Skip to main content
×
Home

Does the Descriptive Representation of Gender Influence Accountability for Substantive Representation?

  • Philip Edward Jones (a1)
Abstract

Does the descriptive representation of gender affect how constituents respond to their legislators' substantive policy records? Previous work offers two distinctly opposing theories: the first, that descriptive representation may weaken accountability for substantive representation, if it leads female constituents to misperceive the incumbent's positions or give them a “free pass” on policy congruence; the second, that it may strengthen accountability, if it leads female constituents to pay greater attention to the incumbent and his or her record. Using survey data from three electoral cycles, I show that women are more likely to correctly identify their U.S. senators' policy records and weigh that record more heavily in their evaluations when they are represented by women. The descriptive representation of gender thus strengthens the links between the policy positions legislators take in office and how they are evaluated by their constituents.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Ansolabehere Stephen, and Jones Philip Edward. 2010. “Constituents' Responses to Congressional Roll Call Voting.” American Journal of Political Science 54 (3): 583–97.
Atkeson Lonna Rae. 2003. “Not All Cues Are Created Equal: The Conditional Impact of Female Candidates on Political Engagement.” Journal of Politics 65 (4): 1040–61.
Atkeson Lonna Rae, and Carrillo Nancy. 2007. “More is Better: The Influence of Collective Female Descriptive Representation on External Efficacy.” Politics & Gender 3 (1): 79101.
Banducci Susan A., Donovan Todd, and Karp Jeffrey A.. 2004. “Minority Representation, Empowerment, and Participation.” Journal of Politics 66 (2): 534–56.
Banwart Mary Christine. 2007. “Gender and Young Voters in 2004: The Influence of Perceived Knowledge and Interest.” American Behavioral Scientist 50 (9): 1152–68.
Bobo Lawrence, and Gilliam Franklin D.. 1990. “Race, Sociopolitical Participation, and Black Empowerment.” American Political Science Review 84 (2): 377–93.
Box-Steffensmeier Janet M., Kimball David C., Meinke Scott R., and Tate Katherine. 2003. “The Effects of Political Representation on the Electoral Advantages of Incumbents.” Political Research Quarterly 56: 259270.
Burns Nancy, Schlozman Kay Lehman, and Verba Sidney. 2001. The Private Roots of Public Action: Gender, Equality, and Political Participation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Campbell David E., and Wolbrecht Christina. 2006. “See Jane Run: Women Politicians as Role Models for Adolescents.” Journal of Politics 68 (2): 233–47.
Delli-Carpini Michael X., and Keeter Scott. 1996. What Americans Know About Politics and Why it Matters. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Ditonto Tessa M., Hamilton Allison J., and Redlawsk David P.. 2013. “Gender Stereotypes, Information Search, and Voting Behavior in Political Campaigns.” Political Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s11109-013-9232-6.
Dolan Kathleen. 1998. “Voting for Women in the ‘Year of the Woman’.” American Journal of Political Science 42 (1): 272–93.
Dolan Kathleen. 2008. “Is There a ‘Gender Affinity Effect’ in American Politics? Information, Affect, and Candidate Sex in U.S. House Elections.” Political Research Quarterly 61 (1): 7989.
Dolan Kathleen. 2011. “Do Women and Men Know Different Things? Measuring Gender Differences in Political Knowledge.” Journal of Politics 73 (1): 97107.
Dolan Kathleen. 2014. “Gender Stereotypes, Candidate Evaluations, and Voting for Women Candidates: What Really Matters?Political Research Quarterly 67 (1): 96107.
Dow Jay K. 2009. “Gender Differences in Political Knowledge: Distinguishing Characteristics-Based and Returns-Based Differences.” Political Behavior 31 (1): 117136.
Fenno Richard F. 1978. Home Style: House Members in their Districts. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.
