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Showing papers in "Politics, Groups, and Identities in 2017"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue for political scientists to pursue intersectional analytical perspectives by situating voting behavior within the context of a polity beyond the black-white binary of race and ethnicity, and suggest analysts consider the positionality of white women as second in sex to men.
Abstract: The estimated 52% of white female voters who supported Donald Trump for President of the United States in 2016 animates this dialogue on the politics of groups and identities The Trump majority among white women exists in contrast to strong support of Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton among women of color as well as minority men While many observers were surprised at the high proportion of white female Trump voters, this pattern of electoral behavior supporting Republican Party candidates is a consistent phenomenon since the 1950s in US Presidential elections The pattern is both clear and easily visible, and provides an important clue to better understand the dynamics of race and gender in electoral politics I argue for political scientists to pursue intersectional analytical perspectives by situating voting behavior within the context of a polity beyond the black-white binary of race and ethnicity I suggest analysts consider the positionality of white women as second in sex to men

86 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article examined the extent to which these psychological connections to whites as a group exist and shape how whites feel about descriptive representation and found that identifying as white, thinking whites are discriminated against, and seeing one's fate as tied to the fate of whites overall are common and make it more likely that whites will say it is important to have a political candidate who is white.
Abstract: Many white Americans feel that whites are discriminated against, identify as white, and feel a sense of linked fate with whites. Scholars have studied these psychological connections to one's racial group among nonwhites, but little attention in political science has been given to how they operate among whites. However, changing social, demographic, and electoral patterns point to inevitable challenges to their traditional status and power. This study examines the extent to which these psychological connections to whites as a group exist and shape how whites feel about descriptive representation. Using a nationally representative survey, it finds that identifying as white, thinking whites are discriminated against, and seeing one's fate as tied to the fate of whites overall are common and make it more likely that whites will say it is important to have a political candidate who is white. These findings reveal a striking similarity in how whites and nonwhites form attitudes about descriptive repres...

75 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that rather than anomalous and exceptional, the 2016 election represents an extension of enduring and intersecting configurations of racialized and gendered power, marginalization, and oppression.
Abstract: The 2016 election has triggered new interest in and speculation about longstanding questions about the roles of race, gender, and sexuality in American politics. We argue that rather than anomalous and exceptional, the 2016 election represents an extension – and perhaps the beginning of a consolidation – of enduring and intersecting configurations of racialized and gendered power, marginalization, and oppression. We examine some of the ways in which these intersecting configurations structure and are structured by American politics, exploring some of the political consequences of proximity to or distance from the benefits of white heteropatriarchy.

57 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper found that younger women become significantly more likely to discuss politics when they experience a viable and new female candidate, and they only found this effect when the female candidate is not a current office holder, suggesting the novelty of female candidates may be key.
Abstract: Do female politicians serve as political role models? This paper is the first to employ panel data to examine whether the presence of non-presidential female candidates leads to an increased propensity for political engagement – specifically, discussion – among women. We hypothesize that younger people who are still learning and establishing political engagement habits will become more politically engaged when exposed to female role models. We do not find evidence of a role model effect overall or among co-partisans. We do find that younger women become significantly more likely to discuss politics when they experience a viable and new female candidate. Importantly, we only find this effect when the female candidate is not a current office holder, suggesting the novelty of female candidates may be key. We do not find a similar effect among older women.

56 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article analyzed how disgust sensitivity and authoritarianism affect trans people's attitudes about their bodies and found that disgust sensitivity positively predicts opposition to trans rights. But they did not examine the role of trans bodies in shaping those attitudes.
Abstract: Transgender identity inherently involves body politics, specifically how transgender people may physically represent gender in ways that do not match their assigned sex at birth and how some may alter their bodies. Yet, political behavior research on transgender rights attitudes leaves unaddressed the role of transgender bodies in shaping those attitudes. Using an original, representative national survey of American adults, we analyze how authoritarianism and disgust sensitivity affect transgender rights attitudes. These two predispositions often reflect social norms and morality about bodies, especially those of stigmatized minority groups. First, we show that attitudes about transgender rights are multidimensional, forming civil rights and body-centric dimensions. Second, we demonstrate that disgust sensitivity and authoritarianism both positively predict opposition to transgender rights, and that they moderate each other’s effects such that the greatest opposition is among those jointly scoring...

