Politicians Behaving Badly: Men, Women, and the Politics of Sexual Harassment

1st Edition

Paulina S. Cossette, Stephen C. Craig

December 20, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 184 Pages - 25 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367427993 - CAT# 326878

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History tells us that elected leaders tainted by scandal often pay a political price for their questionable behavior. Some prior research suggests that, on average, the impact of economic scandal (e.g., misuse of public funds) is more damaging than that of sexual misbehavior (e.g., extramarital affairs). But we are currently in an era in which allegations of sexual misbehavior have taken center stage – and the focus today is less on issues of morality than on allegations of sexual harassment and assault broadly defined.

Especially since 2016, such allegations have engulfed a large and growing number of political figures. Many were forced to resign their positions, while others chose to end their campaigns for election or re-election. With the rise of the #MeToo movement and related grassroots efforts to address the problem of sexual harassment, the issue seems likely to play an important role in the 2020 elections and beyond.

This book employs data from an internet-based survey (based on a national sample of roughly 1300 registered voters) to examine citizens' attitudes about sexual harassment, and the extent to which those attitudes shape their voting preferences. With an innovative experimental design, the authors assess whether those attitudes and preferences vary with the target candidate's partisan affiliation (Republican or Democrat); gender (male or female); and response to the allegations (denial, apology, or with some sort of counterframe as defined in the book). Appropriate for students, scholars, and general readers alike, this book offers a timely analysis of an important political issue.


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