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Gallup Vault: Female Leaders Produce Less Corruption?
Gallup Vault

Gallup Vault: Female Leaders Produce Less Corruption?

In 1952, the American public had mixed views about whether having more women in high governmental positions would be better for the country. Only 39% of U.S. adults agreed that the country would be better governed if more women served in Congress and other important government positions, while 46% disagreed. At the same time, a solid majority -- 56% -- agreed that more female leaders would result in less "graft and corruption."

Some people say that if there were more women in Congress and holding important government positions, the country would be better governed. Do you agree or disagree?
U.S. adults Women Men
% % %
Agree 39 47 31
Disagree 46 38 54
No difference (vol.) 8 7 8
No opinion 7 8 7
(vol.) = Volunteered response
Gallup, May 30-June 4, 1952
If there were more women in important positions in the federal government, do you think there would be more graft and corruption or less?
U.S. adults Women Men
% % %
Less 56 59 51
Same (vol.) 30 27 32
More 8 7 10
No opinion 6 7 7
(vol.) = Volunteered response
Gallup, May 30-June 4, 1952

The poll uncovered a sizable gender gap in Americans' belief that having more women in high positions would result in better government. Women tended to subscribe to this view -- 47% agreed and 38% disagreed -- while the majority of men (54%) balked.

At the same time, both sexes agreed that women would be less prone to corruption, including 59% of women and 51% of men.

George Gallup explained his reasons for probing this topic at the time, writing, "The whole role of women in politics is taking on increasing importance this year because of the likelihood of a big turnout of women at the polls in November. … With women participating more in voting, the question arises as to what kind of government we would have if more women ran for public office."

At the time of the poll in 1952, 11 women were serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, five of whom filled a late husband's seat, and one woman -- Republican Margaret Chase Smith of Maine -- serving in the U.S. Senate. Chase went on to become the first woman ever to seek her party's nomination for president, garnering 27 delegates at the 1964 Republican convention.

Today, there are 88 women in the House -- only two of whom succeeded a late husband -- and 20 in the Senate. And Hillary Clinton is running on the Democratic ticket as the first female major-party nominee for president.

Read the original Gallup poll release.

These data can be found in Gallup Analytics.

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Gallup https://news.gallup.com/vault/195410/gallup-vault-female-leaders-produce-less-corruption.aspx
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