Unmarried women are more politically cohesive and concerned about the status of women as a collective group, claims a new study.
Co-author Kelsy Kretschmer of the Oregon State University said that over 67 percent of never married women and 66 percent of divorced women perceived what happened to other women as having some or a lot to do with what happens in their own lives. Kretschmer and her team found that never married and divorced women were typically more liberal and Democratic than married women.
They also found that never married women were significantly more likely than married women to value having females elected to political positions. In the study, the researchers compared the responses of married, never married, divorced, and widowed women 18 years of age and older.
Interestingly, they found that widowed women and married women are nearly identical to each other when it comes to their levels of gender linked fate. They also found that differences in married and unmarried women's income, employment status, number of children, attitudes about gender discrimination, and views on traditional gender roles do not explain the marriage gap in political preferences.
Kretschmer said that they were surprised because these were the traditional explanations for why married women were more conservative and Republican, and added whether or not a woman has a sense of linked fate with other women does a better job than any of these previously considered variables of explaining why the marriage gap exists, and yet no one was talking about this as an important factor in women's political preferences.
She further concluded that more unmarried women may amount to more support for liberal and Democratic candidates and policies, as well as for female political candidates.