Thursday, 13 October 2016

Effects of Gender in National Elections Voting Patterns

In every election cycle, gender together with other social issues has been found to play a critical role in determining political participation. The general perception has been that women lag behind when it comes to political engagement. It is also notable that in the last few decades women turnouts in elections have surpassed that of men. It is, therefore, paramount to evaluate the social issues that influence the gender gap that has been prevalent in voting participation. The following is a discussion of three open-ended questions whose answers are essentials to exploring gender disparity in voting as well as the accompanying social issues.

What are the social problems that influence gender voting?

The first and arguably the strongest issues in gender voting is male chauvinism. Male chauvinism has been in existence for many decades discriminating against women by gender. Historically the prejudice has been assumed to be instigated by men towards women political aspirants. However, voting patterns in the last few decades show that women have not supported fellow women during elections.  The spill over of male chauvinism to women voters is, therefore, a major factor in influencing gender voting. Another social issue in gender voting is abortion. Although opinions on the legality of abortion are divided, women are more likely to vote in the direction of a political party that allows for abortion under extreme health conditions.
Same-sex marriage has also been a contentious social issue in election cycles. Political aspirants have consistently evoked emotions around the issue in most election cycles. Women have been found to be more supportive of political parties and aspirants who are opposed to same-sex marriages. The reason for the support from women is the inherent adherence to religious freedom and rights of children that women possess.  

How does gender affect political orientation?
Historically, women have shunned the election process in many instances. The debate among researchers has been whether the abstinence from voting is purely premised on gender or from the factors associated with gender differences. To answer this question, it is important to explore the factors that are regarded differently by different genders. The elements can then be used to ascertain the effect of gender on political orientation. Women are more supportive of family settings and are therefore more likely to be oriented to political parties with policies meant to safeguard the continuity of the household.
Equal legal rights, equal work, and equal pay are arguably the most prominent of women issues. Women are therefore more likely to be aligned with political parties that are more supportive of these matters. From this discussion, it is clear that gender by itself is not the primary determinant of political orientation but rather an issue associated with a particular gender whether male or female.

What are the implications of gender-based voting biases?
Biases premised on gender stereotypes have serious ramification on the entire governance system and enhancement of the democratic space in society. In many instances, gender biases inhibit objectivity in voting and override other important issues in voting. For example, the firm correlation between social issues and gender voting overrides more important matters such as economic development and better health care.
The preceding discussion explores three essential questions that are essential in understanding social issues and gender-based biases in voting. The questions are open-ended and, therefore, have no definite answers thereby expanding the scope of research on the topic.