Skip to main content

Gender, risk assessment, and political ambition

  • Jennie Sweet-Cushman (a1)

In the United States, women have long held the right to vote and can participate fully in the political process, and yet they are underrepresented at all levels of elected office. Worldwide, men’s dominance in the realm of politics has also been the norm. To date, scholars have focused on supply-side and demand-side explanations of women’s underrepresentation but differences in how men and women assess electoral risk (the risk involved in seeking political office) are not fully explained. To fill this gap, I explore how evolutionary theory offers insights into gendered differences in political ambition and the evaluation of electoral risk. Using the framework of life-history theory, I hypothesize that both cognitive and environmental factors in human evolution, particularly as they relate to sexual selection and social roles, have shaped the psychology of ambition in gendered ways affecting contemporary politics. Cognitive risk-assessment mechanisms evolving in the hominid line came to be expressed differently in females and males, in women and men. These gendered expressions plausibly reflect differentiable environmental pressures in the past and may help explain behaviors in and barriers to women’s electoral political activity in the present. If so, then the success of efforts to increase such activity — or, regressively, to suppress it — may be better understood.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Gender, risk assessment, and political ambition
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Gender, risk assessment, and political ambition
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Gender, risk assessment, and political ambition
      Available formats
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Jennie Sweet-Cushman, Department of History, Political Science, and International Studies, Chatham University, 0 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA  15232. Email:
Hide All
1 Inter Parliamentary Union, “Women in Parliaments,”, accessed September 6, 2016.
2 Center for American Women in Politics, Rutgers University, “Current numbers,”, accessed September 6, 2016.
3 Fox R. L. and Lawless J. L., It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
4 Lawless J. L. and Fox R. L., It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
5 Liesen L. T., “Women, behavior, and evolution: Understanding the debate between feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists,” Politics and the Life Sciences , 2007, 26(1): 5170.
6 Norris P. and Lovenduski J., “‘If only more candidates came forward’: Supply-side explanations of candidate selection in Britain,” British Journal of Political Science , 1993, 23(3): 373408.
7 Ashe J. and Stewart K., “Legislative recruitment: Using diagnostic testing to explain underrepresentation,” Party Politics , 2011, doi:1354068810389635.
8 Stalsburg B., Running with Strollers: The Impact of Family Life on Political Ambition. PhD dissertation (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University, 2012).
9 Carroll S. J., “The personal is political: The intersection and private lives and public roles among women and men in elective and appointive office,” Women and Politics , 1989, 9(2): 5167.
10 Carroll S. J. and Sanbonmatsu K., More Women Can Run: Gender and Pathways to the State Legislatures (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).
11 Fulton S. A., Maestas C. D., Maisel L. S., and Stone W. J., “The sense of a woman: Gender, ambition, and the decision to run for Congress,” Political Research Quarterly , 2006, 59(2): 235248, doi:10.1177/106591290605900206.
12 Thomas S., “The personal is the political: Antecedents of gendered choices of elected representatives,” Sex Roles , 2002, 47(7–8): 343353.
13 Dodson D. L., “Change and continuity in the relationship between private responsibilities and public office holding: The more things change, the more they stay the same,” Policy Studies Journal , 1997, 25(4): 569584, doi:10.1111/j.1541-0072.1997.tb00042.x.
14 Kirkpatrick J. J., Political Woman (New York: Basic Books, 1974).
15 Lee M. M., “Why few women hold public office: Democracy and sexual roles,” Political Science Quarterly , 1976, 91(2): 297314, doi:10.2307/2148414.
16 Sapiro V., “Private costs of public commitments or public costs of private commitments? Family roles versus political ambition,” American Journal of Political Science , 1982, 26(2): 265279, doi:10.2307/2111039.
17 Stoper E., “Wife and politician: Role strain among women in public office,” in A Portrait of Marginality, Githens M. and Prestage J. L., eds. (New York: David McKay, 1977), pp. 264283.
18 Burrell B. C., “Party decline, party transformation and gender politics: The USA,” in Gender and Party Politics, Lovenduski J. and Norris P., eds. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing, 1993), pp. 291308.
19 Campbell D. E. and Wolbrecht C., “See Jane run: Women politicians as role models for adolescents,” Journal of Politics , 2009, 68(2): 233247.
