Survey: Women know less about politics than men worldwide – More than 30% difference between men and women in UK, US and Canada

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From: The Guardian

Women know less about politics than men worldwide

Regardless of gender equality, women are less likely to know about current affairs than men. The survey findings were consistent from Colombia to the UK

Women know less about politics regardless of gender equality, according to a survey by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The report focused on ten nations, both developed and developing, where men and women were asked questions about domestic and international news. Despite the diversity of the ten sample countries – Australia, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, the UK, and the US – women answered fewer questions correctly than men in every country.

10,000 participants took part in the study, which tested their knowledge of broadcast, print and web journalism. They were asked a combination of questions based on hard and soft news reports….

Professor James Curran, Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre at the University of London, was surprised to find that gaps in political knowledge are wider in countries that have done the most to promote gender equality. …

Women’s scores in the UK, the US, and Canada were more than 30% lower on average than men….

Academic studies have previously found that women have higher levels of risk aversion and so are afraid of being wrong. When faced with multiple-choice questions, women are more likely to give a ‘don’t know’ response than men. Others argue that the questions used to gauge political knowledge tend not to be gender-neutral and that women’s political knowledge is more concerned with a personal experience of local politics and government programmes relating to daily life.

watching, reading and listening to the news tend to be more male activities, particularly in Canada, Norway, UK and US.

Age is also a factor in women’s interest in political affairs. The study found that women acquire political knowledge much later in their lives than men, regardless of a country’s gender equality status.

 DATA: download the full spreadsheet

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