Why Do Some Voters Prefer Female Candidates? The Role of Perceived Incorruptibility in Arab Elections

  • Lindsay J. Benstead
  • Ellen Lust
Part of the Political Corruption and Governance book series (PCG)


Are individuals who view women as less corrupt more likely to vote for women? Drawing on research from the social psychology of gender, this chapter examines whether and how perceptions about women’s incorruptibility shape their electability. Many citizens see female politicians as less corrupt. Others state that men are less corrupt, a view consistent with “hostile sexism.” When asked directly, people who state that women are less corrupt or who see no difference between men and women in their propensity to engage in corruption are more likely to say that they would vote for females. However, a survey experiment casts doubt on these conclusions. Gender egalitarianism, not positive bias, may be most likely to benefit females, which is consistent with theories of gender role congruity and ambivalent sexism.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsay J. Benstead
    • 1
  • Ellen Lust
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political Science, Mark O. Hatfield School of GovernmentPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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