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No Longer Conforming to Stereotypes? Gender, Political Style and Parliamentary Debate in the UK

Hargrave, Lotte; Blumenau, Jack; (2022) No Longer Conforming to Stereotypes? Gender, Political Style and Parliamentary Debate in the UK. British Journal of Political Science pp. 1-18. 10.1017/s0007123421000648. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Research on political style suggests that where women make arguments that are more emotional, empathetic and positive, men use language that is more analytical, aggressive and complex. However, existing work does not consider how gendered patterns of style vary over time. Focusing on the UK, we argue that pressures for female politicians to conform to stereotypically ‘feminine’ styles have diminished in recent years. To test this argument, we describe novel quantitative text-analysis approaches for measuring a diverse set of styles at scale in political speech data. Analysing UK parliamentary debates between 1997 and 2019, we show that the debating styles of female MPs have changed substantially over time, as women in Parliament have increasingly adopted stylistic traits that are typically associated with ‘masculine’ stereotypes of communication. Our findings imply that prominent gender-based stereotypes of politicians' behaviour are significantly worse descriptors of empirical reality now than they were in the past.

Type: Article
Title: No Longer Conforming to Stereotypes? Gender, Political Style and Parliamentary Debate in the UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/s0007123421000648
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123421000648
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Political Science, Government & Law, gender, legislative politics, debate, style, stereotypes, text as data, DOUBLE-STANDARD, WOMEN, METAANALYSIS, LANGUAGE, TRENDS, POWER, MEN
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10144948
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