The Nanny State: Blame it on Women

That’s the conclusion of John Lott, who put out an article earlier this year (which, sadly, I missed).

Essentially, he posits that women voters tend to vote for anything that increases personal security, as they have different interests and are fundamentally more risk-averse than men are.

Over the course of women’s lives, their political views on average vary more than those of men. Young single women start out being much more liberal than their male counterparts and are about 50 percent more likely to vote Democratic. As previously noted, these women also support a higher, more progressive income tax as well as more educational and welfare spending.

But for married women this gap is only one-third as large. And married women with children become more conservative still. Women with children who are divorced, however, are suddenly about 75 percent more likely to vote for Democrats than single men. So as divorce rates have increased, due in large part to changing divorce laws, voters have become more liberal.

Maureen Dowd may not simply be a hopeless harridan: it’s possible that she’s actually more representative than some of us would like to think. Even more involved, this is precisely one of the biggest arguments that anti-suffrage women raised when debating with their suffragist peers: that women were likely to vote for their self-interest rather than according to political principle, and at the expense of the rest of the body politic.

If the data which backs these assertions is valid, the political ramifications get real interesting, real fast.

Leave a comment


  1. celogo

     /  August 27, 2008

    Makes a lot of sense to me.

  2. Hrrrm, it looks like that ‘bad news’ may be a hidden opportunity for the right should they swing towards what folks are calling ‘paternalistic’ or ‘guided’ libertarianism, where you’re free to choose as you will, but unless you choose, Big Daddy’s idea of what’s good for you prevails.

  3. happycrow

     /  August 28, 2008

    It also explains, possibly, why “Defense of Marriage” is such a slam-dunk political issue for Republicans.


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