54 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper found that white voters are less likely to support Latino and black candidates because they are viewed as less competent and more ideologically extreme, while Asian candidates and minority Republicans are largely unaffected by these biases.
Abstract: How significant of a factor is race in minority candidate evaluation? I present theory of race and minority candidate evaluation which argues that candidate race acts as an informational heuristic that affects perceptions of a candidate's ideological leaning and competence but that this effect is dependent on contextual factors, including the racial group and candidate partisanship. Using the 2010 and 2012 Cooperative Congressional Elections Study, I provide an observational look at Latino and Asian candidates in addition to black candidates for the first time, as well as minority candidates of both partisan stripes. I examine voter perceptions about candidates that might drive their vote choice, namely ideological assessments and competence assessments. I find that white voters are less likely to support Latino and black Democrats because they are viewed as less competent and more ideologically extreme. I find that Asian candidates and minority Republicans are largely unaffected by these biases.

54 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article examined the hurdles faced by transgender candidates and provided a predictive analysis of a unique 2015 national survey that queried American adult respondents about hypothetical transgender candidates for different political offices, finding that although transgender candidates are likely to be opposed by potential voters that would also oppose female, African-American, or gay or lesbian candidates, there is a stronger influence of...
Abstract: Of central importance to groups is the representation of their interests in government. A direct strategy for representation is to elect officials that identify with the group. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement has increasingly been successful in fielding LGB candidates for local, state, and national offices, even though these candidates face barriers. But while many lesbian and gay candidates have achieved electoral success, few transgender candidates have run for office and even fewer have won. Our project examines the hurdles faced by transgender candidates and provides a predictive analysis of a unique 2015 national survey that queried American adult respondents about hypothetical transgender candidates for different political offices. We hypothesize that although transgender candidates are likely to be opposed by potential voters that would also oppose female, African-American, or gay or lesbian candidates, for transgender candidates, there is a stronger influence of...

52 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors show dramatic disparities in the rates at which black drivers, particularly young males, are searched and arrested as compared to similarly situated whites, women, or older drivers.
Abstract: North Carolina mandated the first collection of demographic data on all traffic stops during a surge of attention to the phenomenon of “driving while black” in the late 1990s. Based on analysis of over 18 million traffic stops, we show dramatic disparities in the rates at which black drivers, particularly young males, are searched and arrested as compared to similarly situated whites, women, or older drivers. Further, the degree of racial disparity is growing over time. Finally, the rate at which searches lead to the discovery of contraband is consistently lower for blacks than for whites, providing strong evidence that the empirical disparities we uncover are in fact evidence of racial bias. The findings are robust to a variety of statistical specifications and consistent with findings in other jurisdictions.

42 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors trace the policy deliberations concerning equity in athletics throughout the 1970s and explore the implications for our political understandings of what makes certain bodies "athletes" versus "female athletes" in contemporary sports and politics.
Abstract: How did the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 politically define the “female athlete?” Since the mid-1970s, debates over the application of policy to athletic domains have been profoundly contentious. In this paper, I trace the policy deliberations concerning equity in athletics throughout the 1970s and explore the implications for our political understandings of what makes certain bodies “athletes” versus “female athletes” in contemporary sports and politics. I draw upon literatures from political science, sport sociology, and gender studies, and rely on archival methods to trace the process through which policymakers wed biological sex to policy implementation. I argue that Title IX unexpectedly became a central site for the construction of binary sex difference through three specific means: (1) conflict over the understandings of the role that biological sex should play in congressional debate before Title IX’s passage, (2) conflict over application of sex to policy design...