20 Mansbridge J., “Should blacks represent blacks and women represent women? A contingent ‘yes’,” Journal of Politics , 1999, 61(3): 628657.
21 Phillips A., Gender and Culture (Malden, MA: Polity, 2010).
22 Gaddie R. K., Born to Run: Origins of the Political Career (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003).
23 Burt-Way B. J. and Kelly R. M., “Gender and sustaining political ambition: A study of Arizona elected officials,” Western Political Quarterly , 1992, 45(1): 1125.
24 Silbermann R., “Gender roles, work-life balance, and running for office,” Quarterly Journal of Political Science , 2015, 10(2): 123153.
25 Lawless and Fox, 2010, p. 400.
26 Sapiro V., “If US Senator Baker were a woman: An experimental study of candidate images,” Political Psychology , 1981, 3(1–2): 6183.
27 McGlen N. et al. , Women, Politics, and American Society, 5th ed. (New York: Longman, 2011).
28 Black J. H. and Erickson L., “Women candidates and voter bias: Do women politicians need to be better? Electoral Studies , 2003, 22(1): 81100, doi:10.1016/S0261-3794(01)00028-2.
29 Carroll S. J., Women as Candidates in American Politics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994).
30 Cook E. A., “Voter reaction to women candidates,” in Women and Elective Office: Past, Present, and Future, Thomas S. and Wilcox C., eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 5672.
31 Darcy R. and Choike J. R., “A formal analysis of legislative turnover: Women candidates and legislative representation,” American Journal of Political Science , 1986, 30(1): 237255.
32 Darcy R. and Schramm S. S., “When women run against men,” Public Opinion Quarterly , 1977, 41(1): 112, doi:10.1086/268347.
33 Dolan K., “Voting for women in the ‘Year of the Woman’,” American Journal of Political Science , 1998, 42(1): 272293, doi:10.2307/2991756.
34 Fox R. L. and Lawless J. L., “Gendered perceptions and political candidacies: A central barrier to women’s equality in electoral politics,” American Journal of Political Science , 2010, 55(1): 5973, doi:10.1111/j.1540-5907.2010.00484.x.
35 Lawless J. L. and Pearson K., “The primary reason for women’s underrrepresentation? Reevaluating the conventional wisdom,” Journal of Politics , 2008, 70(1): 6782.
36 Thompson S. and Steckenrider J., “The relative irrelevance of candidate sex,” Women and Politics , 1997, 17(4): 7192, doi:10.1300/J014v17n04_04.
37 Woods H., Stepping Up to Power: The Political Journey of Women in America (New York: Basic Books, 2001).
38 Fox R. L. and Smith E. R., “The electoral fortunes of women candidates for Congress,” Political Research Quarterly , 2001, 54(1): 205221.
39 Huddy L. and Terkildsen N., “Gender stereotypes and the perception of male and female candidates,” American Journal of Political Science , 1993, 37(1): 119147, doi:10.2307/2111526.
40 Koch J. W., “Do citizens apply gender stereotypes to infer candidates’ ideological orientations? Journal of Politics , 2000, 62(2): 414429.
41 Lawless J. L., “Women, war, and winning elections: Gender stereotyping in the post-September 11th era,” Political Research Quarterly , 2004, 57(3): 479490.
42 McDermott M. L., “Voting cues in low-information elections: Candidate gender as a social information variable in contemporary United States elections,” American Journal of Political Science , 1997, 41(1): 270283.
43 McDermott M. L., “Race and gender cues in low-information elections,” Political Research Quarterly , 1998, 51(4): 895918.
44 Sanbonmatsu K., “Gender stereotypes and vote choice,” American Journal of Political Science , 2002, 46(2): 2034.
45 Bauer N. M., “Emotional, sensitive, and unfit for office? Gender stereotype activation and support female candidates,” Political Psychology , 2015, 36(6): 691708.
46 Crowder-Meyer M., Gadarian S. K., and Trounstine J., “Electoral institutions, gender stereotypes, and women’s local representation,” Politics, Groups, and Identities , 2015, 3(2): 318334.
47 Devitt J., “Framing gender on the campaign trail: Female gubernatorial candidates and the press,” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly , 2002, 79(2): 445463, doi:10.1177/107769900207900212.
48 Falk E., Women for President: Media Bias in Nine Campaigns (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2010).
49 Heldman C., Carroll S. J., and Olson S., “Gender differences in print media coverage of presidential candidates: Elizabeth Dole’s bid for the Republican nomination,” in paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Washington, DC, August 2000) .
50 Kahn K. F., “Does being male help? An investigation of the effects of candidate gender and campaign coverage on evaluations of US Senate candidates,” Journal of Politics , 1992, 541(2): 497517.
51 Kahn K. F., “Does gender make a difference? An experimental examination of sex stereotypes and press patterns in statewide campaigns,” American Journal of Political Science , 1994, 38(1): 162195, doi:10.2307/2111340.
52 Kahn K. F., The Political Consequences of Being a Woman: How Stereotypes Influence the Conduct and Consequences of Political Campaigns (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).
53 Kahn K. F. and Goldenberg E. N., “Women candidates in the news: An examination of gender differences in the US Senate Campaign coverage,” Public Opinion Quarterly , 1991, 55(2): 180199, doi:10.1086/269251.
54 Norris P., “Introduction: Theories of recruitment,” in Passages to Power: Legislative Recruitment in Advanced Democracies (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 114.
55 Norris P. and Lovenduski J., Political Recruitment: Gender, Race and Class in the British Parliament (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994).
56 Crowder-Meyer M. A., Gendered Recruitment Without Trying: How Local Party Recruiters Affect Women’s Representation (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
57 Niven D., “Party elites and women candidates: The shape of bias,” Women and Politics , 1998, 19(2): 5780.
58 Niven D., “Throwing your hat out of the ring: Negative recruitment and the gender imbalance in state legislative candidacy,” Politics and Gender , 2006, 2(4): 473489.
59 Duerst-Lahti G., “The bottleneck: Women becoming candidates,” in Women and Elective Office, Thomas S. and Wilcox C., eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 1525.
60 Siavelis P. M. and Morgenstern S., “Candidate recruitment and selection in Latin America: A framework for analysis,” Latin American Politics and Society , 2008, 50(4): 2758.
61 Lovenduski J., “The dynamics of gender and party,” in Women, Gender, and Politics: A Reader, Krook M. L. and Childs S., eds. (New York: Oxford University Press on Demand, 2010).
62 The Impact of Gender Quotas, Franceschet S., Krook M. L., and Piscopo J. M., eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).
63 Sidanius J., Pratto F., and Bobo L., “Social dominance orientation and the political psychology of gender: A case of invariance? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 1994, 67(6): 998.
64 Schneider M. C., Holman M. R., Diekman A. B., and McAndrew T., “Power, conflict, and community: How gendered views of political power influence women’s political ambition,” Political Psychology , 2016, 37(4): 515531.
65 Hannagan R. J., “Gendered political behavior: A Darwinian feminist approach,” Sex Roles , 2008, 59(7–8): 465475, doi:10.1007/s11199-008-9417-3.
66 Kanthak K. and Woon J., “Women don’t run? Election aversion and candidate entry,” American Journal of Political Science , 2015, 59(3): 595612.
67 Preece J. and Stoddard O., “Why women don’t run: Experimental evidence on gender differences in political competition aversion,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization , 2015, 117: 296308.
68 Sweet-Cushman J., Individual Differences in Psychological Evaluations of Electoral Risk: Furthering the Explanation of the Gender Gap in Candidate Emergence. PhD dissertation (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University, 2014).
69 Black G. S., “A theory of political ambition: Career choices and the role of structural incentives,” American Political Science Review , 1972, 66(1): 144159, doi:10.2307/1959283.
70 Rohde D. W., “Risk-bearing and progressive ambition: The case of members of the United States House of Representatives,” American Journal of Political Science , 1979, 23(1): 126, doi:10.2307/2110769.
71 Bledsoe T. and Herring M., “Victims of circumstances: Women in pursuit of political office,” American Political Science Review , 1990, 84(1): 213223, doi:10.2307/1963638.
72 Brehmer B., “The psychology of risk,” in Risk and Decisions, Singleton W. T. and Hovden J., eds. (New York: Wiley, 1987), pp. 2539.
73 Rohrmann B. and Renn O., “Risk perception research,” in Cross-Cultural Risk Perception, vol. 13 (Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag, 2000), pp. 1153.
74 Byrnes J. P., Miller D. C., and Schafer W. D., “Gender differences in risk taking: A meta-analysis,” Psychological Bulletin , 1999, 125(3): 367383, doi:10.1037/0033-2909.125.3.367.
75 Weber E. U., Blais A. R., and Betz N. E., “A domain-specific risk-attitude scale: Measuring risk perceptions and risk behaviors,” Journal of Behavioral Decision Making , 2002, 15(4): 263290, doi:10.1002/bdm.414.
76 Maccoby E. E. and Jacklin C. N., The Psychology of Sex Differences, vol. 1 (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1974).
77 Waldron I., Mccloskey C., and Earle I., “Trends in gender differences in accidents mortality: Relationships to changing gender roles and other societal trends,” Demographic Research , 2005, 13(17): 415454.
78 Oliver M. B. and Hyde J. S., “Gender differences in sexuality: A meta-analysis,” Psychological Bulletin , 1993, 114(1): 29, doi:10.1037/0033-2909.114.1.29.
79 Sundén A. E. and Surette B. J., “Gender differences in the allocation of assets in retirement savings plans,” American Economic Review , 1998, 88(2): 207211.
80 Bord R. J. and O’Connor R. E., “The gender gap in environmental attitudes: The case of perceived vulnerability to risk,” Social Science Quarterly , 1997, 78(4): 830840.
81 Garbarino E. and Strahilevitz M., “Gender differences in the perceived risk of buying online and the effects of receiving a site recommendation,” Journal of Business Research , 2004, 57(7): 768775, doi:10.1016/S0148-2963(02)00363-6.
82 Rhodes N. and Pivik K., “Age and gender differences in risky driving: The roles of positive affect and risk perception,” Accident Analysis and Prevention , 2011, 43(3): 923931, doi:10.1016/j.aap.2010.11.015.
83 Sigelman L., “The coevolution of American political science and the American Political Science Review,” American Political Science Review , 2006, 100(4): 463, doi:10.1017/S0003055406062319.
84 Alford J. R., Funk C. L., and Hibbing J. R., “Are political orientations genetically transmitted? American Political Science Review , 2005, 99(2): 153167, doi:10.1017/S0003055405051579.
85 Fowler J. H., Baker L. A., and Dawes C. T., “Genetic variation in political participation,” American Political Science Review , 2008, 102(2): 233248, doi:10.1017/S0003055408080209.
86 Sturgis P., Read S., Hatemi P. K., Zhu G., Trull T., Wright M. J., and Martin N. G., “A genetic basis for social trust? Political Behavior , 2010, 32(2): 205230, doi:10.1007/s11109-009-9101-5.
87 Madsen D., “A biochemical property relating to power seeking in humans,” American Political Science Review , 1985, 79(2): 448457, doi:10.2307/1956659.
88 Raleigh M. J., Brammer G. L., Yuwiler A., Flannery J. W., McGuire M. T., and Geller E., “Serotonergic influences on the social behavior of vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops sabaeus) ,” Experimental Neurology , 1980, 68(2): 322334.
89 Raleigh M. J. and McGuire M. T., “Bidirectional relationships between tryptophan and social behavior in vervet monkeys,” in Kynurenine and Serotonin Pathways: Progress in Tryptophan Research, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol. 294, Schwarcz R., Young S. N., and Brown R. R., eds. (New York, NY: Plenum Press, 1991), pp. 289298.
90 Raleigh M. J., McGuire M. T., Brammer G. L., and Yuwiler A., “Social and environmental influences on blood serotonin concentrations in monkeys,” Archives of General Psychiatry , 1984, 41(4): 405410.
91 Raleigh M. J., McGuire M. T., Brammer G. L., Pollack D. B., and Yuwiler A., “Serotonergic mechanisms promote dominance acquisition in adult male vervet monkeys,” Brain Research , 1991, 559(2): 181190.
92 Steklis H. D., Raleigh M. J., Kling A. S., and Tachiki K., “Biochemical and hormonal correlates of dominance and social behavior in all-male groups of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) ,” American Journal of Primatology , 1986, 11(2): 133145.
93 Madsen D., “Power seekers are different: Further biochemical evidence,” American Political Science Review , 1986, 80(1): 261269, doi:10.2307/1957094.
94 Alford J. R. and Hibbing J. R., “The origin of politics: An evolutionary theory of political behavior,” Perspectives on Politics , 2004, 2(4): 707723, doi:10.1017/S1537592704040460.
