Girls rule the U.S. Legislature.
Okay, not. But they have an indirect effect, it seems, according to a new study about the power of fatherhood on congressmen and male senators written about in the June 2006 issue of The Atlantic Monthly.
A professor at Yale figured out that there’s a link between having daughters and voting in liberal on “women’s issues,” which are defined as a collection of issues ranging from abortion to education.
“The higher the proportion of female children in a U.S. congressman’s family, the more likely he was to lean left on these issues—that is to have a higher NOW [that’s National Organization for Women, Chicklets] score and a lower NRLC [that’s the National Right to Life Committee] score.”
This apparently holds true across party lines, although I guess George W. is bucking the trend. I guess he’s just not imaginative enough to see the world from Barbara and Jenna’s perspective. Because, you know, imagination requires you to like, have a grasp of the metaphorical and to at least temporarily abandon literalism and single-mindedness.
What’s really interesting is that the so-called “daughter gap” is at its widest when we’re talking specifically about abortion and contraception. The relationship between having daughters and having a liberal voting record was strongest in the case of these issues.
The Atlantic’s content isn’t online, but you can read the actual study here.