State by state listing and ranking of numbers and percentages of women in state legislative office.
Listing of women in leadership positions in state senates and state houses and ranking of percentage of women holding leadership postions by state.
State by state listing of numbers and percentages of women elected to state legislatures for 1975 through 2014.
Year-by-Year Candidates and Election Results (1996-2016)
Gender and the Decision to Run for the State Legislature
by Susan J. Carroll and Kira Sanbonmatsu
Paper presented at the 2009 Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting
Carroll and Sanbonmatsu find important gender differences in the initial decision to seek state legislative office. They find that women are more likely than men to seek office because they were encouraged to run and that family and organizational support play a larger role in women’s candidacy decisions than in men’s.
CAWP Recruitment Studies Datasets
The 2008 Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) Recruitment Studies are studies of United States state legislators' and mayors' pathways to office that were conducted by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Data about state legislators and mayors of big cities were gathered through survey instruments that consisted primarily of questions concerning the decision to seek office, previous political experience, and personal background. The studies, which were conducted by mail, web, and phone, were designed to replicate a 1981 CAWP study about gender and pathways to elective office. All women serving in the legislatures of the 50 states were surveyed, along with a random sample of men state legislators; men were randomly selected and sampled in proportion to the number of women serving in each chamber and state. All women mayors of cities with a population of 30,000 and above serving in 2008 were surveyed, along with a random sample of men mayors. Demographic variables include age, education, race, and marital status.
Gender Backlash in American Politics?
by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Politics and Gender (September 2006)
The author introduces the idea of a backlash against women's representation, proposes several preliminary hypotheses about a backlash, and discusses ways of testing them.
“Committee Assignments: Discrimination or Choice?”
by Susan J. Carroll
Book chapter in Legislative Women: Getting Elected, Getting Ahead, edited by Beth Reingold, 2008
Commentary on Emmy E. Werner's 1968 Article, "Women in the State Legislatures"
by Susan J. Carroll
Political Research Quarterly (March 2008)
This commentary examines the contributions of Emmy W. Werner's classic 1968 article to the study of women and politics and to knowledge about women in state legislatures, placing the article in the context of its time and highlighting its continuing relevance.
Gender Pools and Puzzles: Charting a 'Women's Path' to the Legislature
by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Politics & Gender 2006, Volume 2 (September)
The “social eligibility pool” stands as one of the most common, and most powerful, explanations for women's underrepresentation in elective office. In this article, Sanbonmatsu revisits the eligibility pool account of women's representation and argues that it has significant shortcomings as a causal explanation. She proposes that scholars direct their attention to how changes occur in beliefs about the types of backgrounds that are thought to be desirable in politicians—the “informal qualifications” for public office. She suggests that scholars work to identify the conditions under which women can take a “women's path” to the legislature from female-dominated occupations.
Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 1st Edition
Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
Cambridge University Press, 2005 First Edition, 240 pages
Gender and Elections offers a systematic, lively, multi-faceted account of the role of gender in the electoral process through the 2004 elections. This volume strikes a balance between highlighting the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2004 elections and providing a more long-term, in-depth analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape the contours and outcomes of electoral politics in the United States. Individual chapters demonstrate the importance of gender in understanding and interpreting presidential elections, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, congressional elections, the participation of African American women, the support of political parties and women's organizations, candidate communications with voters, and state elections.
Increasing Diversity or More of the Same? Term Limits and the Representation of Women, Minorities, and Minority Women in State Legislatures
by Susan J. Carroll and Krista Jenkins
National Political Science Review 10 (2005): 71-84
This paper examines the question of whether term limits lead to greater diversity among legislators in terms of their gender, race, and ethnicity. Their findings from an analysis of electoral outcomes in states where term limits were in effect in 1998 and 2000 suggest that the answer to the question of whether term limits lead to more diverse legislatures is not straightforward.
Women in State Government: Historical Overview and Current Trends
by Susan J. Carroll
Chapter in The Book of the States, edited by The Council of State Governments, 2004
Women have significantly increased their numbers among state government officials over the past several decades. However, despite a recent increase in the number of women governors, women’s progress, especially at the statewide elective and state legislative levels, has slowed. The future for women in state government would seem to depend, at least in part, upon the strength of efforts to actively recruit women for elective and appointive positions.
"Have Women State Legislators In the United States Become More Conservative?: A Comparison of State Legislators in 2001 and 1988"
by Susan J. Carroll, Atlantis 27:2(2003): 128-139.
Carroll finds that: Women state legislators in the United States in 2001 are more liberal in their political ideology and policy attitudes than their male colleagues, just as they were in 1988. Nevertheless, a notable change is evident in the ideological predispositions of Republican Party women, especially in the lower houses of the legislatures. Republican women representatives in 2001 are more conservative and more like their male counterparts than they were in the late 1980s.