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The “Gender Gap” in State Legislative Representation: New Data to Tackle an Old Question

Abstract : Explanations regarding the gender gap in state legislative representation have centered on attitudinal, institutional, and situational characteristics of states (e.g., Carroll 1994; Nechemias 1987; Norrander and Wilcox 1998; Rule 1981, 1990; Welch 1977). In regard to attitudinal characteristics, researchers have primarily focused on the impact political culture and ideology have on female representation. Less attention has been paid to specific gender-role attitudes due to the lack of a state-level gender-role attitudes measure. Consequently, little is understood about how culture, ideology, and gender-role attitudes relate to one another or female representation in the states. Recently, a cross-sectional measure of state-level gender-role attitudes constructed from the General Social Survey (GSS), 1974-1996 by Brace et al. (1999) has become available. A cross-sectional analysis of 38 states reveals that gender-role attitudes affect the level of state legislative female representation independent of political culture and ideology. Thoughts on why this is the case are discussed, suggesting future lines of research made possible by this new measure.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 8, 2022 - 4:12:49 PM
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Kevin Arceneaux. The “Gender Gap” in State Legislative Representation: New Data to Tackle an Old Question. Political Research Quarterly, SAGE Publications (UK and US), 2001, 54 (1), pp.143-160. ⟨10.1177/106591290105400108⟩. ⟨hal-03635672⟩

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