34 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors bring together three literatures: political theories of liberty, feminist theories on reproductive rights, and the disability studies literature on ableism to consider the meaning of a core political concept by examining women with disabilities' reproductive experiences and interests.
Abstract: This article brings together three literatures: political theories of liberty, feminist theories on reproductive rights, and the disability studies literature on ableism. I engage with these debates to consider the meaning of a core political concept – liberty – by examining women with disabilities’ reproductive experiences and interests. In light of the dynamics of gender inequality and ableism, I seek to problematize the notion that reproductive freedom is synonymous with the negative right to privacy. Although governmental noninterference has allowed many women to gain control of their bodies and reproductive fates, the narrow focus on privacy – and the attendant issues of contraception and abortion – overlooks important dimensions of reproduction that are more likely to affect women with disabilities, including the structural factors that discourage disabled women from having children at all. The article concludes that feminist theorists should embrace a conception of positive liberty committe...

23 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that women increasingly have been elected to executive office, both at the national and subnational level, in countries throughout the world, and that the election of a woman to an executive office could have effects through the presence of women in the executive, the novelty of women assuming the office, or both.
Abstract: Women increasingly have been elected to executive office – both at the national and subnational level – in countries throughout the world. Yet, we know little about the effects that the election of a woman to executive office has on citizen attitudes, political engagement, or political participation. In this paper, we argue that the election of a woman to an executive could have effects through the presence of a woman in the executive, the novelty of a woman assuming executive office, or both. We test these hypotheses with a survey experiment conducted in Brazil that focuses on the election of a hypothetical female governor. This project sheds light on how citizens respond to female executives with a causal analysis in an important region for gender and executive politics.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a woman of color in the academy and a diasporic researcher in the field is asked to produce knowledge as a legitimate knowledge producer, and she finds that she is not seen by people either in either the academy or the field as a valid knowledge producer.
Abstract: Why do we find pervasive gender- and race-based discrimination and exclusion in the academy and in the field when feminist scholarship has, for decades, provided the tools necessary to make sense of and combat these very exclusions? I share my personal experience to ask what it means to produce knowledge as a woman of color in the academy and a diasporic researcher in the field. I draw on interpretive approaches, particularly autoethnography, to examine the contradictory situation where political science champions objectivity and meritocracy, which should make gender and race identities irrelevant, yet maintains gendered and raced hierarchies, which undermine efforts to diversify the discipline. I argue that this contradictory outcome is best explained by what I call exclusionary inclusion, where women and other minorities are formally included in academia, but always on a limited basis. I find that I am not seen by people either in the academy or in the field as a legitimate knowledge producer be...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors found that no one interpretation of elite opinion theory can fully account for perceptions of commonality across racial groups, and that complex ways that racial and partisan characteristics condition an individual's response to elite messages.
Abstract: Feelings of commonality are central to the formation of multiracial political coalitions. Despite a fairly voluminous literature on where these feelings come from, however, relatively little is known about how elite messages influence individual-level perceptions of intergroup relations. This oversight is surprising given that so-called “elite opinion” theory has become “virtually orthodoxy” within political science. In order to explore the potential for opinion leadership on perceptions of commonality, this paper employs a survey experiment embedded in the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study. Testing hypotheses derived from elite opinion theory, this paper finds that no one interpretation of elite opinion theory can fully account for perceptions of commonality across racial groups. Scholars of race and ethnic politics would do well in the future, therefore, to acknowledge the complex ways that racial and partisan characteristics condition an individual’s response to elite messages.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article explored the role of stereotypes in shaping public attitudes toward women representation using AmericasBarometer survey data from 25 countries and reported three key results: the modal respondent in almost every country rejects gendered leadership stereotypes, affirming that women and men leaders are equally qualified on corruption and the economy.