95 Eaves L. J. and Hatemi P. K., “Transmission of attitudes toward abortion and gay rights: Effects of genes, social learning and mate selection,” Behavior Genetics , 2008, 38(3): 247256.
96 Hatemi P. K., Medland S. E., Morley K. I., Heath A. C., and Martin N. G., “The genetics of voting: An Australian twin study,” Behavior Genetics , 2007, 37(3): 435448.
97 McDermott R., Political Psychology in International Relations (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004).
98 Hatemi P. K., Smith K., Alford J. R., Martin N. G., and Hibbing J. R., “The genetic and environmental foundations of political, psychological, social, and economic behaviors: a panel study of twins and families,” Twin Research and Human Genetics , 2015, 18(3): 243255.
99 McDermott R., Fowler J. H., and Smirnov O., “On the evolutionary origin of prospect theory preferences,” Journal of Politics , 2008, 70(2): 335350.
100 Kahneman D. and Tversky A., “Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk,” Econometrica , 1979, 47(2): 263291.
101 Druckman J. N., “On the limits of framing effects: Who can frame? Journal of Politics , 2001, 63(4): 10411066.
102 Lau R. R. and Redlawsk D. P., “Advantages and disadvantages of cognitive heuristics in political decision making,” American Journal of Political Science , 2001, 45(4): 951971.
103 Mercer J., “Prospect theory and political science,” Annual Review of Political Science , 2005, 8: 121, doi:10.1146/annurev.polisci.8.082103.104911.
104 Patty J. W., “Loss aversion, presidential responsibility, and midterm congressional elections,” Electoral Studies , 2006, 25(2): 227247.
105 Quattrone G. A. and Tversky A., “Contrasting rational and psychological analyses of political choice,” American Political Science Review , 1988, 82(3): 719736.
106 McDaniel W. C. and Sistrunk F., “Management dilemmas and decisions impact of framing and anticipated responses,” Journal of Conflict Resolution , 1991, 35(1): 2142.
107 Weyland K., “Risk taking in Latin American economic restructuring: Lessons from prospect theory,” International Studies Quarterly , 1996, 40: 185207.
108 Berejikian J. D., “A cognitive theory of deterrence,” Journal of Peace Research , 2002, 39(2): 165183, doi:10.1177/0022343302039002002.
109 Faber M. M., Proops J. L., and Manstetten R., Evolution, Time, Production and the Environment (Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag, 1990).
110 Jervis R., “Leadership, post-Cold War politics, and psychology,” Political Psychology , 1994, 15(4): 769777, doi:10.2307/3791635.
111 Jervis R., “The implications of prospect theory for human nature and values,” Political Psychology , 2004, 25(2): 163176.
112 Levy J. S., “Learning and foreign policy: Sweeping a conceptual minefield,” International Organization , 1994, 48(2): 279312.
113 Levy J. S., “Prospect theory, rational choice, and international relations,” International Studies Quarterly , 1997, 41(1): 87112, doi:10.1111/0020-8833.00034.
114 McDermott R., Risk Taking in International Relations (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998).
115 McDermott et al., 2008, pp. 336.
116 Fagley N. and Miller P. M., “The effect of framing on choice interactions with risk-taking propensity, cognitive style, and sex,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin , 1990, 16(3): 496510, doi:10.1177/0146167290163008.
117 Fagley N. S. and Miller P. M., “Framing effects and arenas of choice: Your money or your life? Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes , 1997, 71(3): 355373, doi:10.1006/obhd.1997.2725.
118 Kaplan H. S. and Gangestad S. W., “Life history theory and evolutionary psychology,” in The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Buss D. M., ed. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley), pp. 6895.
119 Stearns S. C., “The evolution of life history traits: A critique of the theory and a review of the data,” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics , 1977, 8: 145171.
120 Darwin C., The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, vol. 1 (London: John Murray, 1871).
121 Schaffer W. M., “The application of optimal control theory to the general life history problem,” American Naturalist , 1983, 121(3): 418431.
122 Williams G. C., Sex and Evolution, vol. 8 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1975).
123 Charnov E. L., Life History Invariants: Some Explorations of Symmetry in Evolutionary Ecology, vol. 6 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).
124 Daan S. and Tinbergen J., “Adaptation of life histories,” in Behavioural Ecology: An Evolutionary Approach, 4th ed., Krebs J. R. and Davies N. B., eds. (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 1997), pp. 311333.
