How does having daughters impact male legislators when voting on issues of Women’s Health? A twelve year look into Oklahoma legislative voting on Women’s Issues

Gloria Noble, University of Oklahoma

Courtney Kellogg, University of Oklahoma

December 2017

It is well documented that parental political ideology is a significant predictor of the ideology of their children (Gelman 2013; Oswald and Powdthavee 2010; Washington 2008). Recent research, however, has been contradictory on whether children can affect parental ideology. When the affect is focused from overall political ideology to stance on gendered issues results tend to become more consistent. Children, more specifically the gender of those children, can have an effect on the voting positions of members of Congress (Washington 2008) and judges (Glynn and Sen 2015). We narrow the focus even further. We evaluate the voting behavior of state legislators on women’s health bills, particularly abortion. We evaluate this behavior based on the number and sex of the children of the legislator. We hypothesize that having daughters will mask the impact of partisanship for male legislators in state legislatures when dealing with votes for women’s health. Does having daughters impact legislator’s voting habits? Specifically, do daughters swing father’s legislative votes when looking at women’s health issues? We assess the voting record and biographical information of five state legislatures over a period of 12 years. We focus on Oklahoma in particular. Thirty legislative bills from 2005 to 2017, the 50th to the 55th Legislature, consist of 27 bills related to abortion. The valence and polarized nature of abortion is important to our research. The polarizing effect of abortion, we believe, will have a substantial impact on our results.

Previous research has a variety of contradicting findings. Some scholars focus on number of daughters (Washington 2008), whereas other find that while conditional on the number of children— one daughter will have the same impact as multiple daughters (Glynn and Sen 2015). Some works focus more closely on impacts versus exposed based circumstances (Baxter et al. n.d.). Broadly, scholars have focused on moral voting. Moral voting consists of when legislators are able to break with party lines in order to vote in their childrens’ best interest (Oswald and Powdthavee 2008; Washington 2008).

We look to find whether having daughters masks the impact of partisanship for male legislators in Oklahoma from the 50th to the 55th Legislature. Ebonya Washington (2008) asserts that sociologists have shown that parenting daughter increase feminist sympathies. Washington (2008) finds that Congressman/women break from party voting traditions when dealing with situations related to their children. Washington (2008) explains that a Republican senator, after finding out that his daughter suffered from a mental illness parted with the party line on mental illnesses. Therefore allowing for male legislators to vote in the interest of their daughters, even if it breaks with party lines.

We suggest that Congressional members seek to protect the best interest of their children and be exposed to situations that will then prompt to protect their best interests. Legislators will be impacted by having daughters because of interest and exposure based situations (Baxter et al. 2016).

Glynn and Sen (2015) find that having one daughter impacts male judges—but having more than one daughter does not increase voting in favor of gender-related issues (Glynn and Sen 2015). We refute findings from Glynn and Sen (2015), instead hypothesizing that number of daughters will impact a legislator more so than just having one.

Male legislators with daughters have been impacted by their child’s experiences. Justice Harry Blackmun a Supreme Court Justice was impacted by his daughter’s situation when ruling on Roe v. Wade (Glynn and Sen 2015). The Justice ruled in favor of legalizing abortion, arguably, because his daughter became pregnant, dropped out of college and later miscarried (Glynn and Sen 2015). While we do not expect the valence of this issue to align with all conservative legislators— it is possible that exposure to these issues and interest in a child’s wellbeing will shape a legislators vote.


  1. We suggest that having daughters will mask the impact of partisanship for male legislators in Oklahoma from the 50th and 55th legislature. This masking will take place because of legislator’s tendency to vote within moral grounds, interest- based reasoning or exposure to their daughters and daughters friends. We suggest that daughters will have an impact contingent on a male legislator’s ideological score.
  2. We suggest that male, moderate legislators will be more likely to be impacted by number of daughters in comparison to their conservative and liberal counterparts.

