearly 7!) Hi Rocco, th...

Rachael Helene Nolan, Postdoctoral research fellow, Western Sydney University - avatar Rachael Helene Nolan, Postdoctoral research fellow, Western Sydney University

How 1 bright light in a bleak social housing policy landscape could shine more brightly

In the year since the Australian government created the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), its bond aggregator, AHBA, has raised funds for affordable housing providers, allo...

Julie Lawson, Honorary Associate Professor, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University - avatar Julie Lawson, Honorary Associate Professor, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University

Grattan on Friday: Scott Morrison will go into 2020 with a challenging cluster of policy loose ends

Scott Morrison’s government is heading to the end of 2019 amid a debate about its economic judgement and with a number of substantial policy moves started but not completed. Morrison this week ...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Office Interior Design Trends for 2020

We are approaching the end of yet another year filled with a combination of pleasant memories and those less memorable. It is usually at this moment that we start reflecting on what we’ve done a...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

New report shows the world is awash with fossil fuels. It's time to cut off supply

Australia's coal production is expected to jump by 34% to 2030, undercutting our climate efforts. Nikki Short/AAPA new United Nations report shows the world’s major fossil fuel producing countri...

Peter Christoff, Associate Professor, School of Geography, University of Melbourne - avatar Peter Christoff, Associate Professor, School of Geography, University of Melbourne

Enough ambition (and hydrogen) could get Australia to 200% renewable energy

Hydrogen infrastructure in the right places is key to a cleaner, cheaper energy future. ARENAThe possibilities presented by hydrogen are the subject of excited discussion across the world – and ...

Scott Hamilton, Strategic Advisory Panel Member, Australian-German Energy Transition Hub, University of Melbourne - avatar Scott Hamilton, Strategic Advisory Panel Member, Australian-German Energy Transition Hub, University of Melbourne

Dramatic and engaging, new exhibition Linear celebrates the art in Indigenous science

Maree Clarke's Men in Mourning (2011). Vivien Anderson GalleryAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains images and names of deceased people. Review: Linear, Powe...

Heidi Norman, Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney - avatar Heidi Norman, Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney

NZ remains unscathed by US-China trade war, but that's no reason for complacency

While tariffs have a direct impact on exporters in the US and China, third-party countries like New Zealand are more affected by non-tariff barriers. EPA/Aleksandar Plavevski, CC BY-NDDespite disrupti...

Hongzhi Gao, Associate professor, Victoria University of Wellington - avatar Hongzhi Gao, Associate professor, Victoria University of Wellington

The NDIS is changing. Here's what you need to know – and what problems remain

Improving the provision of NDIS plans is a good thing. But in some parts of Australia, having a plan doesn't always mean being able to access services. From shutterstock.comNational Disability Insuran...

Helen Dickinson, Professor, Public Service Research, UNSW - avatar Helen Dickinson, Professor, Public Service Research, UNSW

Why Australia can no longer avoid responsibility for its citizens held in Syria

Detention camps in Syria hold about 100,000 Syrian and foreign family members of IS suspects. Murtaja Lateef/EPAThe small number of Australians being held in prison camps in northern Syria has been...

Anthony Billingsley, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, UNSW - avatar Anthony Billingsley, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, UNSW

An American company will test your embryos for genetic defects. But designer babies aren't here just yet

No gene for cuteness has yet been identified -- but give it time. ShutterstockDesigner baby, anyone? A New Jersey startup company, Genomic Prediction, might be able to help you. Genomic Prediction cl...

Dennis McNevin, Professor of Forensic Genetics, University of Technology Sydney - avatar Dennis McNevin, Professor of Forensic Genetics, University of Technology Sydney

Sick and Tired of Your Dead End Job? Try Teaching!

Tired of the same old grind at the office? Want an opportunity to impact lives both in your community and around the world? Do you love to travel and have new experiences? Teaching English is the perfect job for you! All you need is a willingness to ...

News Company - avatar News Company

The Impact of an Aging Population in Australia

There’s an issue on the horizon that Australia needs to prepare for. The portion of elderly citizens that make up the country’s overall population is increasing, and we might not have the infrastructure in place to support this. Australians h...

News Company - avatar News Company

LifeStyle

5 Things to Do On Your Wedding Morning

After months of meticulous planning, wedding mornings usually find the bride excited but stressed ...

How to Make Your Girlfriend’s Birthday Extra Special

Your girlfriend’s birthday is your opportunity to show her how much you care. But how exactly do...

A Guide to Building Your Kid’s Confidence

As your child grows, confidence is key. Having low self-esteem as a child can have a detrimental e...

3 Hacks that Will Extend the Life of Your Hair Extensions

Everybody has the right to enjoy beautiful, long hair, including you! If you’ve always heard a...