Isabel Inguanzo, Bingbing Zhang and Homero Gil de Zúñiga have published the article ‘Online cultural backlash? Sexism and political user-generated content‘ in Information, Communication & Society.
Prior research highlights substantial beneficial effects of political user-generated content (UGC) in society, such as diversifying political viewpoints, mobilizing the electorate, and fostering citizens’ civic engagement. However, important user asymmetries exist when creating political content. Gender, age, media uses, and skills gaps have been identified as key variables predicting UGC. This study addressed the political UGC gender gap from a political perspective. We build on previous theory about feminist media studies, political polarization, and cultural backlash theory to disentangle whether hostile sexism predicts UGC creation. Drawing on online survey data from four well-established democracies, we find that those individuals holding hostile sexist views are more likely to generate political content online. Further implications for democracy and the role of women in the digital sphere are discussed.