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Winners and Losers: Sex Differences in Municipal Elections

Sharyne Merritt
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 21, No. 4 (Nov., 1977), pp. 731-743
DOI: 10.2307/2110734
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110734
Page Count: 13
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Winners and Losers: Sex Differences in Municipal Elections
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Abstract

This paper explores the resources and experiences which male and female candidates bring to the local political arena and the characteristics which differentiate winners and losers of each sex. Based on a survey of candidates for suburban municipal offices, the study reveals that male and female candidates obtain politically relevant skills from different sources. For female candidates, civic volunteerism provides the functional analogue to male occupational success. A comparison of winners and losers suggests different paths to political success for men and women. For men, success is related to social contacts with local politicians. For women, success is related to nonelective political involvement.

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