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100 Years of the Nineteenth AmendmentAn Appraisal of Women's Political Activism$
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Holly J. McCammon and Lee Ann Banaszak

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190265144

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190265144.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 September 2019

What’s Happened to the Gender Gap in Political Participation?

What’s Happened to the Gender Gap in Political Participation?

How Might We Explain It?

Chapter:
(p.69) 4 What’s Happened to the Gender Gap in Political Participation?
Source:
100 Years of the Nineteenth Amendment
Author(s):

Nancy Burns

Kay Lehman Schlozman

Ashley Jardina

Shauna Shames

Sidney Verba

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190265144.003.0004

At some point in the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century, a stubbornly persistent gender gap in US political activity more or less vanished, fulfilling one part of the aspiration of women’s suffrage. This chapter asks why, seeking answers both in changes that have nothing to do with politics and in politics itself. As is typical when considering political participation, our account involves the interaction of several processes rather than a single cause. The most important transformation has been the increase in women’s education: women are now more likely than men to earn college and graduate degrees. In addition, a striking increase has taken place in the presence of women as high-profile and successful office seekers, especially since 1992. During a critical period in the 1990s, an influx of female candidates and elected officials appears to have kept the gender gap in participation from being even wider.

Keywords:   political participation, education, labor force participation, electoral interest, elected officials, gender gap, descriptive representation

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