Gender Turnover and Roll Call Voting in the US Senate

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Most studies looking at the roll call voting behavior of female legislators have investigated this phenomenon at the state legislative level and for the US House of Representatives. Very little research has looked at the impact of gender on the policy records of US senators. With the number of female senators continuing to increase it is now possible to undertake such an analysis. This study examines the influence of gender in predicting the roll call voting behavior of US senators across several recent congresses. To unearth gender effects, it employs a longitudinal design based on turnover in the Senate, which holds constituency constant while allowing gender and party to vary. The results indicate that male and female senators representing the same state compile very similar voting records on the basic left/right policy dimension. However, when votes on issues of concern to women are examined, female senators tend to be more supportive than the male senators they replaced, and male senators tend to be less supportive than the female senators they replaced.

Original Citation

Frederick, Brian. (2011). Gender Turnover and Roll Call Voting in the US Senate. Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, 32(3), 193-210. https://doi.org/10.1080/1554477X.2011.589281