Sexism in Politics

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Sexism in the Political Arena: How Gender Alters Political Representation
Sarah Moore
University of Pittsburgh

Abstract: This paper explores the topics of sexism in politics- more specifically, how the underrepresentation of women has resulted both from differences in the genders (internal/psychological variances), and also circumstances that exist in the current political climate. It is important to note that there are two different sources of this problem, if not more. Internal characteristics that lead to the underrepresentation of women include how they perceive their environment compared to men, the fact that women believe they are less qualified than men, and that they are less competitive in a
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Furthermore, this paper will also discuss how external and more institutional factors can lead to the underrepresentation of women. These factors include how women still play the larger domestic role in society and how women are more unlikely to receive the suggestion of campaigning for office. By underscoring the various sources of biases in the political arena, one is able to more closely analyze what forces certain females may be combating in their quest to obtain office- or even a spot on the ballot. Before delving into the topic of how certain mindsets and other forces impact why so few women choose to run for office, it is important to comprehend why and in what context this topic is so important. This concept and the reasoning points behind it are extremely significant because it has been proven in numerous studies that when women enter a political campaign, the likelihood of them winning is exactly the same as that of men. These studies have shown that although there are certain areas in which a candidate’s pre-race success may be more dependent on their gender, during the campaign their gender is essentially irrelevant. For example, Danny Hayes and Jennifer L. Lawless explored the circumstances during a campaign when gender does not influence a
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