Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers' Voting on Women's Issues
Economists have long concerned themselves with environmental influences, such as neighborhood, peers and family on individuals' beliefs and behaviors. However, the impact of children on parents' behavior has been little studied. Parenting daughters, psychologists have shown, increases feminist sympathies. I test the hypothesis that children, much like neighbors or peers, can influence adult behavior. I demonstrate that the propensity to vote liberally on reproductive rights is significantly increasing in a congress person's proportion of daughters. The result demonstrates not only the relevance of child to parent behavioral influence, but also the importance of personal ideology in a legislator's voting decisions as it is not explained away by voter preferences.
Published: Washington, Ebonya Lia. “Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers’ Voting on Women’s Issues.” American Economic Review 98, 1 (2008): 311-332.