Women are underrepresented in American political institutions, despite the positive track record of women in office and the willingness of voters to support women candidates. Gender differences in political ambition originate in childhood and are difficult to counteract. Mirya Holman finds that girls tend to think of politicians as men and politics as a man’s world—and those perceptions build over time to reduce intended political involvement. In this conversational addition, Holman also talks about her experience as a leader in the field of gender and politics research and the efforts to achieve gender parity in research and practice.
Guest: Mirya Holman, Tulane University
Matt Grossmann: Gender and political ambition this week on The Science of Politics. For the Niskanen Center, I’m Matt Grossmann. Women are underrepresented in American political institutions, despite the positive track record of women in office and the willingness of voters to support women candidates. Why do women run for office at lower rates? It turns out that gender differences in political ambition originate in childhood and are difficult to counteract.
Representation trends are slowly improving, but it will take a lot more work to reach parity. This week. I talk with Mirya Holman of Tulane university about her American Political Science Review article with Angela Bos, Joe Greenlee, Zoe Oxley, and Celeste Lay, This One’s for the Boys: How Gendered Political Socialization Limits Girls’ Political Ambition and Interest. She finds that girls tend to think of politicians as men and politics as a man’s world.
Those perceptions build over time to reduce intended political involvement. Holman is also a leader in the field of gender and politics and the efforts to achieve gender parity in research and practice. In this conversational edition, we discuss Holman’s broader work and the advance of gender and politics research and its impact on real world politics. Here’s our conversation.
All right, so why don’t you start by orienting us around the kind of the state of play for women’s political representation in the United States, how well are women represented at each level of government and among candidates, and how much has changed?
Mirya Holman: Well, to start, the broad takeaway today and throughout the last several hundred years is that women are underrepresented in political office in the United States. And that is true at the congressional, state and local levels. Depending on what office we’re talking about, women are generally between a quarter and a third of office holders. That’s also generally true for candidates. Women are around a third of candidates for political office.
We don’t see there being enormous differences across levels of office. For a long time, scholars thought that women would be better represented at the local level because there are fewer barriers to entry. It’s easier to say have a family and be on a city council at the same time, rather than be in Congress and have a family. Actually there’s not a lot of evidence that suggests that women are much better represented at the local level than they are at the state or national level.
Matt Grossmann: We keep hearing that things are changing and this is the year. 2018 and 2020 saw some increases, but how much has changed?
Mirya Holman: We’re on a very, very gradual upward trajectory with the emphasis there on very. There are more women in office today than there were 10 years ago or 20 years ago, but not enormous gains. Part of why we see sort of a slow movement is that over time we’ve increasingly see women run almost exclusively in the Democratic Party and be very successful in being elected in the Democratic Party, particularly at the state and national level.
The Republican Party has really lagged behind in putting women on the ballot. If we’re trying to get to a place where we’re going to have political parity and representation, women are just slightly over half of the population. If we were interested in political parity, one of the things that we would need is for the Republican Party to have a lot more women running on their ticket.
Matt Grossmann: Tell us about this idea of gendered political socialization. How and why do girls and young women come to see politics as a man’s world? And how does that impact their political ambition?
Mirya Holman: We’re really interested… The research team that I’m involved in is really interested in understanding how kids see the political world. One of the major driving motivations behind this project was trying to understand at what point girls start opting out of having political interest. We know that this pattern exists at the adult level. There was at some point some evidence to suggest, okay, in high school, maybe girls are already opting out.
We thought, well, if we draw on theories of broader socialization, that would suggest that this is also happening at much younger levels. We developed a theory of gendered political socialization that argues that there are two patterns that are occurring at the same time. One is that kids are learning broadly about gender roles in society. We know that this starts early in life. We’re definitely not the first scholars to talk about that.
