Not in His Image: The Moderating Effect of Gender on Religious Appeals
Religious appeals have been part and parcel of campaign strategy for decades. Most often, however, these appeals to have come from men, but little is known about how women would fare using religious appeals on the campaign trail. To remedy this, we used an experimental design to examine voter reaction to religious appeals from a female and a male candidate competing for an open United States Senate seat. We find that women's use of religious appeals is governed by the dynamics of tokenism — reinforcing traditional gender stereotypes and serving to reduce voter support of the female candidate. This suggests that women must be careful in using a key campaign tool traditionally employed by men, and that this may affect the extent to which female candidates can effectively shape voter perceptions on the campaign trail.
Calfano, Brian R., and Paul A. Djupe. "Not in His image: The moderating effect of gender on religious appeals." Politics and Religion 4, no. 2 (2011): 338-354.
Politics and Religion