Abstract: What are the sources and effects of gendered leadership stereotypes for women’s representation? We explore the role of stereotypes in shaping public attitudes toward women’s representation using AmericasBarometer survey data from 25 countries. We report three key results. First, the modal respondent in almost every country rejects gendered leadership stereotypes, affirming that women and men leaders are equally qualified on corruption and the economy. This holds even after we attempt to account for social desirability bias. Second, there are significant individual- and country-level determinants of stereotyping. In countries with higher women’s representation and labor force participation but without gender quotas, citizens are more likely to choose pro-female and neutral responses over pro-male stereotypes. At the individual level, those rejecting stereotypes are less authoritarian, more supportive of labor market equality, and more leftist than those reporting pro-female stereotypes. Third, the ...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Although AI/ANs are less likely to register and vote compared to non-Hispanic whites, it is found that the difference is not statistically significant in congressional years, which may suggest that AI/ ANs are engaged in local politics and vote for representatives who will represent their tribal interests in national politics.
Abstract: Within the growing literature seeking to understand civic and political engagement among racial and ethnic minorities, our understanding of political behavior among American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) remains limited. We use the Current Population Survey Civic Engagement and Voting and Registration supplements (2006–2012) to compare AI/AN voter registration, voting, and overall civic engagement to other racial and ethnic groups and to assess whether factors that predict higher levels of civic engagement vary across these populations. We find a few key socioeconomic status indicators that predict civic and political engagement uniquely for AI/ANs, but they are not consistently significant across all years or all types of political participation. We find marital status, age, household size, education, and veteran status to be important in predicting civic engagement for AI/ANs. However, for voting and registration, we find that family income, age, marital status, household size, and residenti...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper found that racial animosity had a substantially larger effect on vote choice in 2010 than in past midterm elections, and that racial animus affected voter turnout in 2010, stimulating turnout among Republicans and diminishing turnout among Democrats.
Abstract: In the 2010 midterm elections Republicans won in a landslide, making major gains in the Senate and winning the majority in the House. In this article, I assess one factor that contributed to the Republican Party's landslide in 2010: the political salience of racial animosity in the Obama era. In a historical analysis of voting in midterm elections, I find that racial animosity had a substantially larger effect on vote choice in 2010 than in past midterm elections. This effect persists in the face of many short-term factors and regardless of the race of the candidates themselves. I also show that racial animosity affected voter turnout in 2010, stimulating turnout among Republicans and diminishing turnout among Democrats. Consistent with research on presidential voting and opinion formation in the Obama era, these results suggest that one consequence of Obama's presidency was to increase the relevance of racial animosity in American politics.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that ethnic identity affects how an individual evaluates state institutions, drawing on the US courts and political psychology literatures, they argue politically marginalized groups (e.g., the in...
Abstract: How does ethnic identity affect how an individual evaluates state institutions? Drawing on the US courts and political psychology literatures, we argue politically marginalized groups (e.g., the in...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors discusses the various conceptualizations and political behavior of the white working class using Katherine J Cramer's The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker and Justin Gest's The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality.
Abstract: This essay discusses the various conceptualizations and political behavior of the white working class Using Katherine J Cramer's The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker and Justin Gest's The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality, I critically engage literature on political behavior and class politics in light of declining class-based organizations Overall, while pundits have pointed to a white working class with clear political preferences, definitions in empirical literature are often wide ranging, suggesting differences in expected behavior