Research design/data:

The data used was previously collected by political science undergraduates at the University of Oklahoma. The original data was coded with legislator name, political party and 30 legislative bills from 2005 to 2017. We continued to build our data set, including the previously coded data, with age, religion, race, martial status, whether or not a legislator is still living and ideological score.

The data, in its original form, does not place all of the sessions in the same dataset. We aggregated our data into one file, and added several different demographic variables in order to build on our theory.

The dependent variable is the average of how each legislator casts a vote when deciding on all 30 bills, ‘AVGVOTE’. Each vote is a nominal measurement. The independent variable is legislator’s gender, ‘Gender’ , partisanship ‘Party’, ideological score ‘Ideological Score, age ‘Age’ and whether or not they have daughters ‘Daughters’. Gender and partisanship are nominal measurements. Whether or not a legislator has daughters is a numeric measurements, as well as age and ideological score.

We created a dummy variable from ideological score. We have created a ideological score dummy, by assigning moderates, from 40 to 60, as “1” and non-moderates, from 1 to 39 and 61 and 100, to “0”. We believe that the ideological score dummy variable will be the best way to measure the differences between moderate legislators’ and non-moderate in order to test Hypothesis 2. As a a disclaimer, we do have several legislators whose ideological scores do not match their political party identity. This is why we will utilize both political party and ideological score in separate models — Model 1 and Model 2, respectively.

The legislative votes are coded 0 and 1. A ‘0’ limits access to woman’s healthcare, and ‘1’ that does not limit access to women’s healthcare. The original dataset was coded as such because Oklahoma is a conservative state and using the word ‘expanding’ is limiting when looking at the valence of a bill.

Political party is coded as a dummy variable— “0” for Republicans and “1” for Democrats. Oklahoma is predominantly White and Christian— therefore we did not use race or religion information. We suggest that race and religion will not have an impact due to the relatively homogeneous nature of the Oklahoma legislature.

Party polarization literature suggests that over time, elites have moved toward their respective sides of the ideological spectrum— Republicans toward conservative issue stances  and Democrats toward liberal issue stances (Abramowitz 2011). Oklahoma is a very politically conservative state. With a limited number of Democrats at the state level, we believe that ideological scores will be more representative of a legislator’s voting habits rather than party identification. While we are including ideological scores, we have kept party identification as well.

While this has been well theorized and discussed in political science literature, ideological scores provided by the Oklahoma Constitution (Oklahoma Constitution Staff 2017), a local political online newspaper, demonstrate that it is not uncommon to see Republicans fall below a score of 50, and Democrats above a score of 50. Therefore, we decided that ideological scores could be a better indicator of the impact of daughters on male legislators. Ideological scores are based off 10 different policy subjects and are done each year (Oklahoma Constitution Staff 2017). Legislative sessions last two years. We have averaged legislator’s ideological score over the course of each legislative session. While this may have diminished the effect of legislators whose ideological score does not match their partisan identity, we suggest that the outliers will not produce externally valid data. Therefore, we averaged ideological scores, and still found that, at times, Republicans’ scores are liberally-leaning and Democrats’ scores are conservatively-leaning. The methodology of the Oklahoma Constitution’s ideological scores is provided in Appendix D.


To test our hypothesis, we are using a interaction model for both Hypothesis 1 and Hypotheses 2. The results will be depicted in Model 1 and Model 2, respectively. We believe that Democrats will already vote in a liberal way on women’s health issues and therefore the effect of daughters will be small or zero, whereas Republicans do not typically have the predisposition to vote liberally on women’s health issues and are more likely to be impacted by the exposure of their daughters.

In order to account for male legislators only, we have subset our data to exclude female legislators in Oklahoma from the 50th to the 55th legislative session. We did so to adhere to our suggestions in Hypothesis 1 and 2.

We have used both political party and ideological scores to test our hypotheses. We believe that party identification will be better suited to find whether having daughters masks the effect of partisanship on ‘AVGVOTE’ for Hypothesis 1. Whereas, we believe ideological scores will be better suited for Hypothesis 2, rather than party identification. Each score was produced by the Oklahoma Constitution, an online newspaper.

We chose the interaction model to explain our findings. We chose to do so because the interaction model tests our hypotheses best. We hypothesize that partisanship will determine the strength of the effect that daughters will have on legislators in Hypothesis 1. We too hypothesize that ideological score will demonstrate differences between moderates and non-moderates legislators in Hypothesis 2. We also found that previous models did not display as many insights into our data as the interaction model, such as the non-linear model in which we did not find any non-linear variables. We use robust standard errors.


The coefficients and corresponding robust standard errors can be seen in Table 2 below. The resulting equation from the interaction model can be found in the appendix. Only two variables were significant at the 0.05 level. The intercept coefficient of -0.865 was found significant at the 0.1 value, however, it did not meet the 0.05 significance level that we have specified. Very liberal legislators were found to be significantly different than moderate legislators. A very liberal legislator has the propensity to have an average vote score of 0.337 more than the average vote score of a moderate legislator. Session was the other statistically significant variable. As session progresses the average vote of a legislator increases by 0.023. This signifies that as time advances legislators are voting in a less limiting fashion towards women’s health. The adjusted R2 is 0.144, meaning that this model accounts for 14.4% of the variance in average vote. The F statistic and its subsequent p-value lets us know that our model describes the variation in the dependent variable than just knowing the average.

Although we did not find significant results for most of our variables, we did find that most of them were in the predicted direction. Both very and slightly liberal were in the positive direction and very and slight conservative were in the negative direction. This makes sense due to the general consensus that conservatives are more often pro-life and liberals are more often pro-choice. This is again evident in the direction of the party identification. The coefficient for Democrat was in a positive direction compared to Republicans. White and Christian legislators on average voted more conservatively on these bills than non-White and non-Christian legislators. This too follows theory on race and religion voting theory. Age was also in the predicted direction. Political theory states that as one becomes older they become more conservative. The coefficients for gender and marital status are not in the predicted direction however. Both of these coefficients were negative. It is against our predictions and previous literature that a female would vote more conservatively on a women’s health bill. We predicted that marriage would be positive based on the same theories for daughters, exposure and interest. We currently do not have any theory as to why this occurred other than possible confounding variables affecting the directionality of those coefficients.

The variables of interest were the daughters variables and their interaction with the legislators ideology. One daughter had a positive coefficient compared to no daughters. This was in the predicted directions despite a lack of significance. More than one daughter has a negative coefficient and was not in the predicted direction. One daughter for a very liberal legislator had a negative relationship, however, more than one daughter had a positive effect. This would suggest that more than one daughter may have an affect contingent on ideology. Both one daughter and more than one daughter had a negative effect on slightly liberal legislators. This is in opposition to what we predicted. Similarly to very liberal legislators, slightly conservative legislators who have only one daughter have a negative relationship with average vote on women’s health bills, however, when a slightly conservative legislator has more than one daughter that relationship becomes positive. This provides stronger support that the number of daughters may matter when determining influence on voting behavior. Lastly, very conservative legislators with one daughter and more than one daughter have positive coefficients. None of these variables were significant but we can gain insight from the directionality of the coefficients.

Dependent variable:


Average Vote


One Daughter                                               0.031 (0.068)

More than one Daughter                              -0.041 (0.065)

Very Liberal                                               0.337*** (0.131)

Slightly Liberal                                              0.124 (0.083)

Slightly Conservative                                   -0.097 (0.062)

Very Conservative                                       -0.087 (0.073)

White                                                           -0.012 (0.018)

Christian                                                      -0.077 (0.065)

Democrat                                                      0.027 (0.043)

Session                                                     0.023*** (0.008)

Female                                                        -0.043 (0.044)

Married                                                        -0.014 (0.014)

Age                                                              -0.002 (0.001)

One Daughter: Very Liberal                        -0.012 (0.200)

More than one Daughter: Very Liberal         0.074 (0.251)