Part of what kids learn as they learn about gender roles are the expectations for how adults behave in ways that are consistent or inconsistent with their gender. One of the principal ways that people behave in a way that’s consistent with their gender is in career choices. Young children in elementary school are starting to think about what they want to do in their life. They’re learning about the jobs that they might want to have when they grow up. There are career fairs.
They observe adults in their lives with jobs. One of the things we know that children observe is that there are some jobs that women are much more likely to have, and there are some jobs that men are much more likely to have. Children may observe, for example, that almost all of their elementary school teachers are women, or they may observe that every police officer that they interact with is a man.
These are broad patterns in society, and these are not determinative, but children do observe them and think about them as they are themselves weighing what kinds of jobs they might want to have at that [inaudible 00:06:22]. This gender role socialization is occurring. At the same time, kids are also engaged in political socialization. They’re learning about the political system. They’re learning about who’s been president, who the important people in our political history are.
They’re learning about who’s in Congress. They might do an assignment of the biography of a congressional leader, for example. And as they’re doing this, they are observing patterns of who’s in political office. And if we observe the patterns of who’s in political office and who has been in political office, that is a story almost exclusively of men occupying political positions.
Girls and boys are learning about broadly what jobs you might want to have and how that’s shaped by gender, and then learning about politics and thinking about sort of politics as a job, as a career, do you want a career in politics as you grow up? We argue that girls learn through this process that really politics is a place where men belong and that’s a job that men have, and they begin to opt out of interest in it fairly early, as early as say eight or nine years old.
Matt Grossmann: And then you track them over time. How does that development… How do people develop these attitudes over time and what changes them?
Mirya Holman: One of the things that we look at is we use a new instrument, which is that we ask kids to draw pictures of political leaders. We borrowed this from an instrument that’s been used in STEM education for a long time, for almost 50 years, where they’ve asked kids to draw pictures of what a scientist looks like. In STEM, they show early on boys and girls think that scientists are men and they engage in a lot of interventions to try to change what boys and girls think of when they think of science.
They’ve been largely successful, right? Now, if you go to an elementary school classroom and ask children to draw a picture of a scientist, they draw equally men and women as scientists. We’re only 50 years behind STEM education here. We asked the children to draw a picture of political leader, and one of the things that we find is that as girls age, they’re decreasingly likely to draw pictures of women as political leaders and increasingly likely to draw pictures of men as political leaders.
Among the young girls in our study, the six and seven year olds, only about half of them draw pictures of men as political leaders in this task, whereas nine out of 10 boys early on are drawing pictures of political leaders as men. But by the time these girls are 11 and 12 years old in our sample, they’re equally likely as boys. Nine out of 10 of them are drawing pictures of men as political leaders.
They’re internalizing these messages of sort of who belongs in politics and the gendered nature of politics as they imagine what a political leader looks like and what political leaders do. We also show that across this time period, girls’ interests in politics declines broadly, and in particular their interest in holding political office when they’re older.
Matt Grossmann: When you first started talking, it sounded like sort of an inherent problem of any underrepresented group that they’re responding to the existing distribution of women and men in public office. But then you mentioned the STEM example as an example of a successful intervention. How much is this just sort of an inevitable task to get over versus kind of the specific fault or success of socializing institutions?
Mirya Holman: That is a fantastic question. That’s the money question, right? Is there anything that we can do about this, or do we just have to wait until… I think the calculations are 2188 is where we’d be… The year that it will be when we reached a gender parity in political office if we continue at our current rate of increasing women. One of the things that we’re really interested in is the idea that we have a very particular way of socializing children into politics, particularly through social science curriculum and education.
And that is a very historical approach where we identify key events in history and the actors at those key events in history. We talk about important people. Over time, we’ve gotten much better at thinking about racial diversity in who we talk about. Almost all the children in our sample, for example, could identify who Martin Luther King was and what he did.
