Saturday, August 29, 2009

Brief: Relationship anger by political views for men and women

The stereotype is that liberal women are more combative and temperamental in relationships, compared to the more docile and even-headed conservative women. Let's take a look at the GSS and see if it's true. We'll look at the same question for men.

The survey asks about some recent event when the respondent was angry, and it follows up to ask who they were angry at. I pooled all three degrees of liberal, and all three degrees of conservative, to get roughly equal sample sizes for liberal, moderate, and conservative. The pattern is clear even without doing this, but this is to make the presentation easier. Here are the results (the y-axis should read "fraction angry," not "% angry"):

First, note that women are about twice as likely to be angry at their relationship partner than are men. No surprise there. Also note that the pattern by political views isn't so different between the sexes. Among females, moderates and conservatives aren't really different from each other, but both are twice as likely as liberals to get angry at their partner. Among males, moderates and conservatives are about 1.5 times as likely as liberals to get angry at their partner.

There are a million different ad hoc reasons I could give for why the stereotype isn't true, but I'd have no way of verifying them with just these data. Whatever the cause, liberal women are actually a safer bet if you're looking for peace in the relationship.

GSS variables used: madat1, polviews, sex

1 comment:

  1. One possible reason for the lower anger of liberal women is that they take marriage rather less seriously than more conservative women. To some liberal women (by no means all, of course), marriage is more a matter of convenience, especially when it comes to raising their children, but it's not a blessed institution from God. With less emotional attachment to marriage they're also less likely to get angry at their husbands.