One Daughter: Slightly Liberal                     -0.055 (0.110)

More than one Daughter: Slightly Liberal    -0.045 (0.124)

One Daughter: Slightly Conservative          -0.053 (0.075)

More than one Daughter: Slightly Conservative 0.043 (0.077)

One Daughter: Very Conservative                 0.007 (0.096)

More than one Daughter: Very Conservative 0.078 (0.095)

Intercept                                                       -0.865* (0.451)


Observations                                          455

R2                                                          0.183

Adjusted R2                                           0.144

Residual Std. Error                               0.283 (df = 433)

F Statistic                                         4.633*** (df = 21; 433)


Note:                                            *p<0.1; **p<0.05; ***p<0.01


Interaction Model utilizing Robust Standard Errors

Unfortunately, we did not find significant results to support either of our hypotheses. We did not find that daughters were significant influencers of vote choice on women’s health bills, even contingent on ideology. As we can see from the graph below having no daughters, one daughter, and more than one daughter does not have significant influences on how a legislator votes. All three levels of daughters have overlapping confidence intervals suggesting that all three levels could predict the exact same average vote score. Because of this result we fail to reject the null hypothesis, that daughters do not influence legislators vote on women’s health bills.


We also did not find that moderate legislators were impacted the most by daughters. As can be seen in the graph below when in comparison, all five of the ideology scores are not extremely impacted by having one daughter in their decisions to vote to limit or not limit women’s health. As we noted above very liberal legislators are significantly different than moderate legislators, which can be seen from the graph where those two confidence intervals do not overlap. As the hypothesis stated we believed that moderates would be the most impacted by daughters, however, from the graph we can see that is not true. Therefore, we reject our hypothesis and fail to reject the null hypothesis, that moderates are no more impacted by daughters than legislators with any other ideology.



It is often asserted that elites are becoming more polarized (Fiorina et al. 2011; Druckman et al. 2013). This polarization is leading to more polarized choices for the electorate, but it is still up in the air whether the public themselves are as polarized as elite choices and policy perspectives (Layman et al. 2013). The polarized nature of abortion, making up 90 percent of bills used in our data, would suggest that many legislators would vote similarly for each bill. While the valence of these bills varied, we suggested when presenting our topic that the polarized nature would allow for continuous voting habits for legislators. A legislator’s propensity to engage in continuous voting habits would derive from adhere to their respective party identification.

We found this to be untrue. Instead of only using party identification, we relied on as well ideological score.  Although we hypothesized this would bring forward significantly more internal validity, it did not. We found that, at times, legislator’s party identification and ideological score did not match. This caused problems for our analysis. We were unable to find a means to accurately test sentiments toward abortion, contingent on having daughters. To put it simply, there was not a noticeable means of predicting one’s voting habits, because they did not adhere to legislator’s respective voting habits. Although we suggested that male legislators, contingent on having daughters, would experience a moral, experience or interest based manifestation of their votes— this did not occur.


Our findings suggest that not only do voters not use abstract means to make political decisions (Campbell et al. 1960, Converse 1964) Oklahoma legislators may practice similar habits.  This is a call to action for Oklahoma voters to be aware of their representatives voting habits— particularly when not adhering to political party issue stances. It is noted throughout political science research that abortion, once becoming a partisan issue, has been a highly polarizing topic (Adams 1997). We do not find that this holds true in Oklahoma. It may hold true for the electorate, as of 2014 51% of Oklahomas believed abortion should be legal in all cases (Wormlad 2015) but it is not represented in Oklahoma legislators propensity to vote in the direction of the political party. It is possible that our findings do not demonstrate the Oklahoma Legislation’s ideas about women’s health, but of ideas held about abortion whether those ideas adhere to political party. We would assume with such a stronghold of Republican power in Oklahoma, that party identification would be significant— and it was not. We suggest that previous political science theories predicting voting habits, demographic variables marked impacts of political party identification, polarizing effects of the issue of abortion do not hold true on the state level, particularly in Oklahoma. We suggest that Oklahoma legislators are utilizing the delegate model, in which legislators are not practicing their social responsibility to their constituents (Rehfeld 2009).


