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Abstract

I argue that the effects of gender on political actors must be considered within the context of other social identities, specifically motherhood. Motherhood, or the expectation that women will be mothers, places a distinct bind on women as candidates: women who emphasize motherhood and families too much may be evaluated as less capable of governing given their family commitments, while women who do not emphasize motherhood may fail to adhere to social norms regarding families. The motherhood bind intersects with other known binds such as the double bind. I conceptualize this third bind in three connected chapters using feminist theory, original surveys, and survey experiments.

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