ERIC Number: ED314329
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Sep-1
Reference Count: N/A
Gender Differences in Legislative Effectiveness.
Stanley, Jeanie R.; Blair, Diane D.
A brief questionnaire was mailed to all legislators in Arkansas (n=135, with 75 responding) and Texas (n=181 with 67 responding) concerning possible gender differences in legislative effectiveness. Personal interviews were also conducted with all female legislators from both states and an equal number of randomly selected male legislators (20 in Arkansas, 40 in Texas). Contextual factors, including the professionalism, proportion of women members, partisanship, and institutional power structure found in state legislatures, facilitate or impede the effectiveness of women relative to men. While current trends toward increasing professionalism and proportions of women in state legislatures appear to benefit women, patterns of partisan activity and the institutional power structures are mixed or situation-specific in their impact. The institutional power structures of both states, where women are proportionally represented below the national average, do more to impede than to facilitate women's internal influence. Two factors, however, seem auspicious for women's increased future effectiveness. First, the trend toward more professionalism and less personalism in state legislative operations has not yet abated, and this trend is generally beneficial to women. Second, women legislators are themselves optimistic about their present effectiveness and future power potential. The document includes two tables and an 18-item bibliography. (JB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas; Texas