Abramowitz, A. (2011). The disappearing center: engaged citizens, polarization, and American democracy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Campbell, Angus, Philip Converse, Warren Miller, and Donald Stokes. 1960. The American Voter. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Converse, Philip. 1964. “The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Politics.” In Ideology and Discontent, ed. David Apter. New York: Free Press.

Druckman, J. N., Peterson, E., & Slothuus, R. (2013). How Elite Partisan Polarization Affects Public Opinion Formation. American Political Science Review, 107(01), 57-79. doi: 10.1017/s0003055412000500

Gelman, A. (2013, December 18). Having daughters makes you more liberal. No, it makes you more conservative. No, it . . . ?? Retrieved December 05, 2017, from Glynn, A., & Sen, M. (2015). Identifying Judicial Empathy: Does Having Daughters Cause Judges to Rule for Women’s Issues (0th ed., Vol. 00). American Journal of Political Science. doi: 10.1111/ajps.12118. Copyrighted by the Midwest Political Science Association.

Hlavac, Marek (2015). stargazer: Well-Formatted Regression and Summary Statistics Tables.

R package version 5.2.

Layman, G. C., Carsey, T. M., & Horowitz, J. M. (2006). Party Polarization in American Politics: Characteristics, Causes, and Consequences. Annual Review of Political Science, 9(1), 83-110. doi:10.1146/annurev.polisci.9.070204.105138

Oklahoma Constitution Staff. (2017, August 1). Oklahoma Legislators Rated. Retrieved October 28, 2017, from

Washington, E. (2008). Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers Voting on Womens Issues. doi:10.3386/w11924

Wormald, B. (2015, May 11). Religious Landscape Study. Retrieved December 09, 2017, from state/.

Appendix A: House and Senate Bill Information

50th Legislative Session:

House Bill 1742:

  • Requiring the consent of one parent before a minor can receive an abortion (from House Bill 2369, by Rep. Odilia Dank and Sen. Glenn Coffee)..
  • Expanding the recognition of an unborn child as a separate victim if a crime is committed against the mother (from HB 2741 by Rep. Pam Peterson and Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson).
  • Ensuring that a woman is informed that her unborn baby, if 20 weeks or older, may feel pain during an abortion and that anesthesia could be administered to the baby to relieve that pain (from House Bill 2496, authored by Rep. John Trebilcock and Sen. David Myers).
  • Ensuring that a woman seeking an abortion has the option to view her unborn baby by ultrasound prior to the abortion (from House Bill 2614, by Rep. Kevin Calvey and Sen. Randy Brogdon).
  • Allowing funding to be directed to organizations that help pregnant women with pro-life counseling and support-services (from House Bill 3001, by Rep. Marian Cooksey and Sen. Cliff Aldridge).
  • Source (above):

House Bill 1738:

  • Vote to pass a bill that includes in the definition of a homicide, the death of an unborn child or fetus, and specifies that it does not include abortions, or any other standard medical procedure; and that the woman cannot be prosecuted, except under certain circumstances. The bill also requires that an ultrasound be offered to a woman before an abortion is available and that 24 hours prior to an abortion a woman 20 or more week pregnant must be given information concerning pain. The bill requires written consent of a parent to be obtained before a minor can have an abortion.
  • Source:

House Bill 3001:

House Bill 2654:

House Bill 2614:

House Bill 2496:

  • the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act authored by Rep. John Trebilcock — would require that a woman considering an abortion be informed that her child could “experience pain during an abortion, if the child is 20 weeks or older.” The bill also would require a woman to be “counseled about the option of anesthesia for her child to alleviate pain.”

