Melody Ellis Valdini
Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and University Honors
Great Britain. Parliament -- Officials and employees -- Sex differences, Women -- Political activity -- Great Britain
In order to discover if the statement "men and women win elections at equal rates" had any validity I created a quality test and applied to the 650 men and women elected to Westminster in 2015. My theory was that due to a historical exclusion from politics, elected women would exceed their male counterparts in political quality. Female candidates are informally encouraged by voters, political parties, and lifelong gendered socialization to seek more qualifications for office than male candidates in order to counteract gender bias. My research showed that my theory was supported and that the female politicians who were nationally elected in 2015 met more quality marks in my quality test, and thus were more qualified for political office than their male counterparts. The quality differences I observed are evidence of sexism continuing to play a role in women’s perceived electability in long standing democracies with single member district electoral systems.
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Herr, Alyssa Lenore, "Mind the Gap: Gender's Effect on Quality of Elected Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom" (2016). University Honors Theses. Paper 227.