Previous research has shown that the public systematically misperceives the ideology of female politicians. We posit that these misperceptions affect the ideal roll call ideology of female incumbents. Specifically, we contend that women receive greater benefits from more ideologically extreme roll call voting than comparable men. We test this theory by using data on the House of Representatives from 1972 to 2008. We find that even after accounting for district characteristics, female members are never penalized—at least in terms of facing a quality challenger—by ideological extremity. But extremity may increase male incumbents’ likelihood of facing such challengers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science