Young women vote Democratic, and here’s why
by Melvyn L Fein
July 28, 2014 04:00 AM | 2966 views | 27 27 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By almost universal consent — except on the extreme liberal left and among Democratic Party operatives — the War on Women is acknowledged to be as phony as a four-dollar bill. So why do young women continue to buy it?

An answer can be found in a long-standing piece of social research. Contrary to what the radical feminists say, there are differences between men and women. While we are, of course, the same species, there are consistent disparities in how the genders address problems.

In general, men tend to be more instrumental than women, whereas women tend to be more expressive than men. While these orientations overlap, there are observable discrepancies in how they are distributed.

What then is the difference? An instrumental approach is primarily concerned with getting a job done. The goal of an activity is kept firmly in mind and pursued with single-minded determination.

Conversely, an expressive approach is more concerned with keeping the peace. The objective is to prevent relationships from becoming too contentious. In order to achieve this, women are sensitive to the emotional ambience in a group and notice when it becomes antagonistic.

Thus, while men are apt to plow ahead and seek to defeat a foe, women are likely to placate potential adversaries. As a result, women may be hostile to those perceived as disturbing the tranquility of a group.

Research also shows men are more likely to think in a linear manner, arriving at a conclusion step by step. Meanwhile, women are more caring in their attitude. They don’t want people to get hurt, so they embrace solutions that seem to do the least harm.

As a result, young women are attracted to liberal rather than conservative causes. Because they want to be nice, they take seriously political claims about being compassionate. And since these are the bread and butter of Democratic politicians, they are apt to vote for them.

Men, in contrast, are more interested in results. They want to know if a policy works. If it does not, they are likely to reject it. Nor are they deterred if this requires them to be harsh in opposing those who support a losing strategy. They do not mind the confrontation and therefore fight back.

So when men look at the Obamacare muddle, they protest the incompetence. Young women, however, hear the good intentions and want the program to succeed. With their eyes fixed on who might be helped, they become its cheerleaders. Besides, they don’t want to be unkind to the president.

Notice I have suggested these attitudes apply mostly to young women. They, after all, are the ones inclined to vote liberal. Older women, on the other hand, have doubts about Democratic programs and therefore trend Republican. But why is this the case?

Here the answer lies in their life circumstances. Older women are apt to be married and have children. Hence, they care about their families. They don’t want them injured and are alert to when they are. While they too don’t appreciate controversy, they are prepared to defend their own.

Young women, however, are apt to have no such attachments. Absent these responsibilities, they can thus afford to be idealistic. With no one around them being hurt and intent on doing good, they are vulnerable to siren songs seriously detached from reality.

Consequently, young women, when allowed to make political decisions, often steer the ship of state onto rocky shoals. They don’t mean to hurt anybody, but in their obliviousness to what works, mistake bald-faced lies for compassion. Then they blame those who warned them of the danger for being cruel.

The answer to this dilemma? Everyone, including young women, must be alerted to what works and what hurts. Phony calls to fantasy solutions must be called out and identified for what they are. Lies, no matter how attractive, cannot go unchallenged — even if this entails contention.

Melvyn L. Fein Ph.D. is professor of sociology at Kennesaw State University.
Comments
(27)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Honest Abe
|
August 06, 2014
Actually, I believe the solution to rooting out corrupt big government is to make voting a minor issue in one's life as the original American revolutionaries intended. Return to the various state legislatures the power to elect Congressional Senators and make the Electoral College the engine that actually elects the President and the popular vote by the masses simply a gauge of public sentiment only. And preventing big government from handing out "free stuff" to voters who vote for the party that gives them the most "free stuff" would put the ship of state back on course and negate 40 years of LBJ's Great Society failed social experiment. The original founders of America never intended for the masses to rule by voting themselves access to the Treasury.
StellaZ
|
August 01, 2014
What a condescending load of sexist twaddle. I'm a 60 professional in science and I've carefully vetted EVERY candidate in EVERY race I've voted in since 1972. The GOTP has been lumbering farther and farther to the right since then, to the point that Goldwater and Eisenhower would be considered Marxists if they ran today. I hope the woman students in this professor's classes give the University a load of negative feedback on this nasty sexist dinosaur.
Samuel Adams
|
July 31, 2014
Looks like you stirred the local democratic hornets nest Dr. Fein. Maybe even the national old ladies of the Alinsky-worshipping left.

Ok, all you ladies who are so outraged. Tell us what you think about ISIS ordering all females to undergo genital mutilation in Iraq and your Obama ignoring it? Tell us how Sandra Fluke, supposedly a law student, is funding her own campaign for office to the tune of thousands when she can't afford her own birth control? Tell us how the democrats are helping American women support their families with their policies attacking business and the economy? Yet you focus on this column....the way you were instructed to by your Dem handlers. Nice.
Ann Romney
|
July 30, 2014
I love you Wimmin!
Oliver Klosoff
|
July 30, 2014
Direct evidence of Why Kennesaw State is ranked #149 in public affairs and why they were not even ranked in such categories as "Best Education Schools" or "Best Business Schools". Kennesaw state is in a 4 way tie for 69th best Regional University in the southern region, there are 122 institutions in the region. Faculty who teach by ideology inhibit the potential of their students.

