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It Still Takes A Candidate
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Details

  • 13 b/w illus. 34 tables
  • Page extent: 256 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.5 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 320.082
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: HQ1236.5.U6 L38 2010
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Women--Political activity--United States
    • Political participation--United States
    • Women political candidates--United States
    • Women--United States--Attitudes
    • Sex role--United States

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521762526)

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It Still Takes A Candidate
Cambridge University Press
9780521762526 - It Still Takes A Candidate - Why Women Don't Run for Office - By Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox
Frontmatter/Prelims

It Still Takes A Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office

It Still Takes A Candidate serves as the only systematic, nationwide empirical account of the manner in which gender affects political ambition. Based on data from the Citizen Political Ambition Panel Study, a national survey of almost 3,800 “eligible candidates” in 2001 and a second survey of more than 2,000 of these same individuals in 2008, Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox find that women, even in the highest tiers of professional accomplishment, are substantially less likely than men to demonstrate ambition to seek elective office. Women are less likely than men to be recruited to run for office. They are less likely than men to think they are qualified to run for office. And they are less likely than men to express a willingness to run for office in the future. This gender gap in political ambition persists across generations and over time. Despite cultural evolution and society's changing attitudes toward women in politics, running for public office remains a much less attractive and feasible endeavor for women than for men.

Jennifer L. Lawless is associate professor of government at American University, where she is also the director of the Women & Politics Institute. Her research focuses on gender, elections, and representation. Professor Lawless has published numerous articles in academic journals, such as American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Social Problems, and Politics & Gender. She is a nationally recognized speaker, and her scholarly analysis and political commentary have been quoted in various newspapers, magazines, television news programs, and radio shows. In 2006, she sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in Rhode Island's second congressional district. Currently, she serves as the editor of Politics & Gender.

Richard L. Fox is associate professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University. His research examines how gender affects voting behavior, state executive elections, congressional elections, and political ambition. He is the author of Gender Dynamics in Congressional Elections (1997) and coauthor of Tabloid Justice: The Criminal Justice System in the Age of Media Frenzy (2007). He is also coeditor, with Susan J. Carroll, of Gender and Elections (2010). His work has appeared in Political Psychology, Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, Social Problems, PS, and Politics & Gender. He has also written op-ed articles that have appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.


It Still Takes A Candidate

Why Women Don't Run for Office

Revised Edition

Jennifer L. Lawless

American University

Richard L. Fox

Loyola Marymount University


CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
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Cambridge University Press
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www.cambridge.org
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521179249

© Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox 2005, 2010

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2005
Revised edition published 2010

Printed in the United States of America

A catalog record for this publication is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication dataLawless, Jennifer L., 1975–It still takes a candidate : why women don't run for office / Jennifer L. Lawless,Richard L. Fox. – Rev. ed.p. cm.Rev. ed. of: It takes a candidate. 2005.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 978-0-521-76252-6 (hardback) – ISBN 978-0-521-17924-9 (pbk.)1. Women – Political activity – United States. 2. Political participation – United States.3. Women political candidates – United States. 4. Women – United States – Attitudes.5. Sex role – United States. I. Fox, Richard Logan. II. Lawless, Jennifer L., 1975–It takes a candidate. III. Title.HQ1236.5.U6L38 2010320.082 – dc22 2009047364

ISBN 978-0-521-76252-6 Hardback
ISBN 978-0-521-17924-9 Paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet Web sites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such Web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


