This study quantitatively tests the relationship between state militarism and domestic gender equality. International relations literature on the impact and potential impact of women on foreign policy suggests that women are more peaceful in that they are less likely than men to support the use of international violence. Other research indicates that a domestic environment of inequality results in state militarism on the international level. Both lines of inquiry suggest that a domestic environment of equality between women and men would lead toward greater state pacifism, and four hypotheses are developed to test this relationship. The Militarized Interstate Dispute dataset is used with hostility level as the dependent variable to measure the level of militarism employed by any given state to resolve international conflicts. Independent variables for gender equality include percent women in parliament, duration of female suffrage, percent women in the labor force, and fertility rate. Several control variables (alliances, contiguity, wealth, and democracy) are added to the multivariate logistic regressions, and all four hypotheses are confirmed. This study substantiates the theory that domestic gender equality has a pacifying effect on state behavior on the international level.
Replication datasets available