They know a lot about the civil rights movement, because that’s been fully incorporated into social science education, although the current emphasis on removing any mention of race from children’s education may reverse some of those trends. But what is missing often from those discussions is any discussion of women as leaders, because we don’t have any history of a woman as a president that we could talk about. We don’t have these key…
And we don’t have these key points where we can say if you’re using a really traditional historical approach for teaching social science education that, “Oh, look at these women and all of the ways that they were political leaders.” So one of the possibilities is thinking about how we might reform social science education to emphasize different things rather than these major leader-focused historical events. Thinking about social movements, for example, as a frame for thinking about moments in history. The other possibility is thinking about being very purposeful about the inclusion of role models in the classroom. And Christina Wilber and David Campbell have some really interesting research that would suggest that role models are very impactful in shaping certainly what middle school and high school girls think about politics and the possibility of their future political involvement. We know that novel role models are also really important the first time a woman does something that becomes really important for girls thinking about politics. So I am very interested to know the effect of Kamala Harris, for example, on girls’ political interest and ambition.
And then the third thing that we might think about are softer interventions. The research team actually produced a kids’ activity book that’s associated with this project that kids can use. And we’re developing a social science curriculum around it that teachers can download for free and use in their classrooms. So thinking about ways that we might offer a lot of opportunities for teachers to include a broader set of role models as to who they introduce children to in the classroom. That doesn’t necessarily get us away from the fact that kids can look at who’s in politics and know that women are really underrepresented in politics, and kids largely know we’ve never had a woman as president. They’re aware of these facts. And so there is this challenge of we’re up against the reality that our political system is dominated by men and that kids are being rational when they recognize that.
Matt Grossmann: So we focus on differences in political ambition in part because it’s supposed to be an explanation for low levels of women’s representation in politics and finding in the literature that fewer women were taking the plunge in, but there are other explanations like discrimination by voters or party leaders or differences in fundraising or family commitments or how women are treated by the media. So where does ambition fit in that list of explanations?
Mirya Holman: Well, one of the principal challenges, I think when we talk about ambition broadly in political science, is that we often talk about running for office as something that people broadly should want to do. That is not necessarily true. There are a lot of people that are very rational in their disinterest in running for office, particularly as it becomes more and more expensive and more and more time-intensive to win political office. Even at the local level, it’s become more and more expensive to hold office. This is not an activity that everybody wants to do, and that’s okay, but that runs up against this problem, that if we’re interested in having more women in political office, we need more women to run for political office.
And so one of the things that I think a lot about that I really appreciate in recent scholarship is this recognition that one of the reasons that we see women having lower political ambition is because they’re completely rational actors that look at the political system and say, “I think that this system is biased against me. Why would I want to engage with it?” And so it’s not just a simple solution from my perspective of we just need to get more women to run for office, but also that we need to think about the alternative ways that the system is biased against women, that then contribute to women being disinterested in running through political office.
So Heather Anderson has this great recent article where she demonstrates that essentially where women run, they win, but that’s because they run where they can win. And women are really rational about where they decide to enter into political contests. And so in this circumstance, there are places where the voting public might be more willing to support a woman as a candidate, and those are the places where women have already run in the past. But it’s not necessarily this thing of we should just get women to run for every office and expect that then that’s going to be the solution to our problems.
I also think that the literature that demonstrates that voter biases play a role not just generally, but in particular circumstances, that voter biases in many ways need to be activated by a particular electoral context or a campaign environment has really taught us a lot about the barriers that women face in that they don’t necessarily have control over the entire electoral environment. They can’t necessarily know what their opposition is going to focus on. They don’t know what kinds of events are going to come up, what kinds of issues are going to be really important in the election. And so even if women think that they’re entering into a contest where they have a good shot of winning, there are still so many undetermineds in the campaign process that women are often hesitant to put themselves into that environment.
