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Kourtney Crump

Pols 1100-706
Project 1

For the majority of United States history our political leaders have been male
mostly male. There has been a strong sense of male domination over most everyday
life situations, however the male dominance has slowly lessened, but is still visible in
many aspects of politics. The first female representative was Susanna Salter of Argonia,
Kansas who was the first ever female mayor or political office holder in the country.
Although times have changed drastically and woman have become much more equal
with men, the majority of political office holders are still men. The United States has yet
to have a female president and with our research we wanted to see if they majority or
people would not vote for someone based solely on their gender. We as a group wanted
to see if this simple name change would change the likelihood of the individual being
supported and voted for. In order to find the answer to our question of whether the
gender of a candidate determines their ability to be voted into office, we surveyed a
diverse group of people in hopes of seeing whether or not this is true.
When faced with this question, we would all like to believe that the majority of
people wouldnt base their vote on a persons gender solely, but their political outlook
and how they hope to better the community in which they will be serving. However our
group guessed that people would change their vote based on the fact that someone
was a female because our society is so used to having male leaders and feel as though
woman would not be able to take up the responsibility. We guessed that the majority of

people would have more negative feedback towards the woman candidate, regardless
of the fact that they were the exact candidate. It was suspected that the man would
have more positive feedback and more people, both male and female would vote for
him. We did think that woman would be more likely to vote for the female candidate
because they women are often on the side of their own gender, however they would still
have the idea implanted that men are more suitable for political positions.
In order to research this, we had two exact candidate information sheets, the only
difference being that the name was either male or female and had each member give
their surveys to a certain type of person, whether it be male or female. We took a total
of twenty eight surveys, seven males and seven females receiving a survey about the
male candidate, and seven males and seven females receiving a survey about the
female candidate. We did it this way so there was an equal amount of male and female
responses, all of which were from different backgrounds, including several different
religions and political views. We tried to get a large variety of people in hopes that we
could get a very diverse non-biased group of people to better represent the population
as a whole. We also wanted to make sure that we werent just asking our friends and
family because most people that associate with each other have similar views, whereas
by finding completely random people gives a lot more insight to more people. We also
tried to get people from every age group in hopes of seeing if the generation in which an
individual grew up in had an impact on the way they viewed gender issues as well as
just political issues. Within the survey there were questions regarding whether or not
they felt the candidate had sufficient education, work experience, leadership skills and
life experiences to be a good candidate to run for a Utah senator. The survey also

asked if they supported most of the policies that the candidate adopted. These were the
given questions for the mandatory survey, however our group wanted to add one
question that we felt was very beneficial to deciding if people really looked into these
type of questions when voting for a person so after all of these questions we asked the
simple question, would you vote for this person?. We wanted to ask this question
because although a person may agree with all of the candidates beliefs and plans for
the community, there could still be the possibility that they wouldnt vote for an individual
because of their gender.
Religion
Question 4

Age
Question 5

Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Males Given Male Survey


None
None
LDS

21-30
41-50
31-40

LDS

60+

Neutral
Agree
Strongly
Agree
Agree

Less than Neutral


21
LDS
21-30
Agree
LDS
Less than Neutral
21
Male Given Female Survey

Neutral

Neutral
Agree
Strongly
Agree
Strongly
Agree
Neutral

Neutral
Agree

Agree
Neutral

Agree
Agree

Neutral
Disagree

LDS
Christian

Neutral
Strongly
Agree
Agree
Agree
Agree
Strongly
Agree
Strongly
Agree

Neutral
Disagree

Agree
Agree

Agree
Agree

Agree
Neutral
Neutral
Neutral

Agree
Agree
Neutral
Neutral

Neutral
Neutral
Disagree
Agree

Neutral

Strongly
Agree

Agree

Neutral

Agree

Neutral

Neutral

None

LDS
None
None
Catholic

61+
Less than
21
41-50
21-30
31-40
41-50

Agree
Strongly
Agree
Agree
Agree
Neutral
Agree

Agnostic

21-30

Agree

Agree
Agree
Strongly
Agree
Agree

Agree
Disagree
Strongly
Agree
Agree

Disagree
Disagree
Strongly
Agree
Agree

Neutral

Neutral

Female Given Male Survey


LDS

41-50

Agree

None
Christian
Christian
Catholic

31-40
Agree
31-40
Disagree
21-30
Neutral
Less than Neutral
21
Roman
Less than Agree
Catholic
21
LDS
21-30
Agree
Females Given Female Survey

