Electing Women Could Reduce Polarization

A thanks to Lee Drutman for resurfacing a 2022 article in the American Political Science Review, based on an original dataset of political parties in 20 Western democracies, suggesting that having more elected officials who are women associated with a political party may reduce levels of hostility to that party by those in the opposite party. This may, of course, require making it easier for younger women to run for office and to serve as legislators: A Time exclusive reports Representative Anna Paulina Luna (Republican Florida) will be “only the 12th member of Congress to give birth while in office.”

“Second, independently of whether women representatives behave differently from men, women’s descriptive representation affects both citizens’ and journalists’ political perceptions. US-based studies show that respondents hold gender-trait stereotypes, seeing women politicians as more caring and compassionate, more likely to compromise and build legislative consensus and having better interpersonal skills.”

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