Out now: Gendered Effect of Parenthood on Voting Behaviour in the 2021 German Federal Elections
Teney, C., Dochow-Sondershaus, S., & Lovette, F.
News from Apr 11, 2023
in: German Politics | open access
The effect of parenthood on voting behaviour has so far been largely neglected in electoral research or is assumed to have a negligible effect. However, the 2021 German federal election campaign faced the politicisation of two main family- and children-related issues (i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change). Based on a comparison of data in the 2017 and 2021 German Longitudinal Election Study, we investigate the gendered effect of parenthood on voting behaviour. Our multinomial logistic regression analysis points to a significant parenthood effect for women during the 2021 election: women with at least one child under the age of 11 have an 8-percentage point higher probability of voting for the Greens than women without children in that age group (controlling among other things for education, age, religiosity and left-right identity). We do not find a similar effect for men. Further analyses suggest that this effect is partly due to a larger importance of climate change issues among mothers of young children. We conclude by highlighting the potential relevance of parents as an electorate force when family- and children-related issues are politicised during electoral campaigns.