Agree
Disagree
Neutral
Neutral

Disagree
Agree
Agree
Agree

Neutral
Agree
Neutral
Agree

Neutral
Agree
Agree
Agree

Disagree

Agree

Neutral

Agree

Neutral

Agree

Agree

Agree

LDS
LDS

Agree
Agree
Neutral
Neutral

Agree
Strongly
Agree
Agree
Neutral

Agree
Agree

Agree
Neutral

Neutral
Strongly
Agree
Disagree
Agree

Agree
Strongly
Agree
Neutral

Agree
Agree

None
None

21-30
Less than
21
51-60
Less than
21
31-40
61+

Agree
Disagree

Neutral
Neutral

Agree
Neutral

Disagree
Agree

LDS

21-30

Agree

Neutral

Agree

Agree

LDS
LDS

Agree
Disagree

The charts above display the data that we received from the individuals we
surveyed displaying their answers to each of the questions asked regarding the political
office candidate based on a scale from strongly agree, to strongly disagree. Much to our
surprise, and relief, it didnt appear that the gender of the candidate had a large impact
on whether or not an individual would vote for the person, however we did find some
other rather interesting information regarding gender and voting. After averaging out the
answers to each question for each type of question, it showed that the females taking
the surveys tended to be much more critical of the candidate, whether they be male or
female. This was something that we hadnt discussed before beginning our surveys
however it became very prominent when collecting all of our data which made us
question a lot of things about the way in which different genders approach voting and
looking into their future candidates. Although we only surveyed a very small amount of
people, we did try to get as much diversity as we could and this is probably how real

voting would look like had it been a real election. There is no saying as to if the women
were more critical of both the male and female candidate because they didnt like the
candidates views, or just because women tend to be more critical of people that may be
put in power and have the opportunity to change things for them and their friends and
families. Another interesting fact we found about the way that people voted is that the
younger generation didnt have as strong of opinions as those that were middle aged
and older. I suspect this is because younger individuals dont have as much experience
in the political field and dont see the way that these decisions can affect them and their
futures. Overall we were thrilled to see that from the small sample we took, people in
general didnt base their vote on the gender of a candidate, but rather the type of
political figure they would be and how they could help or hurt the community they would
be serving. Because we were trying to keep the purpose of this survey unknown to
those we gave it to in hopes of avoiding any type of bias or having people change their
answers to avoid looking sexist, there is a possibility those being surveyed could have
skipped reading the name and only focused on the practices of the individual. If this had
been the case, the information could have been skewed slightly because of the lack of
knowledge of those being surveyed. Regardless of all the possible things that could
change the outcome of the survey, it is still a high possibility that the information could
be very accurate because of the great increase of female political leaders.
Overall, if the information we collected could act as a good census it is proven
that there is little to no gender bias when it comes to voting for those running for political
offices. This shows that the United States of America has made great improvements
throughout our fairly short history because less than 200 years ago women werent

allowed to vote, and now it seems as though the majority of citizen would vote for a
woman just as easily as they would vote for a man. There are many things that could
have skewed our data that we received from our surveys so there could be some false
information, but there is still a large chance it is right. In order to better check the
information there could be extra steps added to the information of the candidate to
make sure the individuals taking the survey were sure of the gender of the candidate.
One thing that would easily make sure everyone taking the survey knew the gender
would be to add a picture to the candidate profile to ensure there was no confusion and
each person taking the survey would see the picture before filling out their answers.
Another way to better any experiment, including ours would be to survey more people.
The more information provided, the better and more accurate the results will be
regardless of the type of experiment. Doubling or tripling the number of surveys given
could give us a much broader outlook, as well as if we sent surveys to different states
with different political values. Even though there are many things that could better or
information gathered, there is still a lot of very useful information that helped up prove
our hypothesis wrong and let us know that the gender of a candidate does not
determine their likelihood to be voted into office.