House Bill 2396:

51st Legislative Session:

House Bill 1317:

  • Vote to pass a bill that prohibits state employees from performing abortions, and prohibits the use of public funding for an abortion that is not necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life.
  • Source:

House Bill 1652:

  • House Bill 1652, by Rep. Pam Peterson (R-Tulsa), which establishes an objective standard for a “medical emergency” so that this exception to the informed-consent requirements of Oklahoma’s abortion law will not be subject to abuse.

Senate Bill 139:

Senate Bill 714:

•A pregnant woman carrying a severely malformed fetus that would not survive outside the womb would be forced to carry it for nine months.

•A pregnant victim of rape would be unable to terminate that pregnancy, and would even be forbidden from using the “morning-after” pill according to the new medical definitions of abortion in this bill.

•A woman — or more likely a girl or young teen — who becomes pregnant by rape or incest would be unable to terminate that pregnancy.

•A doctor who believes that legal abortion is in the best medical interest of his patient could be charged and prosecuted as a felon, interfering seriously in his judgment, his practice and his patient’s health.

52rd Legislative Session

Senate Bill 1890:

House Bill 3290:

HB 3075:

  • Which requires the placing of signs at places where abortions are performed to ensure mothers have a legal right to not be forced to have an abortion
  • Committee passage. 8-1.
  • Source:

House Bill 1595:

53rd Legislative Session:

House Bill 1888:

  • Would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
  • Also requires abortion providers to determine fetal age before an abortion. The bill exempts situations in which the life of the mother is at risk or when the mother faces “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment.”
  • Source:

Senate Bill 547:

House Bill 1970:

House Bill 2561:

  • Allow a woman to bring a lawsuit against abortion providers and prescribers of abortion-inducing drugs or chemicals for not following voluntary and informed consent provisions of state law related to abortions.
  • Source:

54th Legislative Session:

House Bill 1361:

Requires 48-hour written notice to parents before a minor has an abortion.


House Bill 1588:

Public health and safety; creating the Parental Notification for Abortion Act; effective date.


House Bill 2015:

Vote to pass a bill that expands the information abortion providers are required to obtain from abortion patients on the Individual Abortion Form, effective November 1, 2013.


House Bill 2070:

House Bill 2418:

House Bill 2684:

  • Amends several definitions including abortion inducing drug, abortion, drug label, Mifeprex regimen, mifepristone, misoprostol, and it deletes the term and definition for federal law. Additionally, only a physician that has the ability to assess the duration of a pregnancy, diagnose ectopic pregnancies, is able to provide or has plans in place to provide surgical care, and has access to medical facilities equipped to provide blood transfusions and resuscitation may provide an abortion inducing drug, including Mifeprex. Patients receiving Mifeprex must be provided the FDA-approved medication guide and final printed labeling.
  • Source:
  • HB 2684 bans the off-label use of the drug RU486. The drug is used during the first seven weeks of a pregnancy to induce an abortion.
  • Source:

House Bill 2685:

prohibiting abortion to be performed without voluntary and informed consent of female;

requiring certain certification; requiring certification to be retained for certain period; requiring State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to publish certain materials and to develop certain website; requiring physician to inform female of certain information if medical emergency compels abortion; requiring Board to prepare and distribute certain forms for physicians; requiring physicians to file certain report; requiring Board to issue certain report; permitting Board to modify certain requirements by rule; permitting civil action; providing for anonymity of certain female in court proceedings; providing for severability; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.


House Bill 2976:

Senate Bill 1219:

  • Prevent girls younger than 17 from buying the so-called morning-after pill without a prescription after the measure’s author realized it applied only to females.
  • Sources:

55th Legislative Session:

House Bill 1721:

House Bill 1409:

To have a 72-hour wait time to have an abortion.

