The Gender Backlash in the Vote for Brexit

Despite a relationship between gender and support for populist causes in cross-national research, the role of gender has been missing in analysis of support for Brexit, probably because women and men showed no average aggregate-level differences in voting Leave or Remain. This, we argue, misses an important part of the explanation for Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. Using novel survey measures, we demonstrate (i) the nature of perceptions of discrimination towards men and women; (ii) the sociological sources of perceptions that men – and women – are discriminated against; and (iii) the role of these perceptions in the Brexit vote. This paper offers a novel contribution to understanding the cultural backlash behind Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.