Matt Grossmann: So you mentioned Kamala Harris as a potential positive example for stimulating women’s political candidacies, but we have also had a backlash example with Hillary Clinton losing and the Donald Trump presidency stimulating a lot of women’s political activity. And even on the Republican side, the increase seems to be stimulated by opposition to women candidates in the Democratic Party. So catch us up there on what we know about how much has changed under the Trump administration and now.
Mirya Holman: So one of the things I think is an interesting piece of being a political scientist that studied Hillary Clinton for a long time is the broad reaction to the 2016 election. I started studying Hillary Clinton as a candidate in 2006 and thinking about how voters would react to her at that point, thinking about her as a primary candidate in 2008, thinking about her as a secretary of state. And the research that I did largely with Jennifer Merolla and Liz Zechmeister, we often felt like we were just shouting into the void, that we were like, there are gender biases in the system. People don’t Hillary Clinton because of her gender in addition to other reasons, but also really because of her gender. There are ways that people are applying gender stereotypes.
And in general, there wasn’t much traction in political science or really in mainstream media of that argument until 2016. And then the 2016 election, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton really made gender an explicit component of their political campaigns in a way that we had not seen before. We certainly did not see this in the 2008 democratic primary. Barack Obama was not making gender an explicit part of how he was interacting with Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail.
But we get to 2016. Donald Trump’s saying that Hillary Clinton is only running and winning because she’s a woman. She’s playing the woman card. Clinton is filming these ads about being the first woman. She’s talking about how girls shouldn’t have Donald Trump as a role model. Donald Trump’s access Hollywood tape bring his gender attitudes to the forefront. And so we have all of these really explicit gendered components to the campaign that then I think generally to political scientists accepting the idea that gender might play a role in politics, particularly at the presidential level in the United States, and a bunch of women in the general population saying like, “Okay, something has to change with the system.” So we see this huge increase in Democratic women, particularly Democratic women of color, running in 2018 in direct response to the 2016 election and to Donald Trump’s election.
And then as you said, we have this additional counter response among the Republican Party of Republican women running after they saw how many women ran in 2018, although the surge in Republican women was much smaller overall than the surge in Democratic women. And so we have both this… Gender’s been made explicit. We can now talk about the role that gender is playing in politics, and this ground surge of candidates in response to the explicit nature of gender and gender discrimination in the 2016 election.
Matt Grossmann: And you also do comparative research. So how much do these same considerations apply almost everywhere in the democratic world and how much do we have some particularities that are very different?
Mirya Holman: That’s a great question. Right now I have just been updating a literature review on gender stereotypes and reading a bunch of new research on gender stereotypes in the comparative world. And there’s a lot of really exciting stuff out there. Some of my research would suggest that there are core patterns in attitudes about women in political office that apply across democratic countries. So in some of my research, I show that the patterns that we’ve seen about attitudes about Hillary Clinton and a reluctance to support Hillary Clinton, particularly among people that were concerned about foreign policy and national defense, also applies in other settings. We have a paper that demonstrates that Theresa May was punished by voters after the Manchester bombing and particularly voters that had negative attitudes about women in politics.
There’s also some really interesting comparative research that suggests there’s really similar patterns, for example, in how the press covers men and women in politics with really implicit gendered frames. It’s not that the press is saying women don’t belong in politics, but there’s just enough of a difference in how women are covered that both discourages women to run for office and shapes how voters think about women. And there’s some really interesting research that would suggest that gender stereotypes are very volatile across country settings. So as individuals have more experience with women in political office-
Individuals have more experience with women in political office that then changes their attitudes about the ability of women to lead, to some extent. It doesn’t shape everybody’s attitude. So, some of this is we know that gender roles apply broadly across country contexts, and the attitudes that are rooted in gender roles seem to also apply broadly across country context. But the political system itself really matters. In the United States, one of the reasons that we have very low levels of women in office in comparison to other countries is that many other countries have adopted gender quotas.