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue for the benefits of an intersectional approach to studying symbolic representation in the US that uses both quantitative and qualitative methods through the use of qualitative content analysis in their own work, they were able to offer a more nuanced picture of how identity informs symbolic representation.
Abstract: This contribution highlights the need and benefits of a mixed methodological approach in intersectional studies of symbolic representation Existing research concerning symbolic representation among traditionally marginalized groups such as women, racial and ethnic minorities focuses on the role either gender or race/ethnic identity plays in shaping symbolic forms of representation such as communication or presentation of self However, extant literature tells us very little about the experiences of elected officials who are both women and racial and/or ethnic minorities, which are substantively different from those of either Anglo women or minority men We will first argue for the benefits of an intersectional approach to studying symbolic representation in the US that uses both quantitative and qualitative methods Through the use of quantitative and qualitative content analysis in our own work, we were able to offer a more nuanced picture of how identity informs symbolic representation As sc

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For example, the authors found that female legislative candidates have little positive effect on women's political engagement, while female candidates in a gender quota regime may create a backlash effect and negatively influence women's engagement.
Abstract: To what extent does the presence of a competitive female legislative candidate influence women’s political engagement in the context of a gender quota regime? Existing work on the effects of increasing descriptive representation on women’s engagement suggests a positive effect, but less attention is paid to how gender quotas may alter the relationship. We develop and test two hypotheses, one suggesting female candidates positively influence women’s engagement, while the other suggests female candidates in a gender quota regime may create a backlash effect and negatively influence women’s engagement. We draw on two nationally representative post-election surveys from Mexico and original data on the number and competitiveness of female candidates to examine the influence of these candidacies on multiple measures of political engagement. Overall, our results are more consistent with a backlash effect. We find female legislative candidates have little positive effect on increasing political engagement...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The women's presence in cabinets around the world has expanded considerably in the past two decades All male cabinets are all but unthinkable in most democracies today Yet existing studies of women in cabinets as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Women’s presence in cabinets around the world has expanded considerably in the past two decades All male cabinets are all but unthinkable in most democracies today Yet existing studies of

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article explored the symbolic meanings behind the public displays of the female naked body in the face of repressive authority in contemporary protest movements for peace, human rights and democracy in Africa, with a focus on the 2015 protests in Amuru District in Northern Uganda.
Abstract: Studies of women’s protest have adopted various social movement approaches that look at the mobilization of resources, the facilitating and constraining role of opportunity structures, and questions of framing and culture. This study looks at the role of symbolic resonance, a theme which is mostly absent from both feminist scholarship on women’s movements, but also from social movement theory. This paper explores the symbolic meanings behind the public displays of the female naked body in the face of repressive authority in contemporary protest movements for peace, human rights and democracy in Africa, with a focus on the 2015 protests in Amuru District in Northern Uganda.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article used data from 820 Algerian students surveyed after the 2004 Abu Ghraib scandal to evaluate whether boycotters are more likely than others to weigh country-of-origin in preferences for soda, clothing, and mobile phones.
Abstract: Under what conditions do individuals who profess to boycott products align actual and intended consumption habits? Inconsistency between self-reported participation and practice can help explain why few boycott campaigns harm targets despite high political consumption rates reported in surveys of Americans and Europeans. Arab boycotts are fertile yet unexplored settings in which to assess this proposition. Using data from 820 Algerian students surveyed after the 2004 Abu Ghraib scandal, we evaluate whether boycotters are more likely than others to weigh country-of-origin in preferences for soda, clothing, and mobile phones. Almost 60% claimed to boycott US goods – consistent with cross-national survey rates and a 2007 nationally representative survey of 800 Algerians – but fewer respondents expressed actual brand preferences consistent with this desire. We extend the political consumption literature by expanding its geographic scope and elaborating a mechanism by which product characteristics mini...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examined what drove Latino support for presidential candidate Jeb Bush and found that support for Bush increases among Latino voters who prefer Anglo candidates who mobilize voters using social-identity bridging.
Abstract: In this paper, we challenge the existing framework which argues that ethnic cues essentially operate for Latino candidates but not for Anglo/non-Latino candidates. Instead, we suggest that Anglo candidates can tap into Latino shared-identity by employing social-identity bridging mobilization during their campaigns. Using measures that gauge policy, culture, and mobilization, we examine what drives Latino support for presidential candidate Jeb Bush. We find that support for Bush increases among Latino voters who prefer Anglo candidates who mobilize voters using social-identity bridging. We corroborate our results with an analysis of real-world voting behavior of recent senate and gubernatorial elections, finding that candidates who make more appeals to the Latino community by minimizing the social space do considerably better than candidates who do not do this. Implications are discussed.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors characterizes queer methods developed in the humanities in ways that may be useful in social science and law, since it is antithetical to queer theory's resistance to fixity to concretize.
Abstract: This note characterizes queer methods developed in the humanities in ways that may be useful in social science and law. Since it is antithetical to queer theory’s resistance to fixity to concretize...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For example, this article found that women are more likely to trust in political institutions than men, and previous gender gaps in political interest, understanding of the issues, and trust in elections dissipate after the election.
Abstract: Persistent gender gaps in political engagement, which have been observed across the globe, continue to puzzle researchers Given that the heightened legislative presence of a previously under-represented group has the potential to boost political involvement among citizens, this paper addresses the question of how women’s increased descriptive representation can shape political engagement and trust in the democratic process The adoption of a gender quota in Uruguay allowed us to prognosticate a rise in women’s descriptive representation following the October 2014 elections Our two-wave panel survey polled 1200 Uruguayan citizens immediately prior to the elections when the gender quota was first applied and shortly thereafter Our results reveal that “persistent” gender gaps are not insurmountable After the election, women are more likely to trust in political institutions than men, and previous gender gaps in political interest, understanding of the issues, and trust in elections dissipate

