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Precise instrumental calibration is of crucial importance to 21-cm cosmology experiments. The Murchison Widefield Array’s (MWA) Phase II compact configuration offers us opportunities for both redundant calibration and sky-based calibration algorithms; using the two in tandem is a potential approach to mitigate calibration errors caused by inaccurate sky models. The MWA Epoch of Reionization (EoR) experiment targets three patches of the sky (dubbed EoR0, EoR1, and EoR2) with deep observations. Previous work in Li et al. (2018) and (2019) studied the effect of tandem calibration on the EoR0 field and found that it yielded no significant improvement in the power spectrum (PS) over sky-based calibration alone. In this work, we apply similar techniques to the EoR1 field and find a distinct result: the improvements in the PS from tandem calibration are significant. To understand this result, we analyse both the calibration solutions themselves and the effects on the PS over three nights of EoR1 observations. We conclude that the presence of the bright radio galaxy Fornax A in EoR1 degrades the performance of sky-based calibration, which in turn enables redundant calibration to have a larger impact. These results suggest that redundant calibration can indeed mitigate some level of model incompleteness error.
Chapter 7 turns to closing the gendered qualification gap. I develop and experimentally test three strategies to close the gendered qualification gap. I show that simply providing voters with more information about female candidate qualifications is not enough to close the gendered information gap, and thereby the gendered qualification gap. Putting qualification information in context that tells voters that female candidates have more or better qualifications than male candidates effectively closes the gendered qualification gap. Self-promotion does not close the gendered qualification gap. This chapter points to the need for more research on how to disrupt the implicit biases voters bring with them to the ballot.
Chapter 3 addresses the question: How do ideas about gender, namely femininity and masculinity, affect what it means, from the voter’s perspective, to be qualified for political office? I apply social role theory to the development of political leadership in the United States to show how masculinity determines the expectations voters have for what a qualified political candidate looks like. Ideas about femininity and masculinity shape the expectations individuals hold for the different types of roles and occupations women and men hold. Caregiving roles are bound up in norms of femininity, and there is an intrinsic link between masculinity and leadership roles. The expectation that leaders have masculine qualities extends back to America’s founding and, indeed, well before the United States came into existence. I use two empirical tests of how masculinity influences thinking about political leadership and qualifications.
In Chapter 5, I draw on shifting standards theory, derived from social psychology research, to determine how and when voters hold candidates to gendered typicality standards. These standards provide voters with a comparative metric to assess whether a female and a male candidate have the qualifications needed for political office. These standards also clarify the subtle and pernicious role gender stereotypes play in how voters rate the qualifications of political candidates. The experiments I use in this chapter allow me to control the qualification information about the female and male candidates to trace how being a woman affects the way voters use this information in decision-making. I am also able to measure voters’ qualification expectations more directly to assess just how high the gendered qualification bar is for female candidates. This chapter shows that less qualified male candidates generally have a baseline electoral advantage over highly qualified female candidates.
Chapter 4 asks: What information do voters have about candidate qualifications? More specifically, this chapter hones in on whether there is a gendered information gap. I investigate the qualification information environment through content analyses of campaign websites as well as analyses of news coverage from the 2016 Senate elections. I gathered data on how female and male Senate candidates in 2016 presented their qualifications on their campaign websites. Female candidates, the results show, talk about their professional experiences much more than male candidates. I pair the campaign website analysis with an exhaustive content analysis of campaign news coverage of the 2016 Senate candidates. These results show a disjuncture in the information female candidates provide about themselves and the information presented in news coverage. Most female candidates talk about their political experience, but female candidates receive less political experience coverage relative to male candidates. The benefit of conducting content analyses in this chapter is that the method has a high level of external validity as I can draw conclusions about the actual amount of qualification information voters have about high-profile female candidates running in actual elections.
Chapter 1 lays the groundwork for developing my theory of the gendered qualification gap and the empirical tests I conduct in later chapters. I start by defining the gendered qualification gap. The gendered qualification gap explains the empirical phenomenon where female candidates are just as likely to win their elections as male candidates but win by smaller margins and run in more competitive races. This empirical outcome is taken by some scholars and political pundits to mean that there is no consequential bias in voter decision-making. Yet these successful women have better qualifications than their equally successful male counterparts. This means that highly qualified female candidates are just as likely to win their elections as less qualified male candidates. If there were no gender bias in voter decision-making, then female candidates would be more likely to win their elections compared with less qualified male candidates. This chapter discusses how current explanations overlook the role that gender bias plays in how voters evaluate candidate qualifications. Past research examines how institutional barriers and socialization patterns contribute to the gendered qualification gap, but missing from the extant body of scholarship is how voters contribute to the qualification gap.