125 Horn H. S., “Optimal tactics of reproduction and life-history,” in Behavioural Ecology: An Evolutionary Approach, Krebs J. R. and Davies N. B., eds. (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer, 1978), pp. 411429.
126 Low B. S., Why Sex Matters: A Darwinian Look at Human Behavior (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001).
127 Roff D., The Evolution of Life Histories: Theory and Analysis (New York: Chapman and Hall, 1992).
128 Stearns S. C., The Evolution of Life Histories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).
129 Griskevicius V., Tybur J. M., Delton A. W., and Robertson T. E., “The influence of mortality and socioeconomic status on risk and delayed rewards: A life history theory approach,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 2011, 100(6): 1015.
130 Buss D. M., “Evolutionary personality psychology,” Annual Review of Psychology , 1991, 42(1): 459491,
131 Cosmides L. and Tooby J., “From evolution to behavior: Evolutionary psychology as the missing link,” in The Latest on the Best Essays on Evolution and Optimality, Dupré J., ed. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987), pp. 277306.
132 Malthus T. R., The First Essay (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959).
133 Trimpop R. M., The Psychology of Risk Taking Behavior, vol. 107 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: North Holland Elsevier Science, 1994).
134 Buss D., “The evolution of human intrasexual competition: Tactics of mate attraction,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 1988, 54(4): 616, doi:10.1037/0022-3514.54.4.616.
135 Hatemi P. K. and McDermott R., “Evolution as a theory for political behavior,” in Man Is by Nature a Political Animal: Evolution, Biology, and Politics, Hatemi P. and McDermott R., eds. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).
136 Boehm C., “Egalitarian behaviour and the evolution of political intelligence,” Machiavellian Intelligence II: Extensions and Evaluations , 1997a, 2: 341.
137 Boehm C., “Impact of the human egalitarian syndrome on Darwinian selection mechanics,” American Naturalist , 1997b, 150(Supplement 1): S100S121, doi:10.1086/286052.
138 Bird R., “Cooperation and conflict: The behavioral ecology of the sexual division of labor,” Evolutionary Anthropology Issues, News, and Reviews , 1999, 8(2): 6575, doi:10.1002/1520-6505.
139 Marlowe F. W., “Hunting and gathering the human sexual division of foraging labor,” Cross-Cultural Research , 2007, 41(2): 170195, doi:10.1177/1069397106297529.
140 Lerner G., The Creation of Patriarchy, vol. 1 (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1986).
141 Kelly R., The Foraging Spectrum: Diversity in Hunter-Gatherer Lifeways (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995).
142 Lee M. M., “Why few women hold public office: Democracy and sexual roles,” Political Science Quarterly , 1976, 91(2): 297314, doi:10.2307/2148414.
143 Irons W., “Monogamy, contraception and the cultural and reproductive success hypothesis,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences , 1993, 16(2): 295296, doi:10.1017/s0140525x00030089.
144 Sell J., Griffith W. I., and Wilson R. K., “Are women more cooperative than men in social dilemmas? Social Psychology Quarterly , 1993, 56(3): 211222, doi:10.2307/2786779.
145 Boehm C., Hierarchy in the Forest: Egalitarianism and the Evolution of Human Altruism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).
146 Knauft B. M., “Culture and cooperation in human evolution,” in The Anthropology of Peace and Nonviolence, Sponsel L. and Gregor T., eds. (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1994), pp. 3767.
147 Hamilton W. D., “The genetical evolution of social behaviour. II,” Journal of Theoretical Biology , 1964, 7(1): 1752, doi:10.1016/0022-5193(64)90039-6.
148 Betzig L. L., Despotism and Differential Reproduction: A Darwinian View of History (Chicago, IL: Aldine Transaction, 1986).
149 Hrdy S. B., Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection (New York: Ballantine Books, 1999).
150 Trivers R., Parental Investment and Sexual Selection (Chicago, IL: Aldine, 1972).
151 Geary D. C., Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association), p. 9.
152 Chagnon N. A. and Irons W., Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective (North Scituate, MA: Duxbury Press, 1979), p. 257.
153 Essock-Vitale S. M., “The reproductive success of wealthy Americans,” Ethology and Sociobiology , 1984, 5(1): 4549, doi:10.1016/0162-3095(84)90034-7.