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors used voter history panel data supplemented by elite interviews to study the effect of coethnic candidates on the electoral participation of minority voters in a district in Orange County, California with substantial Latino and Vietnamese-American populations.
Abstract: The process of political incorporation is essential for integrating immigrant and minority interests into politics. Coethnic candidates are important players in increasing the electoral participation of the politically quiescent. However, the means by which coethnic mobilization incorporates underrepresented populations remain unclear. We posit three mechanisms. First, coethnic candidates may attempt to expand the electoral base; second, their candidacies offer a coethnic cue that encourages citizens to vote to support their group; and third, mobilization by coethnic candidates may lead to habitual voting. Using voter history panel data supplemented by elite interviews, we test these hypotheses using a set of elections in a district in Orange County, California with substantial Latino and Vietnamese-American populations. We find that coethnic candidacies can mobilize coethnic support as long as the campaign message also resonates, even when out-group competition is absent. Coethnic mobilization is...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors investigate how issue framing and identity priming affects public opinion toward the key transgender right of bathroom access and provide results from a recent pilot study, showing that the public forms their views of transgender people and rights.
Abstract: While lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans have seen recent legal victories and declining explicit discrimination, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals (TGNC) remain astoundingly vulnerable. An area of recent public debate is the right of transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, regardless of the sex they were assigned at birth. Little is known, however, about how the public forms their views of transgender people and rights, particularly the issue of bathroom access. Our research agenda seeks to better understand public attitudes about transgender bathroom access. In this paper, we describe our use of experiments to investigate how issue framing and identity priming affects public opinion toward the key transgender right of bathroom access and provide results from a recent pilot study.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors provide an overview of third-party activity in general elections to the House and the participation of female candidates, using a vector autoregression model and Granger causality tests, showing that women nominated by third parties were "trail blazers" potentially influencing the movement of women into the major parties.
Abstract: Historically, very few female candidates have ever won election to the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, very few third-party candidates have ever won election to the House. With data from 1912 to 2012 on more than 54,000 candidates, we provide an historical overview of third-party activity in general elections to the House and the participation of female candidates. Our analysis shows that third parties have been a consistent presence in elections to the House and a major avenue for women. Using a vector autoregression model and Granger causality tests, we also show that from 1912 to 1964, women nominated by third parties were “trail blazers” potentially influencing the movement of women into the major parties. We also show that since 1964, the presence of women among third-party nominees has been influenced by the increasing proportion of women as major-party nominees. Our analysis thus uncovers a “hidden history” that enhances our understanding of how women have participated in over a...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors discuss the main empirical and methodological challenges that may have led scholars to reach at best mixed results, to identify merely modest effects or to not find any trace of them, including difficulties in properly establishing the causal effects and in operationalizing the dependent variable as well as a dearth of adequate data.
Abstract: In examining what the presence of female politicians symbolize to citizens, especially to women, scholars have sought to empirically prove whether it enhances the legitimacy of, closeness to, and satisfaction with political institutions, as well as levels of political efficacy and participation By taking stock of the burgeoning quantitative research examining the symbolic effects of women’s descriptive representation on citizens’ political attitudes and behavior, we will discuss the main empirical and methodological challenges that may have led scholars to reach at best mixed results, to identify merely modest effects or to not find any trace of them These challenges include difficulties in properly establishing the causal effects and in operationalizing the dependent variable as well as a dearth of adequate data Our contribution discusses the advantages provided by new methodological avenues, such as survey experiments vis-a-vis standard public opinion surveys, to circumvent the shortcomings i