AN EVALUATION OF GENDER INEQUALITY AND WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS
Men continue to engage in more conventional political participation than do women in western democracies, especially in continental Europe. This study addresses these inequalities from a socialization perspective by drawing on national survey data gathered during the mid-1970s in Austria, Finland, West Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States. The basic idea is that participation is seen to be more of a male than female gender role within the family. Appropriateness is learned by interactions and observations. Reports from 16 to 20-year-olds were used to establish the conversational prominence of fathers and mothers in the domains of religion, sex, study and work, and politics. Fathers stood out only in the area of politics, thus emphasizing the connection between men and politics. The relative prominence of fathers as dominant political conversation partners varied by child’s sex and accorded well with cross-national variations in the participation gap between men and women.