Growing out of an interest in why there were not more women in state legislatures, the author's 1978 article tested the explanation that a large part of the problem was the shortage of women in the eligibility pool. The article showed that more than one-third of the discrepancy between the small proportion of women then in the legislature and the 53 percent expected if legislatures reflected the population proportions of women could be accounted for by characteristics of the women's candidate pool, including occupation, education, and membership in groups. Since 1978, we know more about impediments to women's legislative membership, including the effects of incumbency, partisanship, and district characteristics. The article concludes with some suggestions for future research: tracking longitudinal trends in predictors of women's legislative membership, disentangling the factors that facilitate women's election, further examination of partisan factors relating to women's success, and a closer look at minority women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science