Blaming Women or Blaming the System? Public Perceptions of Women’s Underrepresentation in Elected Office

  title={Blaming Women or Blaming the System? Public Perceptions of Women’s Underrepresentation in Elected Office},
  author={Kathleen Dolan and Michael A. Hansen},
  journal={Political Research Quarterly},
  pages={668 - 680}
While scholars understand some of the reasons for the underrepresentation of women in elected office in the United States, we know almost nothing about what the public sees as the explanation for this reality. We also know relatively little about the degree to which people see women’s underrepresentation as a problem. Drawing on blame attribution theories, we examine whether people believe that there are systematic or individual explanations for the number of women in elected office. As blame… 

Tables from this paper

Why Women Earn High Marks: Examining the Role of Partisanship and Gender in Political Evaluations
We present the results of a randomized survey experiment demonstrating that the public evaluates women politicians more highly than men across multiple characteristic assessments. This finding is
What Do Pennsylvania Voters Think about Gender and Women’s Representation?
Despite ongoing interest in the role of gender in American elections, highlighted most recently by Hillary Clinton’s historic bid for the presidency in 2016 and the 2018 “Year of the Woman”
Gender Gaps, Partisan Gaps, and Cross-Pressures: An Examination of American Attitudes toward the Use of Force
This article explores the gender gap in attitudes toward the use of military force in the United States. Given that the United States has been continuously engaged in war for the last 17 years, we
The Contingent Effects of Sexism in Primary Elections
Although the landscape for female candidates in U.S. politics has improved, research continues to find that many voters possess sexist attitudes. We rely on a standard political communication
Sovereign Bodies: Native Nations, Native American Women, and the Politics of 2018
What did Native American women and men voters think about Donald Trump on the eve of the 2018 election? This question has important implications for understanding the gendered political attitudes of
Voter Sex, Party, and Gender-Salient Issues: Attitudes about Sexual Harassment and Brett Kavanaugh in the 2018 Elections
Since the election of President Trump and the dawning of the #MeToo movement, gender-salient issues have had a primary place in recent American politics. This was particularly evident in 2018 in the
Gender and Democratic Attitudes: Do Women and Men Prioritize Different Democratic Institutions?
Abstract Using the 2012 European Social Survey (ESS), this article provides the first comparative analysis of how conceptions of democracy differ between men and women in 29 countries, and how this
Media Discrimination and Gender Differences in Political Ambition in a Laboratory Experiment
Very little research has considered how media discrimination could impact men and women’s political ambition. Yet, media discrimination could impact both beliefs about gender roles and political
Gender and Racial Gaps in Support for Policing and Correctional Reforms: Are the Gaps a Consequence of Political Partisanship?
Divisive criminal justice issues are typically framed through gender and racial lenses, with little empirical work considering the increasing role of political partisanship. Using the 2016
Women Leaders Evolution in Our Society From the Perspective of a Son of a Women Leader
  • Jon Storslee
  • Psychology
    Challenges and Opportunities for Women in Higher Education Leadership
  • 2019
One of the most prevalent changes in my lifetime is the emergence of women leaders in almost every facet of American life. While the transformation of our society is an ongoing process and will


A Non-Gendered Lens? Media, Voters, and Female Candidates in Contemporary Congressional Elections
Much research in the study of U.S. politics has argued that female candidates for elected office are treated differently—and often worse—than male candidates in the press and by the public. Although
Making the connection? Attitudes about women in politics and voting for women candidates
Research on women candidates in the USA often considers the role that attitudes toward women in politics can play in shaping the electoral success of these candidates. However, besides anecdotal
Gendered Perceptions and Political Candidacies: A Central Barrier to Women's Equality in Electoral Politics
Based on the second wave of the Citizen Political Ambition Panel Study, we provide the first thorough analysis of how gender affects women and men’s efficacy to run for office. Our findings reveal
Gender, race, and political ambition: how intersectionality and frames influence interest in political office
ABSTRACT Political institutions in the U.S. continue to be dominated by men. Media and scholarly accounts often focus on how demand factors, such as political parties and elite networks, and supply
The Contingent Effects of Candidate Sex on Voter Choice
A prominent explanation for why women are significantly underrepresented in public office in the U.S. is that stereotypes lead voters to favor male candidates over female candidates. Yet whether
Gender-Related Political Knowledge and the Descriptive Representation of Women
Past scholarship has documented that women tend to know less about politics than men. This study finds that political knowledge of one kind—knowledge about the actual level of women's
Why Women Don't Run
Abstract Women are dramatically underrepresented in all of America's elective political institutions. Previous research has demonstrated that once women choose to become candidates they not only
Gendered Recruitment without Trying: How Local Party Recruiters Affect Women's Representation
Do strong and active political parties enhance women's representation, or do they contribute to the ongoing inequality in men's and women's candidacy rates? Studies have examined this question by
Gender, Candidate Portrayals and Election Campaigns: A Comparative Perspective
In the United States, research suggests that men and women candidates are covered differently by the press. However, few studies compare press coverage of candidates cross-nationally. Systematic
Politics, Religion, Attribution Theory, and Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Unions
type="main"> The relationship between beliefs about the cause of homosexuality, political and religious ideology, and attitudes toward same-sex unions in the United States is unclear. This study aims