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06.03.2020 | Original Paper

Do Female Politicians Face Stronger Backlash for Corruption Allegations? Evidence from Survey-Experiments in Brazil and Mexico

Zeitschrift:
Political Behavior
Autor:
Frederico Batista Pereira
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11109-020-09602-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Abstract

The recent world-wide trend of female chief executives struggling to maintain public support while facing corruption allegations and scandals poses the question of whether female politicians face stronger backlash for corruption than their male counterparts. Even though corruption scandals and allegations are not exclusive to countries led by female incumbents, notable figures such as former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and former Chilean President Michele Bachelet seem to have experienced more dramatic drops in public support when targeted by corruption allegations in comparison to male incumbents from their region. This paper tests whether beliefs about women’s higher honesty and purity can lead voters to punish perceived transgressions by female politicians more harshly than when those are performed by men. Using survey-experiments conducted in Brazil and Mexico, the analyses find support for the gender-related backlash in Mexico and no evidence for it in Brazil. However, the backlash observed in Mexico is not larger among subjects holding views about women as less corrupt than men. Overall, the results suggest that the differential gender-related backlash against incumbents depends on individual and contextual-level factors.

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