I'm looking for recommended reading on difference in voting patterns between men and women - both empirical data and theoretical explanations. In particular, have any significant biases (in terms of political spectrum or specific issues) been confirmed when comparing male and female voting patterns?
I imagine there would be a huge literature on this topic. I found one interesting article by Inglehart and Norris (2000). I recommend reading the article. The article reports empirical findings relating to gender differences in voting patterns across countries and over time. It also discusses some of the proposed reasons for these differences.
The authors note that gender is generally not as important as class, region, or religion in voting patterns and in the formation of political parties.
To quote a few particular passages:
To explain this movement of women tending to vote for left wing candidates, they offer what they call the Developmental Theory of Gender Realignment:
In short, the article is well worth reading particularly for the way they have summarised various empirical sources of information regarding gender differences.