Gender and political advertising across cultures: a comparison of male and female political advertising in Finland and the US

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    This article addresses the question whether the relationship between gender and televised political advertising, observed in the US, holds true regardless of context, or if it is conditioned by its setting. Results from a secondary comparative analysis of the advertising of male and female legislative candidates in Finland and the US are reported. Though the two countries are contrasting in several respects, most notably the extent of women’s political representation, the findings suggest that the female candidates’ communication strategies, independent of country, resemble those of their male colleagues. Hence, “hard” issues and traits, stereotypically attributed to male politicians, are emphasized over “soft” ones. Yet, the women candidates in both contexts also differ from the male candidates by additionally softening up this candidate image. Thus, it is concluded that this dual strategy of the female candidates, independent of country, reflects the need to consider persistent gender stereotypes on the electoral arena.

    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)131–154
    JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Political advertising
    • POLITICAL campaigns
    • Electioneering
    • female candidates
    • Televised advertising
    • FINLAND -- Politics & government -- 1981-
    • candidate gender
    • gender differences

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