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'Does the prospect of running for office discourage women?'

Research conducted at the University of Pittsburgh on women’s willingness to run for political offices recently made the New York Times’ analytical website, the Upshot

Political Science professors Kristin Kanthak and Jonathan Woon discovered that women may have an aversion to the electoral process that is separate from external factors traditionally blamed for the gender gap in elections. 

The study grouped participants (both men and women) and required one person to do a math problem on behalf of each team. The problem doers were either randomly selected from the volunteers or elected by the group. The researchers found that both men and women volunteered when they would be selected at random, but not when they would face election. 

“The fact that representatives are chosen by electoral means is enough to dissuade women from putting themselves forward as candidates,” the study says.
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