Chatty Cathys and Negative Nancys: Are women more aggressive users of Twitter in House of Representative Campaigns?

Note: This was done in part for a class at Sam Houston State University in the political science department. Full results of the project can be found here: http://themonkeycage.org/2013/03/20/what-do-members-of-congress-tweet-about/

INTRODUCTION

Women have had a struggle from day one in the United States. They weren’t allowed to vote until the 1920’s. They hold a growing yet small number of seats in Congress. To change this, female candidates have grown in number (Manning and Shogan, 2012) and are taking to new media platforms, like Twitter, to help, in part, spread their message. Because women start out from so far behind, do they act differently on Twitter than their male counterparts? More specifically, are they more aggressive in campaigns in an attempt to catch up to become part of the political elite? This article will investigate the relationship between gender and the style of use of the micro-blogging platform Twitter. Specifically, I expect that women are more aggressive on Twitter than their male peers in these campaigns. To define aggressiveness for the purpose of this article; I will look at the number of tweets in which candidates attack and the number of tweets they publish.

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