  • Gov. Mary Fallin says “It will allow for more time to consider medical risks as well as explore alternatives to abortion, such as adoption.”
  • House Bill 1409 also requires abortion clinics that operate a website to add a link to the state’s website, “A Woman’s Right to Know” — The site has a photo of a tiny fetus and includes information about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and helplines.
  • Under current law, a doctor is required to provide a patient with numerous details at least 24 hours before the procedure, including the age of the fetus, risks involved and that ultrasound and heart tone monitoring are available.
  • Source:

House Bill 1379:

Appendix B: Data

The 30 bills that were originally included were related, by an overwhelming majority, to abortion. We suggest that this skew towards abortion could have lead to the previous authors inability to find a casual relationship. The valence of the bills tend to skew toward extremely restrictive language for the ability of a woman to receive healthcare. We were unable to find a substantial number of bills dealing with access to women’s healthcare, that were not dealing with abortion.

In the interest of explaining the possible reasons for our inability to find causal relationships between number of daughters to a liberal tendency, no matter partisan identity, we added control variables to our dataset.The original dataset accounts for number for party identification as its sole control variable. If we are not able to account for the hypotheses we have presented, we are able to make other linkages between other control variables. It is possible that age plays a factor in a legislative vote. This could occur because of one’s experiences and personal beliefs, along with partisan issue preferences, are molded over the course of one’s life.

We will use age to approximate the age a legislator’s children based upon the legislator’s age. The average age of legislators is, generally, past the age of having children. There are legislators in Oklahoma that do not fit into this age category, that are relatively young and that will not fall into this category. Though overwhelming the amount of legislators that are still having children is not practically significant when dealing with the number of those who are older.  This age skew is possible to be a larger proportion of Republican males rather than Democratic males in the Oklahoma legislature. The average age of the two parties, for males could be different.

Religious identity could mask partisanship and number of daughters. Oklahoma limits serval difference policy areas due to the propensity of religious observances in the state. Although not found in sweeping works about Congress and Circuit Judges, it is possible that is occurs at the state level. We are not certain for the limited amount of research done at the state level regarding liberal votes as a function of number of daughters.

Instead of relying solely on partisan identity, we have included ideological scores. We believe this will be a better indicator of a legislator’s propensity to vote in a limiting or non-limiting direction. Although partisan identity demonstrates much of a legislator’s ideas about issues, ideological scores will better account for the propensity to vote along party lines when dealing with issues. The Oklahoma Constitution, an online newspaper, complies Conservative Index Scores (CIS). The methodology for the calculation of ideological scores can be found in Appendix D. The scores themselves are based upon conservative-centric legislation decided upon an organization of conservative legislators within the Oklahoma Congress. We argue the validity of these scores because conservative legislators should fall between 50-100, and liberal legislators most likely will vote against the conservative legislation chosen, and therefore fall between 0-49. We followed the general political science precedent of using 0-49 for liberal and 50-100 for conservative.

Appendix D: Ideological Score Methodology

The Oklahoma Constitution created the ideological scores we used in our analysis. The score was calculated as such:

“To determine this year’s rating, 10 points were earned for each conservative vote (designated by a C), and no points are awarded for a liberal vote (indicated by an L). Each failure to vote (recorded as a Z) provides only three points. When the rating system was created in 1979, it was decided that there should be a difference between voting liberal, and missing a vote. A legislator absent for all the votes could only score 30%, which is our recommended score for seeking a replacement.

Thus, a legislator voting conservative on eight votes, liberal on one, and failing to vote on another, would receive eighty plus three, or an 83% conservative rating.

After taking suggestions from conservative leaders, the staff of the Oklahoma Constitution submitted bills to a vote of the membership of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC) to determine the ten key votes. The legislators were rated based on their votes on bills involving taxes and fees, tax credits, interference in free markets, protecting liberty, and the right to keep and bear arms,” (Oklahoma Constitution Staff 2017).

Although the online newspaper utilizes a conservative bills in order to firm Republican sentiments towards (Oklahoma Constitution Staff 2017), we argue that the usage of this ideological score technique would assert conservatives as following voting habits on these issues, and liberals would vote in the opposite direction.

More information regarding their methodology, and findings across decades in Oklahoma can be found here:


8 thoughts on “How does having daughters impact male legislators when voting on issues of Women’s Health? A twelve year look into Oklahoma legislative voting on Women’s Issues

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