Legislative Voting on Abortion:

One of the most fascinating chapters in John Jeffries's brilliant biography of Lewis Powell is his analysis of Powell's decision to vote with the majority in Roe v. Wade. Among the factors that Jeffries identifies (few of them having anything whatsoever to do with law or the constitution) was the influence of Powell's three daughters browbeating him (for want of a better word) to vote with the majority.

In that vein, I thought the findings of this new paper on the voting of legislators on abortion issues is interesting (I make no claims one way or the other for the methodology of the paper):


Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers' Voting on Women's Issues" Yale Economic Applications and Policy Discussion Paper No. 15

Contact: EBONYA L. WASHINGTON Yale University - Department of Political Science, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Auth-Page: http://ssrn.com/author=93830

Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=904001

ABSTRACT: Economists have long concerned themselves with environmental influences, such as neighborhood, peers and family on individuals' beliefs and behaviors. However, the impact of children on parents' behavior has been little studied. Parenting daughters, psychologists have shown, increases feminist sympathies. I test the hypothesis that children, much like neighbors or peers, can influence adult behavior. I demonstrate that the propensity to vote liberally on reproductive rights is significantly increasing in a congress person's proportion of daughters. The result demonstrates not only the relevance of child to parent behavioral influence, but also the importance of personal ideology in a legislator's voting decisions as it is not explained away by voter preferences.