WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Women are more disconnected and have less general knowledge about politics than men regardless of what country they live in across the globe.
A University of London study of both men and women’s knowledge of international and domestic news found that reading, listening and watching news is more of a male activity. And current affairs issues in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Italy, Norway, Korea the United States and Britain there is a large gender gap which shows that men consume political news much more than their female counterparts.
“It’s not only that women tend to know less about public affairs, but they are more disconnected to the political process,” lead professor James Curran told the Globe and Mail. “Women are more inclined to say they are not interested in politics than men. Women are also more inclined to say politics are complicated and difficult to understand.”
One part of the study had participants answer a multiple-choice test. Canadian men answered slightly less than half of answers correctly, while women got a third right, according to the National Post. That put them on par with American men.
Women in the U.S. answered only one in five of the questions correctly.
“It comes as somewhat disconcerting to find the knowledge gap between men and women is actually greater in some western democracies, which do rank high in terms of global gender ranking,” Curran said.
For the research, Curran and his team looked at the content and supply of news in 10 countries, finding that viewing public television for news, as opposed to commercial television, yielded a more informed public audience.
The research data concluded that watching, reading and listening to news is more of a male activity, with men in Canada, Norway and the U.K. claiming they are exposed to newspapers and TV news more than women.
Curran said women watch different amounts of hard news on television depending on the country they’re in, according to the Globe and Mail. Curran used Japan as an example, whose women were shown in the study to be more informed than American women. He said the reason might be because there’s a higher sense of civic duty in Japan than in the U.S., and public-service TV is very strong in Japan, as opposed to more commercialized TV in the U.S.