Contents

List of Tables
ix
List of Figures
xi
Acknowledgments
xiii
1             Electoral Politics: Still a Man's World?
1
Representation, Equality, and the Study of Gender in Electoral Politics
5
Traditional Gender Socialization in the Context of U.S. Politics: The Central Argument and Its Implications
8
Traditional Family Role Orientations
9
Masculinized Ethos
10
Gendered Psyche
12
Organization of the Book
14
2             Explaining Women's Emergence in the Political Arena
18
Women and Elective Office: The Numbers
20
Existing Explanations for Women's Underrepresentation
22
Societal Rejection and Cultural Evolution: The Discrimination Explanation
24
Institutional Inertia: The Incumbency Explanation
28
The Candidate Eligibility Pool: The Pipeline Explanation
30
The Missing Piece: Developing a Theory of Gender and Political Ambition
33
The Citizen Political Ambition Panel Study
36
3             The Gender Gap in Political Ambition
44
Very Much the Same: Gender, Political Participation, Proximity, and Interest
46
Very Much Different: Gender and Political Ambition
49
Stage 1: Considering a Candidacy
50
Stage 2: Deciding to Enter the First Race
55
The Persistent Winnowing Effect
56
The Gender Gap in Elective Office Preferences
57
Conclusion
59
4             Barefoot, Pregnant, and Holding a Law Degree: Family Dynamics and Running for Office
61
Raised to Be a Candidate?
64
Eligible Candidates’ Family Structures and Roles
69
Wife, Mother, and Candidate? Family Roles as Impediments to Political Ambition
76
Are Times Changing? Generational Differences in Political Ambition
84
Conclusion
87
5             Gender, Party, and Political Recruitment
89
Eligible Candidates’ Political Attitudes and Partisanship
91
Who Gets Asked to Run for Office?
95
The Gender Gap in Political Recruitment
97
The Role of Women's Organizations
103
Political Recruitment and Considering a Candidacy
106
Conclusion
110
6             “I’m Just Not Qualified”: Gendered Self-Perceptions of Candidate Viability
112
The Gender Gap in Self-Perceived Qualifications and Its Impact on Political Ambition
114
Explanations for the Gender Gap in Self-Perceived Qualifications
122
The Sexist Environment
122
Gender Differences in Defining Political Qualifications
126
Different Yardsticks for Gauging Political Qualifications
131
Conclusion
134
7             Taking the Plunge: Deciding to Run for Office
136
Why Would Anyone Run for Office? Negative Perceptions of the Electoral Environment and the Campaign Process
138
Gender and the Decision to Enter a Race
145
A Side Note on Political Culture and Structural Factors
154
Prospective Interest in Running for Office
157
Conclusion
161
8             Gender and the Future of Electoral Politics
163
Summarizing the Findings and Forecasting Women's Representation
164
Recasting the Study of Gender and Elections
171
Appendix A:   The Citizen Political Ambition Panel Study Sample Design and Data Collection
177
Appendix B:   The First-Wave Survey (2001)
180
Appendix C:   The Second-Wave Survey (2008)
191
Appendix D:   The Interview Questionnaire
202
Appendix E:   Variable Coding
207
Works Cited
213
Index
231

List of Tables

2.1           World Rankings of Women in National Legislatures
21
2.2           Demographic and Political Profile of the Candidate Eligibility Pool (in 2001)
39
2.3           A Comparison of First- and Second-Wave Respondents
40
3.1           Eligible Candidates’ Proximity to Politics
48
3.2           Offices Sought and Won by Eligible Candidates
50
3.3           Eligible Candidates’ Interest in Running for Office, by Profession
52
3.4           The Baseline Model of Candidate Emergence from the Eligibility Pool
53
3.5           Eligible Candidates’ Levels of Engagement in Activities That Often Precede a Political Candidacy
55
3.6           Gender Differences in Eligible Candidates’ Elective Office Preferences
59
4.1           Eligible Candidates’ Early Political Socialization Patterns
66
4.2           The Impact of a Politicized Upbringing on Considering a Candidacy
69
4.3           Eligible Candidates’ Current Family Structures and Responsibilities
73
4.4           The Impact of Family Structures and Responsibilities on Considering a Candidacy
78
4.5           Eligible Candidates’ Interest in Running for Office, across Generations
86
4.6           College Students’ Political Activism and Attitudes toward Running for Office
87
5.1           Eligible Candidates’ Political Ideology
92
5.2           Eligible Candidates’ Issue Priorities
93
5.3           Eligible Candidates’ Predicted Probabilities of Considering a Candidacy, by Party
94
5.4           Gender and Recruitment by Political Gatekeepers (by profession and party)
99
5.5           Who Gets Recruited?
104
5.6           The Impact of Political Recruitment on Considering a Candidacy
109
6.1           Eligible Candidates’ Perceptions of Their Qualifications to Run for Office
116
6.2           Eligible Candidates’ Perceptions of Their Likelihood of Winning a Political Race
117
6.3           Gender Differences in Eligible Candidates’ Perceptions of Political Skills
118
6.4           The Impact of Self-Perceived Qualifications on Considering a Candidacy
120
6.5           Gender Differences in Eligible Candidates’ Perceptions of Political Traits
131
7.1           Eligible Candidates’ Preferred Means of Influencing the Policy Process
140
7.2           Eligible Candidates’ Willingness to Engage in Campaign Activities
145
7.3           The Fully Specified Model of Who Considers Running for Office
147
7.4           The Fully Specified Model of Who Runs for Office
152
7.5           Eligible Candidates’ Future Interest in Running for Office
157
7.6           Factors That Might Encourage Eligible Candidates to Run for Office in the Future
159
8.1           Summary of Findings Categorized by the Three-Part Conception of Traditional Gender Socialization
167
8.2           Pre-Law Students’ Attitudes toward Running for Office
169



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