Mary-Kate Lizotte

Professor of Political Science, Augusta University

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About Mary-Kate

Lizotte’s research and teaching revolve around gender and politics in the United States with a specific interest in political behavior and public opinion. Much of her research investigates the origins and dynamics of gender differences in party identification, vote choice, and policy positions. She has also researched the influence of various factors such as prior experience on candidate evaluations and vote likelihood with respect to female political candidates. In addition to teaching a Women and Politics special topics course, she also teaches various American politics courses such as Intro, Congress and the Presidency, as well as Public Policy Analysis for a Masters in Public Administration.


Gender Differences in American Political Behavior

In the News

Quoted by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Meredith Conroy in "Women Won the Right to Vote 100 Years Ago. They Didn't Start Voting Differently From Men Until 1980," FiveThirtyEight, August 19, 2020.
Interviewed in "The Role Appearance Plays in Politics," News Channel 6, July 17, 2018.
Opinion: "Gender Dynamics in the Third Presidential Debate: Hot Takes from the Experts," Mary-Kate Lizotte, Msmagazine, October 20, 2016.
Opinion: "Gender Dynamics in the Second Presidential Debate: Hot Takes from the Experts," Mary-Kate Lizotte, Msmagazine, October 10, 2016.


"The Gender Gap in Public Opinion: Exploring Social Role Theory as an Explanation" in Routledge Press, edited by Angela L. Bos and Monica C. Schneider, 51-69.

Demonstrates that the gender gap in support for government spending on childcare, public schools, and the provision of services in general is partially explained by Social Role Theory. Women with children are the most supportive of increased government spending on childcare and public schools as well as being the most likely to express desire for more government services. Women without children, men with children, and men without children are less supportive of this type of spending and of more government services. 

"Investigating the Origins of the Gender Gap in Support for War" Political Studies Review (2017).

Provides a critical review of the research on gender differences in support for war. Four different theoretical reasons for women’s greater propensity to oppose the use of military force are discussed including the empirical evidence to date supportive each theory. The four theories are feminist identity, social roles and motherhood, economic and political marginalization, and personal values.

"Gender Differences in Support for Torture" Journal of Conflict Resolution 61, no. 4 (2017): 772-787.

Investigates why on average men are more supportive of the use of torture, or enhanced interrogation techniques, than women. The analysis supports the hypothesis that men with higher risk perceptions are more supportive of the use of torture because they see torture as a means of reducing the risk of future terrorist attacks. Women, in comparison, with higher risk perceptions do not support the use of torture at the same level as men likely because they do not see torture as instrumental in reducing future terrorist attacks.

"Investigating Women’s Greater Support of the Affordable Care Act" The Social Science Journal 53, no. 2 (2016): 209-217.

Women are slightly more favorable toward the Affordable Care Act than men. Women’s greater support appears to be the result of women’s greater propensity to care about the well-being of others and the result of self-interest with lower income women expressing greater levels of favorability. 

"Gender, Voting, and Reproductive Rights Attitudes" in Minority Voting in the United States, edited by Kyle L. Kreider and Thomas J. Baldino (Praeger, 2016).

Reproductive Rights attitudes, specifically attitudes toward abortion legality, equally influence men’s and women’s party identification and vote choice including in 2012 with the heightened salience of the “War on Women” rhetoric. 

"The Abortion Attitudes Paradox: Model Specification and Gender Differences" Journal of Women, Politics, & Policy 36, no. 1 (2015): 1-21.

Whether or not a gender gap exists on abortion attitudes appears to depend largely on how these attitudes are statistically modelled. When demographic control variables are not included in statistical models, men appear to be more liberal on abortion legality. When demographic control variables are included, there is not statistically significant gender gap in support for abortion legality. Finally, controlling for demographic factors along with religious identification and religiosity measures results in a statistically significant gender gap where women are more supportive of abortion legality