Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2016

Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


The 2016 United States Presidential Election brings the revolutionary idea of a woman president with the Democratic candidate of Hillary Clinton. The current opposition for a woman president has been generalized gender stereotypes that she will be incompetent, too sensitive, temperamental and fickle with other world leaders. Many studies show that these arguments lack evidence in current female leaders and many commanding women in democracies have proven to be sufficient leaders to their male counterparts. Judeo-Christian traditions have permeated political voting and has acted as an important role in American public opinion on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. These fundamentalist ideals aid in the creation and continuation of gender stereotypes for women as political leaders and military commanders.

Using the American National Election Survey a voter’s religious identity and how they feel towards a woman president is statistically significant but has a very weak correlation, proving that religion does not play a direct hand in American’s vote. However gender stereotypes, in regards to voting for a woman president, are both statistically significant and presents a moderate correlation. Judeo-Christian religious values play an important identifying factor for many Americans and provide the building blocks of foundational views on gender roles in society. Those who identify with strong Judeo-Christian religious beliefs will be more likely to believe that women should play a secondary private role in the household and remain absent from the political public sphere. The more likely an individual will believe in the fundamentalist gender stereotypes rooted in Judeo-Christian beliefs, the more opposition they will feel towards a woman president. After September 11th, 2001, the likelihood of a woman president has declined due to the belief that male presidents are better leaders in times of war and terrorism.


Presented at the Spring 2016 Student Research Day.