A gender gap is perceived in public policy attitudes among legislators of both parties so that Democratic women are more liberal and more feminist than Democratic men while Republican women are more moderate and more feminist than Republican men. This suggests that women and men bring different perspectives to their work in Congress (Carroll, Dodson, and Mandel 599).
The same organization examined the policy views and impact of women in Congress and found that life experiences created differences between men and women in the legislature. Each congresswoman may define "women's interests" differently, so the impact is not uniform. The impact may be found not only in gender differences on voting but also in such things as the greater energy women devote to an issue, the behind-the-scenes activities they undertake, and the critical choices they make (Dodson, Carroll, Mandel, Kleeman, Schreiber, and Liebowitz 622-623). The study found that women in the 103rd Congress made a difference by their voices, views, and votes. Women were only one-tenth of the membership of Congress, though women constitute more than half the larger population. Women found ways to make themselves heard "within an institution in which women's perspectives have seldom been recognized" (Dodson, Carroll, Mandel, Kleeman, Schreiber, and Liebowitz 644).
Burrell points out that traditionally those who become the governors in society have been primarily male. A popular view that has developed is that the reason for this is that women are not qualified and lack the experience necessary for holding public office (Burrell 57). Burrell examines the characteristics of female congressional candidates and finds that women bring different experiences to their candidacies. She also finds that most of the women seeking office are older and that they may be disadvantaged with respect to men because they tend to begin their political care