Fenno Richard F.. 2003. Going Home: Black Representatives and Their Constituents. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Franklin Charles H. 1991. “Eschewing Obfuscation? Campaigns and the Perception of U.S. Senate Incumbents.” American Political Science Review 85 (4): 11931214.
Gay Claudine. 2002. “Spirals of Trust? The Effect of Descriptive Representation on the Relationship Between Citizens and Their Government.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (4): 717–32.
Gidengil Elisabeth, Giles Janine, and Thomas Melanee. 2008. “The Gender Gap in Self-Perceived Understanding of Politics in Canada and the United States.” Politics & Gender 4 (4): 535–61.
Hansen Susan B. 1997. “Talking About Politics: Gender and Contextual Effects on Political Proselytizing.” Journal of Politics 59 (1): 73103.
Hayes Danny. 2011. “When Gender and Party Collide: Stereotyping in Candidate Trait Attribution.” Politics & Gender 7 (2):133–65.
High-Pippert Angela, and Comer John. 1998. “Female Empowerment: The Influence of Women Representing Women.” Women and Politics 19 (4): 5366.
Jones Philip Edward. 2011. “Which Buck Stops Here? Accountability for Policy Positions and Policy Outcomes in Congress.” Journal of Politics 73 (3): 764–82.
Karp Jeffrey A., and Banducci Susan A.. 2008. “When Politics is not Just a Man's Game: Women's Representation and Political Engagement.” Electoral Studies 27 (1):105–15.
Koch Jeffrey. 1997. “Candidate Gender and Women's Psychological Engagement in Politics.” American Politics Research 25 (1): 118–33.
Lawless Jennifer L. 2004. “Politics of Presence? Congresswomen and Symbolic Representation.” Political Research Quarterly 57 (1): 8199.
Lawrence Eric, Binder Sarah, and Maltzman Forrest. 2011. “The Impact of Party Cues on Citizen Evaluations of Senators.” Congress and the Presidency 38 (1): 115.
Mansbridge Jane. 1999. “Should Blacks Represent Blacks and Women Represent Women? A Contingent ‘Yes’.” Journal of Politics 61 (3): 628–57.
Martin Paul S. 2003. “Voting's Rewards: Voter Turnout, Attentive Publics, and Congressional Allocation of Federal Money.” American Journal of Political Science 47 (1): 110–27.
Mondak Jeffrey J., and Anderson Mary R.. 2004. “The Knowledge Gap: A Reexamination of Gender-Based Differences in Political Knowledge.” Journal of Politics 66 (2): 492512.
Philpot Tasha S., and Walton Hanes. 2007. “One of Our Own: Black Female Candidates and the Voters Who Support Them.” American Journal of Political Science 51 (1): 4962.
Reingold Beth, and Harrell Jessica. 2010. “The Impact of Descriptive Representation on Women's Political Engagement.” Political Research Quarterly 63 (2): 280–94.
Rosenthal Cindy Simon. 1995. “The Role of Gender in Descriptive Representation.” Political Research Quarterly 48 (3): 599611.
Sinclair Barbara. 1990. “Washington Behavior and Home-State Reputation: The Impact of National Prominence on Senators' Images.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 15 (4): 475–94.
Stolle Dietlind, and Gidengil Elisabeth. 2010. “What do Women Really Know? A Gendered Analysis of Varieties of Political Knowledge.” Perspectives on Politics 8 (1): 93109.
Swers Michele L. 2013. Women in the Club: Gender and Policy Making in the Senate. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Verba Sidney, Burns Nancy, and Schlozman Kay Lehman. 1997. “Knowing and Caring about Politics: Gender and Political Engagement.” Journal of Politics 59 (4): 1051–72.
Verba Sidney, Schlozman Kay Lehman, and Brady Henry E.. 1995. Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wolbrecht Christina, and Campbell David E.. 2007. “Leading by Example: Female Members of Parliament as Political Role Models.” Journal of Politics 51 (4): 921–39.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Politics & Gender
  • ISSN: 1743-923X
  • EISSN: 1743-9248
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-gender
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Jones Supplementary Material
Abstract

 Word (14 KB)
14 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 6
Total number of PDF views: 73 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 315 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.