The day after Donald Trump took the oath of office, hundreds of thousands of women traveled to Washington, DC, to demonstrate their opposition to the new president. This groundswell of activism almost immediately led to widespread reporting that Trump’s victory was inspiring a large new crop of female candidates across the country. Is Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency really pushing women everywhere to throw their hats into the political ring? Is Donald Trump such a shock to the political system that he’s able to spark the kind of political activism and ambition that previous political candidates and major political events simply could not? This report, based on a May 2017 national survey of “potential candidates” – college educated women and men who are employed full-time – begins to provide systematic answers to these questions. Read the report here.
Sex, Bipartisanship, and Collaboration in the U.S. Congress
Despite growing bodies of research about party polarization, women’s leadership, and legislative effectiveness, largely open questions still remained. Until now. Our comprehensive study of gender and cooperation on Capitol Hill is a first cut at assessing the conventional wisdom that women of both parties are more likely than their male co-partisans to be “problem solvers” – people who create a climate for passing legislation rather than serving partisan goals. But as we illustrate in this report, the results indicate only the faintest evidence for this argument, write Jennifer L. Lawless and Sean M. Theriault. Read the report here.
Not a ‘Year of the Woman’...and 2036 Doesn’t Look So Good Either
The 2014 election saw some incredible firsts for women: Republican Joni Ernst was elected the first woman to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate; and Mia Love, a Republican from Utah, became the first black woman ever elected in the Republican Party to Congress. But when historians look back on the 2014 election, it will not be dubbed the "Year of the Woman," and the next several election cycles will likely fall short as well, write Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox. Read the report here.
It’s the Family, Stupid? Not Quite...How Traditional Gender Roles Do Not Affect Women’s Political Ambition
Following Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy announcement in April of 2014, media outlets speculated whether the future grandchild to Hillary Clinton would impact her potential presidential campaign in 2016. In this research paper, Jennifer Lawless addresses the question of whether family roles and responsibilities affect a potential candidate's political career. Lawless analyzes both female and male candidates and finds that traditional roles and responsibilities have little influence on candidates’ decision to run for office. Read the report here.
Girls Just Wanna Not Run
Studies of women and men who are well-situated to run for office uncover a persistent gender gap in
political ambition. Among “potential candidates” – lawyers, business leaders, educators, and political
activists – women are less likely than men to express interest in a political career. Given the emergence
over the past ten years of high-profile women in politics, such as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi,
Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann, though, the landscape of U.S. politics looks to be changing.
Perhaps young women are now just as motivated as young men to enter the electoral arena. Maybe
young women envision future candidacies at similar rates as their male counterparts. Until now, no
research has provided an analysis – let alone an in-depth investigation – of these topics. Read the report here.
Men Rule: The Continued Under-Representation of Women in U.S. Politics
Study after study finds that, when women run for office, they perform just as well as their male counterparts. No differences emerge in women and men’s fundraising receipts, vote totals, or electoral success. Yet women remain severely under-represented in U.S. political institutions. We argue that the fundamental reason for women’s under-representation is that they do not run for office. There is a substantial gender gap in political ambition; men tend to have it, and women don’t. Read the report here.
Why Are Women Still Not Running for Office?
Extensive research shows that when women run for office, they perform just as well as men. Yet women remain severely under-represented in our political institutions. In this report, we argue that the fundamental reason for women’s under-representation is that they do not run for office. There is a substantial gender gap in political ambition; men tend to have it, and women don’t. Read the report here.