Title

Do Women Represent Women? Feminist Theory in Political Representation

Poster Number

17B

Lead Author Major

Economics and Political Science

Lead Author Status

Senior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Dari Sylvester Tran

Faculty Mentor Email

dtran1@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Political Science

Abstract/Artist Statement

More often than not, women are not represented by women; elected leaders in the United States are predominantly male. The feminist movement is trying to improve underrepresentation by encouraging more women to run for political office, therefore increasing descriptive representation of women. This increase is presumed to lead to more advocacy for women’s issues because it is assumed that women support women’s issues. However, do women really support women’s issues while holding political office? Health care policy, traditionally considered a women’s issue, creates opportunity to test the reality of this assumption. Utilizing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) legislation considered by most state legislatures, this research creates a logit model of the relationship between the percentage of women legislators and the odds that the legislation passes while controlling for: political party dominance in the state legislature, republican governors, Medicaid expansion history, and the states GDP per capita. Results suggest that increased levels of women representatives do significantly increase the odds that the Medicaid expansion passes in state legislatures; even with additional specifications to ensure robustness. These findings indicate that higher levels of descriptive representation of women are correlated with substantive representation. Therefore, elevating women into positions of legislative power increases the odds that women’s issues will be addressed through policy.

Location

DeRosa University Center Ballroom

Start Date

27-4-2018 12:30 PM

End Date

27-4-2018 2:30 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 27th, 12:30 PM Apr 27th, 2:30 PM

Do Women Represent Women? Feminist Theory in Political Representation

DeRosa University Center Ballroom

More often than not, women are not represented by women; elected leaders in the United States are predominantly male. The feminist movement is trying to improve underrepresentation by encouraging more women to run for political office, therefore increasing descriptive representation of women. This increase is presumed to lead to more advocacy for women’s issues because it is assumed that women support women’s issues. However, do women really support women’s issues while holding political office? Health care policy, traditionally considered a women’s issue, creates opportunity to test the reality of this assumption. Utilizing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) legislation considered by most state legislatures, this research creates a logit model of the relationship between the percentage of women legislators and the odds that the legislation passes while controlling for: political party dominance in the state legislature, republican governors, Medicaid expansion history, and the states GDP per capita. Results suggest that increased levels of women representatives do significantly increase the odds that the Medicaid expansion passes in state legislatures; even with additional specifications to ensure robustness. These findings indicate that higher levels of descriptive representation of women are correlated with substantive representation. Therefore, elevating women into positions of legislative power increases the odds that women’s issues will be addressed through policy.