An Empirical Analysis of the Women and Peace Hypothesis

For decades, social scientists have questioned whether women are more politically tolerant, peaceful, and less likely to prefer war to solve international conflict compared to men. Empirical analyses have been limited to a few geographic regions: North America (the United States); the Middle East (Israel and the core Arab World); and Africa (Rwanda). Furthermore, the measurement of the dependent variable, perceptions of war and peace, has been either evaluated with a single item or with a few items tapping on various dimensions of war and peace. This paper extends the geographic coverage in the literature to include a cross-national analysis containing North American, Latin American, Western European, Eastern European, African, Asian and Pacific nations, and utilizes thirteen items measuring gender differences in attitudes towards the perception of war, conflict resolution, foreign policy attitudes, international organizations’ appeal, political tolerance, and international cooperation. The analysis utilizes the most up-to-date data of national representative surveys, the World Values Survey and the Arab Barometer, featuring mean comparison methods to supply readers with simple results informing the relationship between gender and perceptions of war and peace on a global level. The evidence reveals that there is no difference in perceptions between men and women regarding international conflict perceptions across countries.