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January 09, 2008

Women, National Security and Change
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

So instead of being triumphalist this morning, I'm going to put up some fun numbers I looked up yesterday about how men and women differ on national security issues.  All from the American Security Project poll this past spring.  Way too much fact-free columnist bloviating on gender issues, including by yours truly on bloggingheads, coming soon.  But here I introduce three intriguing and somewhat counterintuitive actual facts:

1.  Women are more scared than men.  Women are significantly more worried about the likelihood of a terrorist attack on the US, and personally concerned about the safety of their loved ones.

2.  Yet, women are less supportive of pre-emptive approaches and military action.

3.  And they are more supportive of diplomacy and "soft power" than men, despite being more afraid.

This leads me to a meditation about change:  what's it telling us if more than half of more than half of the voting population is heading for the future with hope and fear together?  If they want their fears heard and responded to as part of moving forward with hope? 

Just sayin... 


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Interesting. I'm not surprised about the latter two points but the first one does surprise me.

Anyways, certainly good news, but I'm curious about drivers. If fear isn't the best predictor of militarism, what is? Also of interest would be looking at how reactions to terrorism develop over time. Many European countries seem to have more of a stiff upper lip response that may come from more experience with attacks.

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