Thank you for helping me eliminate Kennesaw State from consideration of potential universities for my children.

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/kennesaw-state-university-140164/overall-rankings
Who-who
|
July 30, 2014
Well done Dr. Fein.

Dr. Papp, are you watching?
@Oliver
|
August 03, 2014
Almost any other state university will do, if you're looking for a Marxist-Socialist influence upon your offspring, Oliver.

Fortunately, in America and at KSU, there is something called true academic freedom, where speech is NOT restricted to a small space in the corner of some off-the-beaten-track quad. Leftist leaning Americans never have a problem when conservative free speech is banned, and from the tone of the comments here at MDJ, all you leftist Obama supporters would love to shut this doctor of sociology up and mail him off. Just look at yourselves, the embodiment of Soviet Socialist censor mongers! Dr. Fein lives in America and here can tell the truth, no matter how unpopular by those who control academia.
next please...
|
July 29, 2014
Wow Mr Fein, so your explanation why (younger) women vote Democratic is essentially that their innate emotions overwhelm any sensibility they may have to the contrary -- which is your flowery way of saying they're too stupid to vote otherwise ?

Actually, given you've staked a consistently GOP position on the pages of the MDJ and the absurd rationale you've provided in today's column, your column itself is Exhibit A in explaining why (younger) women vote Democratic.

Up next folks -- Melvyn will explain to us why people of color tend to vote Democratic too...then our college students...then Jewish voters (that ought to be an interesting one coming from Mr Fein)...Ivy League alums...then Latinos...then gays....then the artistic...etc....etc.

It ought to be interesting for him to come up with other RIDICULOUS rationales (that of course really just lead back to his outrageous opinion that they're all simply too stupid to do otherwise). Mr Fein a suggestion, wake up and smell the coffee and come join the rest of us in the 21st century -- I know the journey will be hard, quickly passing thru both the 19th and 20th centuries on your way here but it'll be good for you -- on your way though can you please drag a few of the editorial staff at the MDJ with you. Thank you and have a nice day (although, I may be too stupid to know if it is in fact a nice day).
Samuel Adams
|
July 31, 2014
You must be mixing up Dr. Fein's column with the recently leaked campaign memo for Michelle Nunn, whose design to milk Jewish socialites for funds while favoring Hamas along with her party was exposed, as well as her campaign for sucking up specifically to all those special racial and interest groups you name. Perhaps you, sir, are mistaking Dr. Fein's rational observations based on his time teaching young college women sociology with the Saul Alinsky plan of the Democrat America haters. Dr. Fein is right, young women are dumb. They are too dumb to know who is even vice president in most cases. Why doesn't Gallup do a poll on that, and let's get some real numbers.
why not
|
July 29, 2014
Gosh Melvin, It looks like if you want to speak for women you should first ask a woman's opinion, but that goes against everything Republicans stand for! Next step is to tell us what it's like to be an African-American.
Adam Williams
|
July 29, 2014
Mr. Fein concludes that women are attracted to liberal causes because they don't want people to get hurt. He seems to not know, or to have forgotten, that fighting for women's rights is a liberal cause. Perhaps that has a lot more to do with young women's affinity for liberalism than all of his generalizations, hand-waving and blather. Occam's Razor applies here.
Oh, Look, A Troll!
|
July 28, 2014
And it got its crankypants ramblings "printed" on the interwebs. How very very impressive.

Watch this space as little ladies from near and far, of all ages, converge from the Twitterverse to Placate the ever-loving snot out of the troll's adorable, teeny tiny, itsy bitsy, eenie-weenie...opinion piece.
The most....
|
July 28, 2014
Yes, Mr Fein has just submitted his application for the most undesirable man in the country...and even more interestingly, his application is so sound that he would also likely be a strong contender if the calendar were turned back a couple of centuries.

Seriously though, this is about the most misogynistic, shallow, simplistic and unbelievably ridiculous viewpoint of "women's" intellect and ability I could possibly imagine...now, I can imagine there is a serious study out there that truly studies the "why" behind young women's voting patterns, but this is not it...this editorial is the ranting of an outdated pseudo-intellect.

Speaking of intellect, how can this man be allowed to instruct our young people at Kennesaw State with such an outdated and absurd outlook on young women.
My suggestion
|
July 31, 2014
Head out to the sidewalks of Buckhead one evening and poll the young ladies walking to the bars. Ask them who is our senator, who is Hamas, what is the Ukraine. They will probably just throw up on you.

