Abstract

Using 267 repeated policy questions (962 time points), we examine gender differences in policy choices and how they have changed from the 1960s to the 1980s. The average gender difference in preferences toward policies involving the use of force have consistently been moderately large. Sex differences in opinion toward other policies—regulation and public protection, “compassion” issues, traditional values—have been approximately half as large but they also warrant more attention than in the past. Our analysis suggests that the salience of issues has increased greatly for women, and as a result differences in preferences have increased in ways consistent with the interests of women and the intentions of the women's movement.

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