Why Women are Failing to be Elected to Higher Political Offices

Student Author(s)

Rosemarie Falsetta

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Virginia Beard

Document Type


Event Date



Previous research firmly establishes an array of factors that contribute to the success or failure of female candidates running for a political office. For example, a women’s appearance consistently proves to take precedence over the policies that female candidates hold. There is a gap, however, in this research that specifically focuses on women who run for the executive branch. Do the same factors influence the likelihood of success for women seeking the presidency? I examine what factors contribute to the failure of women candidates being elected to such higher political offices. It seems that more than any other factors, stereotypes and beliefs about of the existence of ‘feminine issues versus masculine issues’ stand as barriers to female success in earning high-level political office. Stereotypes and beliefs about what issues a woman should deal with frame all other factors that influence female electability. Thus, this research explores public beliefs and attitudes about female candidates and how such beliefs affect women’s election to higher political offices.

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