Get access

How Gender Influences Roll Call Voting*


Direct correspondence to Shannon Jenkins, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747 〈〉. All data and coding are available for replication purposes; please contact the author directly. The author would like to thank John Frendreis and Alan Gitelson for the use of their data, and Doug Roscoe and Neil Christiansen for their advice and comments.



Research has established that female legislators act differently than their male counterparts in state legislatures. But the effect of gender on roll call voting is less clear, due in part to the fact that research has not properly differentiated between the multiple ways gender can influence roll call voting.


In order to better understand the relationship between gender and roll call voting, structural equation modeling is used to examine roll call voting in numerous issue areas in five state legislatures.


Gender rarely exerts a direct influence on roll call voting. Instead, the influence of gender is manifested through ideology and party.


The primary effect of gender on roll call voting is that it leads female legislators to make different choices in ideology and partisanship as compared to their male counterparts.