What Women Want

Gender and Voting in Britain, Japan and the United States
Gill Steel

Women vote their own minds


What Women Want analyzes decades of voting preferences, values, and policy preferences to debunk some of the media and academic myths about gender gaps in voting and policy preferences. Findings show that no single theory explains when differences in women’s and men’s voting preferences emerge, when they do not, or when changes—or the lack thereof—occur over time. Steel extends existing theories to create a broader framework for thinking about gender and voting behavior to provide more analytical purchase in understanding gender and its varying effects on individual voters’ preferences. She incorporates the long-term effects of party identification and class politics on political decision-making, particularly in how they influence preferences on social provision and on expectations of the state. She also points to the importance of symbolic politics.

Gill Steel is Professor of Political Science in the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Doshisha University

Praise / Awards

  • “This book is choc-full of great data and represents a timely contribution to political science. Steel’s voice is hip, and especially well-suited for the newcomer to politics seeking a solid introduction to the intersection of gender and electoral politics across three distinct democracies. Experts alike will benefit from Steel’s comparative analysis.”

    —Dyron Dabney, Earlham College

  • “This well-researched, well-written book draws on an impressive variety of evidence to make an important contribution to our understanding of the ‘gender gap’ in voting. This book has much to teach readers about the relationship between gender and forces like class, symbolic politics, the media, and political campaigns.”

    —Michael Strausz, Texas Christian University

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 296pp.
  • 42 charts, 3 halftones, 3 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2022
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-13295-9

  • $80.00 U.S.

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