Sex and the City: The Effect of Representational Gender on Agenda Setting, Policy Process, and Policy Outcomes

40 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 25 Aug 2009

See all articles by Mirya R. Holman

Mirya R. Holman

Tulane University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that, at Congressional and State levels, the gender of a representative has a concrete and significant effect on the policy priorities of the representative. However, at the local level, there is little evidence of a gender effect. Using survey data from municipal leaders in U.S. cities, I find that the gender of a representative seems to have no direct effect on the issue priorities or work of representatives. I then develop and test a measure of gender consciousness, suggesting that it an awareness of what being a woman means – not just being a women – that produces gender differences. I find that possessing a gender consciousness has a significant effect on policy priorities and work, with those with a gender consciousness more likely to value and work on issues relating to education, affordable housing, and welfare, and are less likely to value economic development policies.

Suggested Citation

Holman, Mirya R., Sex and the City: The Effect of Representational Gender on Agenda Setting, Policy Process, and Policy Outcomes (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1451000

Mirya R. Holman (Contact Author)

Tulane University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Tulane University
316 Norman Mayer Building
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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