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Gender and Sociotropic Anxiety: Explaining Gender Differences in Anxiety to Social Risks and Threats

Journal article
Authors Monika Djerf-Pierre
Lena Wängnerud
Published in International journal of public opinion research
Volume 28
Issue 2
Pages 217-240
ISSN 0954-2892
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Department of Political Science
Pages 217-240
Language en
Keywords gender, sociotropic, anxiety, risk, vulnerability, trait anxiety, political awareness
Subject categories Political Science, Media and Communications


Drawing on a multidisciplinary approach to explore the causal links between gender and sociotropic anxiety, this article studies the characteristics and magnitude of gender differences in anxiety to a range of social risks and threats. Specifically, it tests whether gender differences with regard to perceived vulnerability, personality traits, ideology and values, and awareness (political interest and news media exposure) mediate the effect of gender by means of mediational regression analyses. The analysis also includes a test for acquiescence bias. Gender is found to be a significant predictor of an individual’s sociotropic anxiety. Vulnerability, personality traits, ideology and values, and awareness all mediate the effect of gender. A significant effect of gender remains even when all other mediating factors were taken into consideration.

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