Gender and Attitudes Towards a Peace Agreement in Situations of Intractable Conflict: The Case of the Jewish-Israeli Society

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Abstract

The question of whether women are more oriented towards peace has been debated in the research literature for several decades but has not been systematically tested in conflict-driven areas. The aim of our article is twofold: (1) to suggest a conceptual framework regarding gender differences in support for peace in intractable conflict and test it in a prominent case study; and (2) to examine whether major events leading to conflict reescalation have differential effects on women and men. Across 145 polls carried out on a monthly basis among nationally representative samples of Jewish-Israelis between 1995 and 2006, we found only marginally higher levels of support for the Oslo Accords among women versus men, while conflict-related worldviews—political ideology and religiosity—had a much larger effect. Furthermore, violent reescalation in the conflict had a stronger effect on reducing men's levels of support for the Oslo Accords than those of women. Robustness analysis of 196 monthly surveys from 2002 until 2018 examining the effect of gender on support for negotiation provided further support for our findings. Overall, our analyses indicate that sex-based differences play a minor role in explaining attitudes towards peace in situations of protracted violent conflicts at different stages, compared to the prominent effects of political ideology and religiosity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Oslo Accords
  • Second Intifada
  • gender gaps
  • peace agreement

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