Date of Publication

9-15-2020

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Political Science & International Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Dena Levy, Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science

Abstract

Inequalities between men and women within political and health spheres have greatly impacted the way voting aged citizens perceive particular political messages. This is quite apparent within the context of controversial reproductive health issues, such as access to abortion or specific birth control methods. By surveying voting aged, male and female college students from both major American political parties on their perceptions of messages spoken by either traditionally feminine or masculine voices, some of these deeply ingrained biases were revealed. Although speaking the same message of either a very liberal-leaning view on abortion and birth control, or a very conservative view on abortion and birth control, men and women were perceived differently from one another. However, the clearest distinction proved to be from ideology rather than gender, with the liberal candidates receiving a much more favorable reaction from members of both political parties and genders. Women falling within a generally “average” category in terms of negative or positive response generates numerous questions about the changing political, social, and healthcare climate of the United States. The differences in ideological perception, with conservatives being ranked overwhelmingly negatively by respondents, also indicates changing standards for both genders within health-based policy development.

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