Authoritarian Personality and Gender Differences in Gun Control Attitudes

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8 Scopus citations


This article investigates the gender gap in gun control attitudes, in which women are more likely to support gun control than men. Women are less likely than men to own a gun and to see owning guns as a means of self-protection. Using the 2012 American National Election Study Data, this article tests authoritarianism, which includes the desire for security and a disposition toward higher levels of perceived threat, as an explanation for the gap. The results indicate that authoritarian women are more likely than authoritarian men to support gun control. In fact, authoritarianism appears to have the opposite effect on men and women’s gun control attitudes. Authoritarianism is associated with higher levels of support for gun control among women and lower levels of support among men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-408
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Women, Politics and Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019


  • authoritarian personality
  • gender gap
  • gun control
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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