“Women are front and center this election, in part because a woman, Hillary Clinton, is front and center. Online, the conversation plays out again and again: What’s the real significance of electing the first female president? Is the symbolism itself revolutionary? Are the young women who don’tendorse Clinton betraying the sisterhood — or conversely, are the women who do support her following her blindly? What should it mean to voters that she could be the first woman in history to lead the United States?

“Women in politics,” however, means far more than just Hillary Clinton herself. America is 50 percent female. Congress, currently at a record high for gender diversity, is still only 19 percent female (and just 6 percent women of color).

This year has a potential to be a watershed for women’s representation: Hundreds of women are vying for Senate and House seats. Six women are running for governor. Not all of them will make it to November, but even so this election has the potential to bring more women to national leadership positions than ever before.

Plus, there’s evidence that electing more women is something that could make a real difference for the country as a whole. Here’s what we know from the recent research in psychology, political science, and economics…”

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