Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Political Research Quarterly


gender, masculinity, femininity, personality, gender gap, nascent political ambition


This research considers the effects of gendered personalities on political ambition. The sex gap in political ambition is a normatively troubling empirical reality. Ambition research is often limited by binary conceptions and measurement of gender and sex. Recent scholarship urges scholars to employ more nuanced measures, including gendered personality as a measure beyond sex. Using original survey research incorporating the Bem Sex Roles Inventory (BSRI), we explore how femininity and masculinity influence nascent political ambition. Respondents who score higher in masculinity are more likely to have higher political ambition regardless of sex. However, sex remains significant, as female respondents are less likely to express nascent ambition. The results have implications for understanding the sex gap in political ambition and how political behavior conceptualizes and measures gender as a variable.

Funding Source

This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Sage Journals.




First published in Political Research Quarterly (2024).

This is an Open Access article published under a CC BY-NC 4.0 DEED Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (