Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access

Abstract

In an era when climate science is politically controversial, recent polling data shows that American women are more concerned about climate change than their male counterparts. This research uses both voting record analysis and qualitative interviews with legislators to examine whether the observed gender gap on climate change persists among elected political leaders. Linear and logistic regression results show no statistically significant climate change gender gap within legislative voting behavior, and interviews suggest that though women may be more willing to collaborate on climate change policy than men, subtle gender differences are often overridden by partisanship. However, findings suggest that reframing climate issues more broadly as environmental issues and connecting global issues to local community issues may elicit more support from female Republican legislators. Even small factors influencing political leaders' opinions on climate change matter in a world that must move towards climate solutions.

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