Historical Social Research

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Gwen Moore & Scott Dolan, U.S. Elite and Public Views on Anti-Terrorist Military Action: Are Women Less Militaristic? [Abstract]

Increasing numbers of U.S. women in elite positions lead us to ask if women and men share the same anti-terrorist policy attitudes, or whether elite (and non-elite) women are less militaristic. Using data from four surveys of elites and masses from 1986 to 2004, we examine men’s and women’s attitudes towards the use of three types of force against terrorists and how these have changed over time. Elite and non-elite women are typically less supportive than their men counterparts of military action against terrorists, but after the September 11, 200l attacks the gender gap decreased and large majorities favoured such action. Among elites, but not the public, gender differences diminish among those with similar demographic and political positions. With negligible gender differences among similarly placed elites, and high levels of militarism among the masses, we conclude that U.S. elites have broad latitude in setting anti-terrorist policies.