154 Hannagan, 2008, pp. 4–5.
155 Enloe C. H., The Curious Feminist (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
156 Census U. S., “Disparities in STEM employment by sex, race, and Hispanic origin,” 2010, accessed September 13, 2016.
157 U.S. Census, “Men in nursing occupations,” 2013,, accessed September 13, 2016.
158 Sapienza P., Zingales L., and Maestripieri D., “Gender differences in financial risk aversion and career choices are affected by testosterone,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 2009, 106(36): 1526815273, doi:10.1073/pnas.0907352106.
159 Bussey K. and Bandura A., “Social cognitive theory of gender development and differentiation,” Psychological Review , 1994, 106(4): 676, doi:10.1037/0033-295x.106.4.676.
160 United Nations Population Fund, “Empowering women: Gender equality,”, accessed September 6, 2016.
161 Schmitt D., Shackelford T., and Buss D., “Are men really more ‘oriented’ toward short-term mating than women? A critical review of theory and research,” Psychology, Evolution, and Gender , 2001, 3(3): 211239, doi:10.1080/14616660110119331.
162 Buss D. M. and Schmitt D. P., “Evolutionary psychology and feminism,” Sex Roles , 2011, 64(9–10): 768787, doi:10.1007/s11199-011-9987-3.
163 Robins R. S. and Dorn R. M., “Stress and political leadership,” Politics and the Life Sciences , 1993, 12(1): 317.
164 Carson J. L., Engstrom E. J., and Roberts J. M., “Candidate quality, the personal vote, and the incumbency advantage in Congress,” American Political Science Review , 2007, 101(2): 289301, doi:10.1017/S0003055407070311.
165 Stone W. J., Fulton S. A., Maestas C. D., and Maisel L. S., “Incumbency reconsidered: Prospects, strategic retirement, and incumbent quality in US House elections,” Journal of Politics , 2010, 72(1): 178190.
166 Trounstine J., “Evidence of a local incumbency advantage,” Legislative Studies Quarterly , 2011, 36(2): 255280, doi:10.1111/j.1939-9162.2011.00013.x.
167 Maisel L. S. and Stone W. J., “Determinants of candidate emergence in US house elections: An exploratory study,” Legislative Studies Quarterly , 1997, 22(1): 7996.
168 Hernson P. S., “Campaign professionalism and fundraising in congressional elections,” Journal of Politics , 1992, 54(3): 859870, doi:10.2307/2132315.
169 Maestas C. D. and Rugeley C. R., “Assessing the ‘experience bonus’ through examining strategic entry, candidate quality, and campaign receipts in US house elections,” American Journal of Political Science , 2008, 52(3): 520535.
170 Stone W. J., Maisel L. S., and Maestas C. D., “Quality counts: Extending the strategic politician model of incumbent deterrence,” American Journal of Political Science , 2004, 48(3): 479495, doi:10.1111/j.0092-5853.2004.00082.x.
171 Francia P. L. and Herrnson P. S., “The impact of public finance laws on fundraising in state legislative elections,” American Politics Research , 2003, 31(5): 520539, doi:10.1177/1532673X03256784.
172 Sanbonmatsu K., “The legislative party and candidate recruitment in the American states,” Party Politics , 2006, 12(2): 233256.
173 Megarry J., “Online incivility or sexual harassment? Conceptualising women’s experiences in the digital age,” Women’s Studies International Forum , 2014, 47: 4655.
174 Krook M. L. and Sanín J. R., “Violence against women in politics,” Política y gobierno , 2016, 23(2).
175 Jenkins S., “A woman’s work is never done? Fundraising perception and effort among female state legislative candidates,” Political Research Quarterly , 2007, 60(2): 230239.
176 Deason G., Greenlee J. S., and Langner C. A., “Mothers on the campaign trail: Implications of politicized motherhood for women in politics,” Politics, Groups, and Identities , 2015, 3(1): 133148.
177 Dittmar K., Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2015).
178 Stalsburg B. L., “Voting for mom: The political consequences of being a parent for male and female candidates,” Politics and Gender , 2010, 6(3): 373404.
Recommend this journal

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

Politics and the Life Sciences
  • ISSN: 0730-9384
  • EISSN: 1471-5457
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-the-life-sciences
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: 71
Total number of PDF views: 198 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 813 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 27th October 2016 - 24th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.