A Pew Research Center study examining public trust in the government found that women are now far less likely to be confident about the US’ future than men are.
While 53% of men in a April 2017 Pew poll said they have a lot of confidence in the country’s future, only 29% of women agreed with this statement.
In October 2015, those figures were much closer together, with 47% of men and 43% of women saying they were optimistic about the country’s future.
Since President Donald Trump took office in January, his presidency has been marred by a string of public protests and controversies. The day after he was inaugurated, millions of women took to the streets across the country to protest against the president, who has a history of making controversial statements about women, and has bragged in the past about groping women without their consent. Throughout the campaign and since taking office, Trump and his administration have also advocated rolling back abortion rights and restricting access to Planned Parenthood.
Among Republicans, the Pew survey found a large gender gap in the level of optimism respondents felt. Seventy-two per cent of Republican men feel confident about the US’ future, while just 44% of Republican or Republican-leaning women reported feeling the same way.
Overall, Pew studies have found that public trust in the government remains at historic lows. In October 2015, 19% of respondents said that they believed they could trust lawmakers in Washington.
As of April, that number rose to 20%, just one percentage point higher than the 2015 figure. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 28% said they felt they could trust the federal government, compared to just 15% of Democrats or Democrat-leaning independents.
Predictably, Republicans are far more likely now to say that they trust the government than they were when Barack Obama was president.
Still, the study notes that public attitudes toward the federal government today indicate a frustration with Washington among Americans, regardless of party or gender.
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