The Effect of Daughters on Partisanship
Washington (2008) finds that, controlling for total number of children, each additional daughter makes a member of Congress more likely to vote liberally and attributes this finding to socialization. However, daughters' influence could manifest differently for elite politicians and the general citizenry, thanks to the selection gradient particular to the political process. This study asks whether the proportion of female biological offspring affects political party identification. Using nationally-representative data from the General Social Survey, we find that female offspring induce more conservative political identification. We hypothesize that this results from the change in reproductive fitness strategy that daughters may evince.
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation, Alan T. Waterman Award, #SES-0540543. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Conley, D. and E. Rauscher. 2013. “The Effect of Daughters on Partisanship and Social Attitudes toward Women.” Sociological Forum. 28:700-718.