Does an Increase of Women in Office Lead to an Increase of 'Women's Issues' Pursued, Cosponsored, and Adopted: A Time Series Analysis of the 100th-112th House of Representatives

Date
2017
Authors
Cone, Taylor M.
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Abstract

This analysis investigates the link between descriptive and substantive representation by examining the relationship between the number of women in office, and the number of women's issue legislation introduced, cosponsored, and passed in the House of Representatives. Utilizing data gathered through the Congressional Bills Project, I conduct negative binomial regressions from the 100th-112th Congress. Women's issue bills are categorized as bills relating to gender discrimination, child abuse, family issues, and child care. The results indicate that for introduction of women's issue bills, the number of women holds a significant relationship with number of women's issue bills introduced, however, when dividing the women's issue legislation by party, only for democratic sponsored legislation did the number of women remain a significant variable. For cosponsorship, the number of women have no significant relationship with the number of cosponsors, instead, it was found that majority party was a more significant variable for the number of cosponsors for women's issue bills. The passage of women's issue legislation bills echoed the results from cosponsorship, in that the number of women no longer held a significant relationship with the number of women's issue bills passed, and majority party was found to have a significant impact on the number of women's issue bills passed.

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Keywords
critical mass, gender, legislative priorities, politics
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Department
Political Science and Geography