Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Mark Pancer

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Two studies were conducted to examine the factors that influence women’s choices of political participation. In the first study 600 University students were asked their likelihood of engaging in 35 traditional and non-traditional political activities to create social change (the Political Activity Scale). Factor analysis identified 5 factors, one of which represented traditional and political activities, one of which represented non-traditional political activities and three of which represented a mix of traditional and non-traditional. In the second study, 80 University students read a social issue concerning poverty or the environment, and completed a revised political activity scale. They also completed the Social Dominance Orientation questionnaire (Pratto, Sidanius, Stallworth & Malle, 1994) and Craig and Maggiotto’s measure of political efficacy. Results indicated that women were more likely to participate in non-governmental organizations than were men. Tests of mediation demonstrated that the sex difference in non-governmental organization participation was partially explained by women’s lower levels of social dominance beliefs, relative to men, and by their perception of the non-traditional realm being more effective in creating social change (political efficacy).

Convocation Year


Convocation Season