Already Gone: Female Retention in State Legislatures

12 April 2022, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


Recently there has been a great deal of attention dedicated to female candidates and the increasing rate at which females secure elective office. While recent scholars have examined the importance of recruiting more females to office, there is less emphasis on the retention of female legislators. The key to growing female representation in state legislatures rests in both the recruitment and retention of women. We theorize that variation in institutional and personal support influences the rate of female retention in state legislatures. To test this, we examine turnover from all 50 states to better understand the barriers to service and the ways they may be mitigated. We offer this analysis as information to create a better and more supportive environment for our female legislators.


term limits
state legislatures
women in politics


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