Our political system is not really well suited for the adaptation of gender quotas. We have such a candidate centered system. Parties have very little control about which candidates are on the ballot. We have increasingly tried to open up primaries broadly. That means that parties have less and less control over who gets on the ballot. That might have been, at some point, the point where we could have in instituted some version of a gender quota. And so in many ways, the United States is increasingly becoming the hardest test case for getting women into political office in comparison to other democracies.
Matt Grossmann: So gender attitudes, increasingly divide our two political parties. There might be some reason to believe people are making a decision between the two sides on that basis. But on the other hand, there’s also a lot of reason to believe that people are following their party leaders or their party coalition members toward those attitudes. So, what’s the state of knowing cause and effect there?
Mirya Holman: Again, really difficult question. One thing that we do know is that women increasingly identify as Democrats and men increasingly identify as Republicans. This is a slow, broad trend that has been occurring for 50 years now. Heather Anderson has some really interesting work looking at Gallup polling over time that shows that some of this is this self reinforcing cycle where more women run in the democratic party, and then that encourages women to think about the democratic party as friendlier to women, and then more women run in the democratic party. And that encourages women to think about the democratic party as friendlier to women, which then encourages this gender gap more broadly. There’s also though these messaging components to this. Trump’s election and the Republican party’s unwillingness to reprimand him for things that he said, for the access Hollywood tape, for actions that he took while he was in political office, sent a message to the public that the Republican party is not going to be a party that’s particularly interested, for example, in caring about sexual harassment or sexual assault, particularly in the workplace.
Mirya Holman: The nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme court has sort of cemented this as the Republican party not really being a party that’s going to take a stand on this. This is happening at the same time that the Democratic party, not doing the most amazing job, but generally is engaging in a wide variety of internal policing. For example, kicking out members of the party that are accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault, passing new laws to protect victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault. We’ve also seen gradual changes over time in who is in each party in terms of their gendered attitudes. People that score high on sexism measures increasingly identify now with the Republican party and decreasingly identify with a Democratic party.
This is also true if we look at broader measures of psychological constructs, things like gendered system justification, right? Do you really buy into there being a gendered hierarchy in society where men are strong leaders and women need to be at home taking care of children and the family? The people that buy into that, increasingly identify as Republicans and the people that don’t increasingly identify as Democrats. So, we’re seeing these changes that were slow in the making for a long time, but then are being accelerated by the messages that the parties are sending out to their voters about acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
Matt Grossmann: So, you also do research on the behavior of office holders. Tell us a little bit about what we know about the implications of having more women in elected office in terms of their behavior and their representation.
Mirya Holman: Well, there’s a broad body of scholarship that suggests that there’s a relationship between descriptive representation, the presence of women in political office, and substantive representation on women’s issues. Having women in office leads to then the production of policy that is favorable to women, helps women more. This is complicated broadly by this association of party and gender. It’s not just that women overall engage in this effort, but we increasingly see that Democratic women are the ones that are engaging in policy efforts to try to address things that are going to really impact women’s lives. We also see differences in behavior within political office. I was just at the state Politics and Policy Conference. And there’s some really interesting research that women just broadly are over performing in political office. Women that are elected to state legislatures, for example, introduce more pieces of legislation.
They do more work on committees, even as they are assigned to committees that are considered lower prestige. They make those committees work. They show up more to votes in houses. They engage more in constituent communication. Constituents demand more of them also, and constituents hold women in political office to higher standards than they hold men in political office. It’s often really difficult to untangle what is happening. What are the actual causal factors associated with women’s increased activity on women’s issues? We do know generally that these are broad trends. They apply across political office. They apply in the United States and in other countries that the more women there are in political office, the more likely that we’re going to see policy that helps women.
Matt Grossmann: So, there has been quite a bit learned in this research area. It’s a pretty thriving field. To what extent has that depended on the rise of women within political science and tell us about that trajectory within academia?
