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In the news: between Jan. 26 - Feb 2, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in the media between Jan. 26 and Feb. 2, 2015

Study Says Blame Men For Political Gridlock - Newsroom America

Would Congress be less dysfunctional if it consisted of 80 percent women instead of men? It's likely, according to a new study co-authored by Patrick Miller, a KU assistant professor of political science.

The researchers found that men in survey and experimental data were more likely than women to avoid cross-party political discussion, to judge political arguments based solely on what party is advancing them, and to form strong political opinions about the opposite party's positions without actually listening to the other side's reasoning. Miller said these findings fit with psychological research known as the "male warrior argument" that focuses on men being hard-wired to fight.

"It's not that women don't have any of those feelings. It's just that they have fewer of them," he said. "We found these interesting patterns such as being exposed to competitive elections makes you more hesitant to discuss politics and engage with the other side. So our elections divide us from each other as citizens rather than encourage us to discuss important political issues."

This idea is important, the study's authors said, because the act of listening to political opponents is a central tenet in the proper functioning of a deliberative democracy.

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