In the United States, Democrats have long insisted that women should vote for Democrats, because abortion was the most important issue.
Abortion is not really an issue any more. It was allowed by states prior to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and has been the law of the land for 40 years. In cases where someone tries to run on abortion, it fails. But marketing scholars say global warming has replaced abortion as the litmus test for why women should be Democrats - if women care about long-term consequences of their actions, that is.
Jeff Joireman, associate professor of marketing at Washington State University, says in the Journal of Environmental Psychology that "future-oriented" women - and who doesn't want to be called that? - are the voting bloc most likely to be fine with higher taxes and more regulations.
Previous surveys have found that women and those with liberal viewpoints are more likely to claim to want to protect the environment than men - and also more than female conservatives. Their reasoning may not be sound, since it was also found that their belief in global warming is positively linked to outdoor temperatures. During hot weeks, people think more about climate change, so Democrats are hoping for a heat wave or a Super Storm, or something that will get future-oriented liberal women to the polls in November.
This year's political contests are also heated, with environmental ads surging to record levels. Over 125,000 political spots cite energy, climate change and the environment, which is a solid third place, behind ads about the lingering unemployment problem and health care costs - according to an analysis by Kantar Media/CMAG. But while voters may take the environment seriously, political candidates do not. In California's 8th Congressional District, both the Democratic incumbent Ami Bera and his Republican challenger Doug Ose invoke science in their advertising, but neither will go on record outlining what their positions are.
For their paper, the authors confirmed their belief in global warming psyche using a rather subjective personality trait called "consideration of future consequences."
Those who score high on the scale were considered to be very worried about the future impacts of their actions, while those with lower scores are more concerned with immediate consequences. Joireman and his team polled 299 U.S. residents, ages 18 to 75. 52% percent of the respondents were male and 80 percent were Caucasian.
On their "consideration of future consequences" scale, women who scored high on 'future consequences were more liberal, had more environmental values, belief in global warming, and willingness to pay more for energy and food to reduce global warming. Women scored lower than men on liberal political orientation and willingness to pay when their concern with future consequences was low.
Joireman says future-oriented women are more politically liberal and liberals are more likely to claim to value the environment, though when it comes to actual conservation and recycling there is no difference between global warming belief and denial. These effects lead to a willingness to pay more in goods, services and extra taxes to help mitigate climate change, though since most of the respondents were college students, and don't even have to pay for health insurance until they are 26, they don't actually realize what higher costs mean.
"Future-oriented women, for example, might be more willing to pay higher prices for fuel-efficient cars, alternative forms of transportation and energy efficient appliances. They might also eat less meat, all to help lower greenhouse gas emissions," Joireman