ERIC Number: ED314324
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Sep-3
Reference Count: N/A
Does Their Difference Make a Difference? The Impact of Women on Public Policy in Arizona Legislature.
Saint-Germain, Michelle A.
While there has been an increase in the number of women elected to state legislatures, little is known about the impact of gender on state legislation. A longitudinal analysis was conducted of bills proposed by individual legislators in the Arizona State Legislature between 1969 and 1986 to investigate the relationship of gender to public policy output. Women legislators were hypothesized, first, to initiate more bills in traditional women's interest areas than men; second, to initiate more bills on feminist issues than men; and third, to have less success in securing passage for their proposed bills than men. Drawing on Kanter's work in organizations, the proportion of women in the legislature was introduced as a control variable; a minimum of 15 percent was hypothesized to be necessary for women to function effectively in the legislature. Support was found for the first two hypotheses about women legislators' areas of policy specialization, but only after women held more than 15 percent of the legislative seats. The third hypothesis was not supported, but the reasons varied according to the percentage of seats occupied by women. This study suggests that proportional group size may be an important consideration in the evaluation of the impact of gender on public policy. Two statistical tables and a 36-item bibliography are included. (Author/JB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona