Resources, Masculinities, and Gender Differences Among Pro-life Activists

Eric Swank, Breanne Fahs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Abortion politics are often about “pro-choice” and “pro-life” countermovements trying to gain power by winning the support of political bystanders. While more is known about the reasons people become pro-choice activists, far less research has examined the motives for pro-life men and women. To address the factors that mobilize abortion activism, this study examined the role of education, religious contexts, and gendered expectations in predicting pro-life activism. After surveying 820 college students, our data highlights the importance of activist networks in inspiring activism among pro-life advocates. In gender subsamples, being a biblical literalist, being married, and endorsing patriarchal family structures were linked to more pro-life activism among women, while embracing authoritarian outlooks, having less education, being poorer, and attending religious services did so for men. Implications for gender differences in pro-life activism and the complex ways in which pro-life attitudes intersect with traditional gender roles were explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-294
Number of pages18
JournalSexuality and Culture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Abortion
  • Gender attitudes
  • Political participation
  • Pro-life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies


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