DIGSSCORE seminar: It’s just a joke. How age and gender condition reactions to intra-party violence

Main content

Jana Belschner, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen, and Lise Bjånesøy, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Government at the University of Bergen, will present for us at DIGSSCORE today. Their presentation is titled "It's just a joke. How age and gender condition reactions to intra-party violence".

The event is in a hybrid format, you are welcome to join us for lunch from the Corner room at DIGSSCORE. Food is provided on a first-come first-served basis. Zoom link for digital attendance.

Sexual harassment, threats, and physical aggression between politicians are increasingly problematized as a barrier to equal opportunities in political careers. However, we know little about how voters and politicians react to (reports of) such incidents. In this article, we draw on social psychology theories about gendered reactions to stress to understand how people’s gender and age condition the notion that violence between politicians is acceptable. We draw on a unique survey experiment conducted simultaneously with citizens and politicians in Norway. While people mostly do not agree that violent behavior between politicians is acceptable, we find significant intersectional differences in both the citizen and the politician sample. In general, young men are most accepting of violent behavior, whereas young women are least accepting. The effects seem to be partly driven by differences in the acceptability of sexually connoted behavior and are larger among politicians than among citizens. All results are robust to controlling for education, political experience, and party identification/ affiliation. The findings implicate that, in a post #MeToo era and in a gender-equal context, views on the acceptability of political violence are more gender-polarized amongst young generations.