Mirya Holman: So, I got my PhD in 2010 and there was a great body of scholarship, several key academics that had been working in the area for a long time. We knew quite a bit about descriptive trends. We knew quite a bit about, broadly, on the connection between descriptive and substantive representation. We had a lot of information, but what we’ve seen, I think in the last 12 years, is just an explosion of understanding the micro foundations of these relationships, increasing emphasis on thinking about causality and establishing causal relationships between women’s representation and outcomes, for example, or between voters attitudes and whether or not women are elected to political office. And a really big emphasis on thinking about what we can borrow from other disciplines. So, a strong emphasis on political psychology, political sociology increasingly is drawn in thinking about things like occupational socialization and how that shapes women’s behavior in political office.
Thinking about adopting tools from economics for establishing causality. All of these things, the gender and politics community has really drawn in these tools from other disciplines, I think to the benefit of political science broadly, but particularly to the benefit of the gender and politics community. We’ve also seen a dramatic increase in the number of people studying gender and politics, which is really exciting to me. I love seeing that so many people are now interested in studying gender and politics. It’s also really exciting to me. I was just at this conference and it wasn’t just women studying gender and politics, which is not necessarily something that you see, and that I’ve seen in the past. Often when you go to a gender and politics panel at a conference, it’s all women presenting and all women in the audience. And that’s great for many reasons, but often, I think, produces a sort of silo effect where women in politics are only talking to each other. So, we’ve increasingly seen a broader set of individuals interested in studying this, which is very exciting to me.
Matt Grossmann: So what is the current state of a gender and politics research within political science? Is there a danger that by creating a research agenda we’ve sort of left it to the side of other substantive research agendas, or are we seeing more respect, and more use of gender and politics framing throughout the discipline?
Mirya Holman: Well, my take is that when I first started to publish in this area and would send things to mainstream political science journals, particularly top journals, I would regularly get the comment that this is good, but it belongs in a subfield journal. That gender and politics is not political science, it’s its own thing and go be with the other gender and politics people. I get way less of that now. And I think some of that is that people that study gender and politics have talked a lot about receiving those kinds of comments and what that means for how we think about political science more broadly.
For me, saying, oh, okay. So, everybody has a gender, first of all. And if you’re not interested in women and how they engage in the political system, it means you’re not interested in half the population and how it engages in the political system. That’s ridiculous, right? That is mainstream political science. And so, maybe enough of us saying that over and over again, have done something about that. Maybe that has accomplished something. I think though, also, as we’ve seen a broader set of scholars be interested in this, people being trained across a wide set of programs.
… People being trained across a wide set of programs and questions around gender and politics. The movement is successful in itself, and then that breeds future success. I also think key scholars publishing in top journals and the sort of broader exposure to questions of gender and politics through the publication of gender and politics work in the APSR, AJPS, JOP, all really help people think about this as a legitimate field. Again, with everything that we’ve talked about today, it’s very difficult to say, what comes first, what caused what? But broadly my take is, the more people studying it, the better they’re publishing their research, the more people accept it as a sort of a core component of political science.
Matt Grossmann: And what should people know about the state of the art in this field, or the next generation? What quiet kinds of questions are we likely to be able to answer soon?
Mirya Holman: I’m just so excited about the future of the field. So one of the things that I think I’m hoping that we’re going to see a lot more research on, and my take on the field is that we are going to see a lot more research on it, is thinking not just about gender as this singular category, but thinking much more deeply about the other identities that engage with gender, that shape how people experience the political world. So of course, we have this really rich history of thinking about intersectionality and the relationship between race and gender. I’ve seen some really interesting work recently in sort of digging into race and gender, and thinking about the experiences for example, of women of color in political office. And what we can learn more broadly about political institutions from thinking about their experiences within those political institutions.
