examines the factors that make women politicians more electorally vulnerable than their male counterparts. These factors combine to convince women that they must work harder to win elections—a phenomenon that Jeffrey Lazarus and Amy Steigerwalt term “gendered vulnerability.” Since women feel constant pressure to make sure they can win reelection, they devote more of their time and energy to winning their constituents’ favor. Lazarus and Steigerwalt examine different facets of legislative behavior, finding that female members do a better job of representing their constituents than male members.
“This book is a valuable addition to the literature on women and politics, as much of that literature focuses more on getting elected and less on what women do once they are elected.”
“Jeffrey Lazarus and Amy Steigerwalt provide compelling evidence that women in Congress do a better job than men of representing not only women, but also all their constituents. The authors’ findings that women members outpace men in their attentiveness to constituents on a variety of measures make this book a valuable addition to the literatures on legislative behavior and women and politics. Additionally, their ‘gendered vulnerability’ interpretation offers a provocative challenge to scholars who contend that gender differences in perspectives are critical to explaining gender differences in legislative performance.”
—Susan J. Carroll, Rutgers University
“Drawing on an incredible array of evidence, Jeffrey Lazarus and Amy Steigerwalt provide impressive new evidence that female legislators are better at their jobs than their male counterparts and offer important new theoretical reasoning that explains why this difference emerges.”
—Justin Grimmer, Stanford University