To what extent does conventional survey measurement capture the political interest of men and women equally well? We aim to answer this question by relying on unique data from a national online survey in Spain, where we used various questions unpacking the standard indicator of political interest. The findings show that men and women nominate different personal political interests. We also find that the gender gap in political interest vanishes once these specific interests are taken into account. This suggests that at least part of the documented gender gap in general political interest might be due to the fact that, when prompted to think about politics, women disregard their own specific political interests and instead focus on the dominant, male-oriented understanding of politics.
gender gap; political interest; political socialization; survey measurement