While polling suggests Americans want more women in politics, research shows differing views on how to achieve that goal.
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans think it’s easier for men to get elected. One in four say it’s the same, and only 5 percent think it’s easier for women.
A large majority of women (69 percent) are more likely to say there are too few women in politics. For men, 48 percent think so.
Among Republicans, one third think there are too few women in politics compared to 79 percent among Democrats.
Pew found that 61 percent of Americans think “women who run for office have to do more to prove themselves than men.” Seventy-two percent of women felt that way compared to 48 percent of men.
The second most cited reason for fewer women in politics is that women get less support from their party leaders, with 43 percent of men and 61 percent of women agreeing.
Some Americans believe the country is not ready to elect women to higher office with 57 percent of women agreeing, compared to 32 percent of men.
When Pew asked Americans if gender discrimination is a reason for fewer women in politics, they found that younger women were more likely than older women to answer yes, with 68 percent under 50 saying so compared to 50 percent of those over 50 who agreed. For men, there was little difference between younger and older men.
When it comes to leadership style, Pew found that more women than men say women have different styles, but 62 percent said neither style is better. More than six in 10 Americans say women are better at being compassionate, while 42 percent said women are better at working out compromises and 41 percent said women make better role models for kids. Pew found Americans think men have the edge because they are more willing to take risks.
Pew found that being assertive, decisive and ambitious help men, while women are seen as more approachable, attractive and compassionate.