First Advisor

Melody Valdini

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and University Honors


Political Science


Women legislators -- Argentina -- Public opinion, Women politicians -- Argentina -- Public opinion, Argentina -- Politics and government, Women -- Political activity -- Argentina




This paper examines how the presence of gender quotas effect public perceptions of female legislators in regards to their competence and qualifications needed to enter public office. This paper suggests that gender quotas can promote negative public perceptions due to pre-established gender norms and meritocracy violations similarly to sentiments in Affirmative Action programs. Analyzing the survey data taken from participants in Argentina, the results suggests that perceptions of female legislators are impacted by the individual’s knowledge of what a gender quota is as well as the specifics of how Argentine gender quotas are executed. Of the total percentage of participants who took the survey, only a fraction was well versed in the details of gender quotas in their own country. Female participants whom were more versed in gender quotas rated female legislators more favorably within the scenario without gender quotas than with gender quotas. One unexpected result was that difference in average perceptions by sex, with only slight differences of male participants between the scenario with gender quotas and without, compared to a large difference of female participants between the two scenarios. Overall, the results of this paper demonstrate that gender quotas can have negative impacts on the public perceptions of female legislators.


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