Professor Bos publishes research on how gender perceptions impact children’s political interest and ambitions
Angie Bos, professor of political science at The College of Wooster, is the lead author on a new paper published in the American Political Science Review that examines how children perceive gender in politics and how those perceptions affect political interest and ambition.
The research discussed in the paper, titled “This One’s for the Boys: How Gendered Political Socialization Limits Girls’ Political Ambition and Interest,” involved surveying 1,604 children across 18 schools in greater Boston, upstate New York, northeastern Ohio, and New Orleans.
“We had the children ‘draw a political leader at work’ with crayons we provided, and then asked survey questions about political interest, ambition (if they were interested in political careers in the future),” Bos said. “This paper highlights our biggest findings – about how kids see politics as male-dominated from an early age – and that girls already start to show less interest in politics and political careers than boys.”
Bos and collaborators are currently working on two further pieces, one for K-8 teachers and another for college instructors, to explain how to use the Draw a Political Leader (DAPL) task in their classrooms to talk about stereotypes and to highlight the need for more diverse political leaders.
One of Bos’ students at Wooster, junior Fiona Schieve, is helping in this continuation of the project through the College’s Sophomore Research Assistant program. The goal is to get information out to teachers, some in the form of a specially commissioned comic book, so they can use it as a teaching tool. As part of this pedagogical initiative, Bos sought feedback from teachers in the field, including Wooster political science graduate Maddy Baker ’16, who works as a middle school educator in Nashville.
“We are super excited about using our work to engage teachers, who then engage their students, in important discussions about gender and politics and the pressing need to shift our gendered understandings of who constitutes a ‘good leader’ in politics,” Bos said.
“The publication in the American Political Science Review is a major step forward in the study of gendered political socialization,” she added. “The significance of this publication in our field’s leading journal is that it will be read widely and inspire further research. Being a part of this amazing collaboration with great colleagues at other institutions and with Wooster students has been so professionally rewarding.
“I love presenting this work at conferences, on campus and in the community because everyone can see its relevance in some way in their lives, whether it’s in the books featuring women political leaders that I suggest they buy for kids or in just rethinking how they talk with kids about politics.”
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Related Areas of Study
The study of power, with concentrations in U.S. politics, international relations, political theory and comparative politics.Major Minor