I’m also really interested in growing a body of scholarship that thinks about things like occupation, or educational experience, a broad evaluation of socialization, and how that interacts with gender to then shape how people think about politics, or engage in the political world. And then there’s this really amazing new body of scholarship, that’s thinking about the ways that… We’ve learned a lot about what American voters think about women in politics, and maybe it’s time to think about whether or not American voters’ experiences apply more broadly to other political settings. So really interesting work in Latin America, in Africa, in Southeast Asia, there’s been some really great work that’s been done recently in thinking about local party lists in Europe, and where women are placed on party lists, and the sort of contagion effects of there being more women in local political parties. So there’s a really broad set of scholars engaging in the work, like political science, more broadly, the gender and politics world is in the midst of a data revolution, right? We have so much more data on women in politics than we’ve ever had before.
When I started working on my dissertation in 2007 on women in local politics, we did not know how many women were in local politics, and we really still didn’t know until about 2019. And so all of a sudden we have so much more information just on descriptive representation, where women hold office. We have so much more information about what people do within political office, we have broad data sets now of what policies are looking at. All of these things are really helping the gender and politics world sort of understand how women engage with the political system and the consequences.
Matt Grossmann: And is anyone listening in the practitioner field? We have obviously a lot of foundations, and advocacy groups, and politicians themselves, who should be interested in learning the results of these studies. What’s the current status of the relationship with the practitioner community?
Mirya Holman: This is one place where I think that the gender and politics world has done a very good job of engaging with practitioners. A lot of gender and politics scholars engage in the work because they have normative concerns about women’s representation, or have normative concerns about particular policies, and often work with practitioners, nonprofits, organizations that are interested in those same kinds of outcomes. So the Melinda Gates Foundation is pumping a lot of money into these questions, which is amazing. We’ve seen work by organizations like Emerge, all these candidate training organizations. One of the things that I love about a lot of these organizations is that they are deeply interested in what academics have to say about the world, and want to engage in evidence based research that is really based on what the scholarship says. So it’s been a real delight to see those relationships flourish.
And I would also say that generally, people that study gender and politics want to do more of this. So any practitioners out there, you should reach out to your local gender and politics person, and they will want to talk to you probably about these things. The other sort of piece of it that I think is really interesting, and that potentially is an avenue for additional research is thinking about the proliferation of these ideas on college campuses, and within college campus groups. So lots of college campuses have groups explicitly focused on gender and politics, on getting women into office, and getting women into campaign organizations. And that’s been, I think really exciting to see because we’re training the next generation of academics, or practitioners, or advocates.
Matt Grossmann: And what’s next for you? Anything you want to tout about what you are working on, or what the biggest, most exciting things in your future research agenda?
Mirya Holman: Oh, that’s a great question. Tiffany Barnes and I are working on a series of projects to try to think about law schools as political socializing settings, and trying to understand where political ambition begins, and can it be nurtured in the law school environment, and is that explicitly gendered? So thinking about the ways that we might intervene at the law school point, to try to encourage women that are getting JDs to think about running for political office. I’m really excited about that, it’s just in its infancy stage, but it’s a really exciting project.
Matt Grossmann: And anything we didn’t get to that you wanted to include, or any closing message?
Mirya Holman: Just broadly. This is a great field, if you’re interested in political science, it’s a very welcoming field. People are really friendly, go to panels, learn stuff, write papers. I’d love to read them, if you want to send them to me.
Matt Grossmann: There’s a lot more to learn. The Science of Politics is available biweekly from the Niskanen Center, and part of the Democracy Group Network. I’m your host, Matt Grossmann. If you liked this discussion, you should check out our previous related episodes. I think you’ll like, ‘Why Republican Women Don’t Run for Office, and Why It Matters for the Gender Gap in Voting,’ ‘A Century of Votes for Women,’ ‘The Hyper-Involved vs. The Disengaged,’ ‘How Politics Changes Our Racial Views and Identities,’ and ‘Childcare and Pre-K Expansion: Consensus or Polarization?’ Thanks to Mirya Holman for joining me, please check out ‘This One’s For the Boys,’ and then listen in next time.
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