What is the most likely explanation for the lack of a female president thus far?
A. The American public believes that males make better commanders-in-chief.
B. No groups have mobilized to promote female presidential candidates.
C. Women enter politics earlier than do men, so they typically enjoy the benefits of incumbency in certain positions and do not like to leave them.
D. Not many women hold the positions that often lead to the presidency, such as vice president, senator, or state governor.
E. The American public doesn't see women as effective world leaders, especially when dealing with countries such as Iran.
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The answer to this question is largely a matter of opinion. There is no objectively correct answer. Therefore, I would say that it is important for you to look for an answer in your own class materials. My answer to this might not conform to your instructor’s opinion.
In my view, the most likely answer is D, though I think that both A and E play a role. Overall, I would argue that sexist attitudes are the most important reason for D, which is the most important reason why we have not had a female president. However, that is not an option here, so I will go with D.
In my view, Americans still do not trust that women can be strong leaders. They still believe that women are inherently different from men (which even some feminists believe) and that women’s strengths do not lend themselves to being strong leaders. This could lead me to say that either A or E is the right answer. However, I think that A and E are essentially identical answers. If two multiple choice answers are essentially identical, neither is probably correct. Also, I do not think that A and E cover enough topics. I think that Americans do not think that women would make good leaders in general, not just in foreign affairs.
I think that D is the most likely correct answer of the options given. It is certainly true that presidents tend to hold other high offices before they run for president. This is true even in the Republican primaries this year. The fact that there are few women in Congress and in governorships reduces the number of plausible female candidates for the presidency.
I do not love this answer because I think we need to explain why there are so few women in Congress and governorships. However, I think it is the best option of the choices you have been given.
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