Stereotypes about women and men influence how voters evaluate the qualifications of political candidates, but stereotypes about gender sharply intersect with stereotypes about political parties. Chapter 6 builds on Chapter 5 and investigates how stereotypes about Democrats and Republicans affects evaluations of Democratic and Republican female candidates. Voters stereotype Democrats as feminine and Republicans as masculine. These stereotypes, I contend, create a set of gendered partisan-typicality standards that affect how voters select candidates in primary elections. Republican female candidates face obstacles in primary elections where Republican voters are more likely to support a Republican male relative to a Republican female candidate. Partisan-typicality standards shaped by gender stereotypes contribute to the partisan gender gap in political representation.
Chapter 8 highlights the broader implications of this research for women seeking to enter positions characterized by masculine expectations and traditionally dominated by men. The gendered qualification gap applies not only to political leadership but to the many public institutions that underrepresent women. Women, in general, need better qualifications than men to succeed in business leadership, the legal field, STEM industries, higher education, and other institutions traditionally dominated by men. The gendered qualification gap creates steep entry barriers for women pursuing professions that typically underrepresent women. The result is that women are noticeably absent from public life.
Chapter 2 presents a brief history of women in political leadership. Arguments used to deny women suffrage and the full political rights of citizenship were deeply rooted in stereotypes that women lacked the stamina to excel in public life and that women’s proper roles were as mothers and caregivers. These beliefs that women lacked the qualifications needed to operate in political spheres still affect how voters view the political acumen of women running for political office today. I not only discuss the historic exclusion of women from positions of political leadership through the lens of gender stereotypes, but I also analyze over time public opinion data about the role of women in politics. Polling data offer an optimistic picture about the prospects of electing a qualified woman to the presidency. These data, however, do not provide insight into who constitutes a qualified female political candidate, and how the public might assess those qualifications. I answer these questions in subsequent chapters.
Zn is an essential nutrient for humans; however, a sensitive biomarker to assess Zn status has not been identified. The objective of this study was to determine the reliability and sensitivity of Zn transporter and metallothionein (MT) genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to Zn exposure ex vivo and to habitual Zn intake in human subjects. In study 1, human PBMCs were cultured for 24 h with 0–50 µm ZnSO4 with or without 5 µm N,N,N′,N′-tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)ethylenediamine (TPEN), and mRNA expression of SLC30A1-10, SLC39A1-14, MT1 subtypes (A, B, E, F, G, H, L, M and X), MT2A, MT3 and MT4 mRNA was determined. In study 2, fifty-four healthy male and female volunteers (31·9 (sd 13·8) years, BMI 25·7 (sd 2·9) kg/m2) completed a FFQ, blood was collected, PBMCs were isolated and mRNA expression of selected Zn transporters and MT isoforms was determined. Study 1: MT1E, MT1F, MT1G, MT1H, MT1L, MT1M, MT1X, MT2A and SLC30A1 increased with increasing concentrations of Zn and declined with the addition of TPEN. Study 2: Average daily Zn intake was 16·0 (sd 5·3) mg/d (range: 9–31 mg/d), and plasma Zn concentrations were 15·5 (SD 2·8) μmol/l (range 11–23 μmol/l). PBMC MT2A was positively correlated with dietary Zn intake (r 0·306, P = 0·03) and total Zn intake (r 0·382, P < 0·01), whereas plasma Zn was not (P > 0·05 for both). Findings suggest that MT2A mRNA in PBMCs reflects dietary Zn intake in healthy adults and may be a component in determining Zn status.
For many us who have studied, researched, written, and taught about the influenza pandemic of 1918–19, the current period of the global viral pandemic is eerily and unpleasantly familiar. Today, the rapid global spread of a virus has prompted policies calling for widespread closures, social distancing, constant handwashing, and public mask wearing in additional to other non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). We have also seen pushback and resistance to these directives as well as substantial mismanagement of resources and a flood of misinformation. Much health policy has been inconsistently set at the local rather than federal level. These responses to our current pandemic closely mirror those to the pandemic 102 years ago.