Dr. Fein is correct. Young women are too busy on their i-phones these days to read a newspaper or pay attention to important things. Obama's last 6 years and the horrible economy and world situation are to blame, however. Obama has given them NOTHING to be proud of, engaged with. He has inspired NO ONE.
Marijo O'Connell
|
July 28, 2014
No references at all to support all of your sexist claims, most based on stereotypes. And all of the while, I thought women voted Democrat as the Dems support equal pay for equal work, support health care access for all Americans and support women's right to make their own healthcare decisions. Furthermore, Democrats support public education at all levels, unlike the "privatazation" fools who want to make money off of money for education. Try again old man.

Jennifer Ann 45
|
July 28, 2014
Nope. Not even close. I've been voting since I was 18 years of age (I'm 45 now) and in EVERY single election, no matter what election, I have CAREFULLY done my homework and research on the candidates and issues at hand. My decisions are based on information, NOT placating anyone. Perhaps women are voting for Democratic candidates because the Republican ones seem to be condescending and ill-informed regarding what is important to women. Next time, do your homework...
Fein knows students
|
July 31, 2014
You are not of this generation. You were of the generation inspired by the presidency of Ronald Reagan, a man who respected a dialogue for a generation of us who were engaged in our country's interests around the world and domestically.

This president has inspired NO ONE about NOTHING. There are few jobs for young women today, they've been taught to blame America for everything, even 9-11. They see all the free handouts and by george, that looks good to them. Ask any 23 year old...they've seen the Obamaphone and they want one!
Eileen Davis
|
July 28, 2014
like many of my friends and members of Women-Matter.org I am over 60, have been married over 30 yrs and you would never describe me or them ,or my daughters, or my granddaughters as "placating" Constitutionally guaranteed gender equality (The Equal Rights Amendment) needs to be ratified, and is the this type of dog whistle sexism that we fight against. I too Lin have become increasingly impatient. As friend and Equal Rights Advocate Ret Col BJ Thornberg stated "men will not willingly surrender their legal advantages, you're going to have to take it".... he is correct
Eileen Davis
|
July 28, 2014
Melvyn- I am your age,(not Young) as are many of the members of my advocacy group seeking constitutionally guaranteed gender Equality (The Equal Rights Amendment)

I have been happily married for over 35 yrs, as have many of our members.

No one would describe me or my 3 daughters and 5 granddaughters as "placating".

Whay you describe sir, is culturally driven views of femininity, and yes many women internaliz them, but to use as an excuse to predetermine what a women can do is prejudice and marginalizes. and remember different and equal do not mean the same thing anyway. 4 quarters and a dollar bill are different, they are also equal. Educate your self on this issue of equality www.women-matter.org

Arik Savage
|
July 28, 2014
If "Men, in contrast, are more interested in results. They want to know if a policy works. If it does not, they are likely to reject it. " why would they continue to support a Republican party which hasn't had a new idea in at least 30 years, and never seems to get the results they set after:

Trickle-down economics

Drug testing welfare recipients

quick and easy military intervention

To name a few. These strategies are tried over and over and never turn out as planned. Trickle-down loads to greater income disparity. Drug testing costs more than it saves, and "limited intervention" leads to years-long quagmires.

Seems time to re-evaluate your hypothesis.
Koshari
|
July 28, 2014
Since you are not actually disclosing any particular studies, I assume that the research you mention is actually just made up.
Hank Moody
|
July 28, 2014
The fact that you are able to make these umbrella claims about the characteristics of men and women without citing a single bit of empirical research is out of control. Especially for someone who is a college professor.

Your columns have a consistent theme to them - women should know their place and are irrational decision makers.

I actually call on the MDJ to drop your column as it is nothing more than the blabbering of an over saturated republican whose sociological views have no basis in the actual day to day behavior of humans.

What's more, is this type of narrow and archaic view of how you think humans, especially women, think and act is EXACTLY why republicans can't win the White House.

Maturity in Mind
|
July 28, 2014
So Dr. Fein, how do you explain older women who vote Democrat and there are many? Could it be that they know Republicans are first for the more wealthy male and the large corporations?

As a senior citizen, tow of things that matter to me are healthcare and Social Security. People need a FORCED safety net. If there were no SS, many would either loose their self-managed retirement by spending or unwise investing, or just the stock market tanking.

And what party wants to either reduce those safety nets or take them away? Republicans.

And which party lately is the one wanting to get involved in every country that has upheaval? Ask Dick Chaney and John McCain.

Of course, I care about many other issues, such as the safety of our country. But we have more nuclear warheads than any other country. We can cannot police the world.

Neither party comes close to caring more for U.S. citizens than themselves, so I have to take the party that comes the closest. Especially since I am not a wealthy, corporate male.

Bill Stanley
|
July 28, 2014
Amen! Thanks for having the courage to write this!
Kevin Foley
|
July 28, 2014
Obamacare is working. See my nearby column for actual facts on why as opposed to a "muddle" of baseless opinions and nonsensical stereotypes.
Ben Twomey
|
July 29, 2014
Foley, I read you biased column. somehow, I guess I missed the "facts" you claim it contained. Little of your blather stands up under the cold light of scrutiny.

I don't agree with Fein's column, but it certainly contains more facts than yours.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides