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Women and Representation: A Different View of the District?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2007

Jessica C. Gerrity
Washington College
Tracy Osborn
University of Iowa
Jeanette Morehouse Mendez
Oklahoma State University


In this article we measure the impact of gender on women's legislative behavior by utilizing a unique research design. We compare whether women and men of the same political party represent the same congressional district differently with respect to women's issues. Using bill sponsorship and floor remarks during the 104th to 107th sessions of the U.S. House of Representatives as measures of legislative behavior, we find that female legislators who replace men in the same district introduce more women's issues bills in Congress. Although our conclusion that women legislators represent women's issues more frequently in the House supports existing research, our results do so in a new and more effective way by controlling for the competing explanations of party identification and district opinion as factors determining a legislator's behavior.

Research Article
2007 The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association

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