Skip to main content

Sexism and Gender Bias in Election 2008: A More Complex Path for Women in Politics

  • Jennifer L. Lawless (a1)

When Hillary Clinton announced her presidential candidacy, questions about the role of gender in presidential politics immediately surfaced. Would gender stereotyping and sexism pervade the electoral environment? Would the media treat Clinton differently than her competitors in the Democratic primary field? Would Clinton's candidacy mobilize women of all types, simply by virtue of its historic nature? And when Clinton lost the Democratic nomination, new questions quickly arose. Was America just not ready to elect a female president? To what extent did Bill Clinton account for Senator Clinton's successes and failures? How would the 18 million women and men who cast their ballots for Clinton vote in the general election? With so many interesting unknowns, political scientists will likely spend the next several years examining Hillary Clinton's campaign and assessing the extent to which her sex affected her experiences and contributed to her primary loss.

Hide All
Braden, Maria. 1996. Women Politicians in the Media. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press.
Bystrom, Dianne G., Banwart, Mary Christine, Kaid, Lynda Lee, and Robertson, Terry A.. 2004. Gender and Candidate Communication. New York: Routledge.
Carroll, Susan and Schreiber, Ronnee. 1997. “Media Coverage of Women in the 103rd Congress.” In Women, Media and Politics, ed. Norris, P.. New York: Oxford University Press.
Chaney, C., and Sinclair, B.. 1994. “Women and the 1992 House Elections.” In The Year of the Woman, ed. Cook, E. A., Thomas, S., and Wilcox, C.. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Falk, Erika. 2008. Women for President: Media Bias in Eight Campaigns. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.
Fox, Richard L. 1997. Gender Dynamics in Congressional Elections. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Fox, Richard L. 2006. “Congressional Elections: Where Are We on the Road to Gender Parity?” In Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, ed. Carroll, S. and Fox, R.. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Inglehart, Ronald, and Norris, Pippa. 2003. Rising Tide: Gender Equality and Cultural Change. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kahn, Kim Fridkin. 1996. The Political Consequences of Being a Woman. New York: Columbia University Press.
Koch, Jeffrey W. 2000. “Do Citizens Apply Gender Stereotypes to Infer Candidates' Ideological Orientations?Journal of Politics 62 (2): 414–29.
Lawless, Jennifer L. 2004a. “Politics of Presence: Women in the House and Symbolic Representation.” Political Research Quarterly 57 (1): 8199.
Lawless, Jennifer L. 2004b. “Women, War, and Winning Elections: Gender Stereotyping in the Post September 11th Era.” Political Research Quarterly 53 (3): 479–90.
Lawless, Jennifer L., and Fox, Richard L.. 2005. It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Lawless, Jennifer L., and Fox, Richard L.. 2008. “Why Are Women Still Not Running for Public Office?” Issues in Governance Studies 16. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.
Lawless, Jennifer L., and Pearson, Kathryn. 2008. “The Primary Reason for Women's Under-Representation: Re-Evaluating the Conventional Wisdom.” Journal of Politics 70 (1): 6782.
Mansbridge, Jane. 1999. “Should Blacks Represent Blacks and Women Represent Women? A Contingent ‘Yes.’Journal of Politics 61 (3): 628–57.
McDermott, Monika L. 1997. “Voting Cues in Low-Information Elections: Candidate Gender as a Social Information Variable in Contemporary US Elections.” American Journal of Political Science 41 (1): 270–83.
McDermott, Monika L. 1998. “Race and Gender Cues in Low-Information Elections.” Political Research Quarterly 51 (4): 895918.
Moncrief, Gary F., Squire, Peverill, and Jewell, Malcolm E.. 2001. Who Runs for the Legislature? Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Niven, David. 2006. “Throwing Your Hat Out of the Ring: Negative Recruitment and the Gender Imbalance in State Legislative Candidacy.” Politics & Gender 2 (4): 473–89.
Norris, Pippa. 1997a. “Introduction: Women, Media and Politics.” In Women, Media, and Politics, ed. Norris, P.. New York: Oxford University Press.
Norris, Pippa. 1997b. “Women Leaders Worldwide: A Splash of Color in the Photo Op.” In Women, Media, and Politics, ed. Norris, P.. New York: Oxford University Press.
Palmer, Barbara, and Simon, Dennis. 2006. Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling: Women and Congressional Elections. New York: Routledge.
Plutzer, Eric, and Zipp, John F.. 1996. “Identity Politics, Partisanship, and Voting for Women Candidates.” Public Opinion Quarterly 60 (1): 3057.
Rosenthal, Cindy Simon. 1995. “The Role of Gender in Descriptive Representation.” Political Research Quarterly 48 (3): 599612.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2002. “Gender Stereotypes and Vote Choice.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (1): 2034.
Seltzer, Richard A., Newman, Jody, and Leighton, Melissa Voorhees. 1997. Sex as a Political Variable. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Smith, Eric R.A.N., and Fox, Richard L.. 2001. “A Research Note: The Electoral Fortunes of Women Candidates for Congress.” Political Research Quarterly 54 (1): 205–21.
Thomas, Sue. 1998. “Introduction: Women and Elective Office: Past, Present, and Future.” In Women and Elective Office, ed. Thomas, S. and Wilcox, C.. New York: Oxford University Press.
Thompson, Seth, and Steckenrider, Janie. 1997. “Gender Stereotypes and Decision Context in the Evaluation of Political Candidates.” Women and Politics 17 (4): 7192.
Tolleson Rinehart, Sue. 1992. Gender Consciousness and Politics. New York: Routledge.
Weir, Sara J. 1996. “Women as Governors: State Executive Leadership With a Feminist Face?” In Women in Politics: Outsiders or Insiders, 2d ed., ed. Duke, L.. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed