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Political Women and Political Ambition: Closing the Gender Gap

Edmond Costantini
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 34, No. 3 (Aug., 1990), pp. 741-770
DOI: 10.2307/2111397
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111397
Page Count: 30
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Political Women and Political Ambition: Closing the Gender Gap
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Abstract

This paper focuses upon gender differences in the motives of political activists. Using data from questionnaires submitted by 3,000 California political party activists and leaders over a 20-year period, it documents the relatively low level of political ambition--defined in terms of a desire for political self-enhancement--among the women studied and the way in which the ambition gender gap has been closing in recent years. It probes the characteristics associated with ambition among the women respondents and explores the consequences for political parties as organizations that may result from changes in the ambition-gender relationship.

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