Articles often highlight how women are disproportionately represented in senior governmental positions.

For once, I'd like to see a poll ask whether women actually WANT to be in government.  Perhaps, relative to men,  they are more turned off by the corruption, bribery and favoritism endemic in politics.

Perhaps their underrepresentation is mostly reflective NOT of negative forces acting on women, but of women REFUSING to allow themselves to be influenced by negative (governmental) forces.  
Alice O. Nunez
10/26/2010 12:52:24 am

Perhaps, but since there's a ton of evidence of sexism in politics, and not much evidence of women being less interested in politics (see, for instance, the gender ratios in poli-sci departments at American universities), it would be rational to go with the first hypothesis. Besides, the second wouldn't really explain women's underrepresentation in other fields, would it?

10/26/2010 01:18:23 am


I would be interested in seeing evidence about sexism in political hiring/election. If it exists, as you say, then my theory may be devalued, but not necessarily voided. In that case, women being turned off by corruption could simply account for a smaller than large percentage of their underrepresentation in politics.

And I didn't claim that women's underrepesentation in politics WAS largely due to avoidance of corruption, I said "perhaps" that was the case, meaning further study would be interesting.

I would say this, however. If there are a greater % of women in poli-sci departments than in government, that could simply be the result largely of women's interest in teaching. Myself, I love politics, would probably enjoy teaching it, but would have to think about it before running for government.

Yes, if women are less interested in entering politics than men, that wouldn't directly explain women's underrepresentation in other fields. I'm not sure why you bring this up. I didn't claim as much.


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