Gender Differences in Civic and Political Engagement and Participation Among Italian Young People


  • Serena Stefani
  • Gabriele Prati
  • Iana Tzankova
  • Elena Ricci
  • Cinzia Albanesi
  • Elvira Cicognani


A substantial amount of literature has revealed gender gaps in political participation. However, little is known about such gaps when using more comprehensive measures of civic and political participation including online participation. In the present study, we recruited a sample (n = 1792) of young people living in Italy. Controlling for age, majority/minority status, socioeconomic status, respondents’ educational attainment, and parents’ educational attainment, we found that female participants reported higher scores on online and civic participation, while male participants were more likely to report political and activist participation. The effect size for these gender differences was small. In addition, we did not find any gender differences in voting behavior in the last European parliamentary elections, national parliamentary elections, and local elections. These findings highlight the need to move toward a more comprehensive and detailed picture of gender gaps in political engagement and participation including different types of participation.