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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Why do women develop lower levels of political interest? Seminar

12:00 - 13:00
18 October 2022

Event details

The political interest of men rises faster than that of women during late adolescence and early adulthood in Britain. In this presentation we seek to explain this growing gender gap, which was first identified by Fraile and Sánchez‐Vítores (2020). This presentation explores whether factors relating to education and adult roles can account for this growing disparity. We use panel data of the British Household Panel Study (BHPS) and Understanding Society (USoc) to examine these factors. Education turns out to be the only factor that is related to different growth trajectories of political interest between men and women. Women with lower levels of education or vocational qualifications show stable or declining levels of political interest while all other categories show rising levels of interest between ages 16 and 30. Variables representing the attainment of adult roles, such as occupational status, marital status and household composition, and variables capturing family socialization are not linked to these trajectories. Education can partially account for the rising gender gap. We discuss the implications of these findings for policy and practice.

Speaker information

Professor Germ Janmaat, UCL Institute of Education. Professor of Political Socialization

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