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Sex, Gender, and Politics: A Biosocial Approach to Political Behavior
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Sex, Gender, and Politics: A Biosocial Approach to Political Behavior (Paperback)

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Increasingly research shows that women and men not only perceive people and situations quite differently, but that we might expect different political attitudes and behaviors from them as a result. Recent studies suggest gender-balanced group dynamics can impact decision making in ways that old models of politics and leadership do not capture. Previous models were based on notions of socialized gender roles, as well as notions about leadership being gendered masculine, but these notions are evolving. From both scholarly and practical standpoints, our thinking about sex, gender, and politics needs an update.

Sex, Gender, and Politics explores how to think about political behavior based on empirical evidence of sex differences in attitudes and behaviors within the context of gendered norms and institutions. Although "women in politics" as a subfield of political science and a political agenda is important, this book shows that there are reasons beyond equality and representation to pay attention to sex and gender. Drawing upon advancements in fields such as social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral economics, and even behavioral genetics, Rebecca J. Hannagan uses a biosocial approach to think about sex, gender, and political behavior. The book also addresses the political problem that women do not serve in public office at the same rate as their male counterparts, arguing that the issue is not merely one of concern to women's rights movements or a matter of equality, but one that leaves political deliberation and democratic politics sorely lacking based on current research on gender balance and group dynamics.

This book takes categories typical of any course in political psychology and political behavior-as well as women and politics or gender politics-and reframes them, not only by focusing on sex differences, gender roles, and gendered institutions, but via a biosocial approach to attitudes and behaviors. This reframing is essential for courses on political behavior and gender and politics and presents an updated way of thinking about politics that should appeal to students and scholars alike.

Rebecca J. Hannagan is Associate Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University. She specializes in the biological underpinnings of political attitudes and behavior with particular focus on gender differences. Her research has been published in numerous top journals.

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