Claims of bias against female candidates abound in American politics. From superficial media coverage to gender stereotypes held by voters, the conventional wisdom is that women routinely encounter a formidable series of obstacles that complicate their path to elective office. In this talk, Jennifer Lawless presents original research to refute this prevailing view and argues that the declining novelty of women in politics, coupled with the polarization of the Republican and Democratic parties, has left little space for the sex of a candidate to influence modern campaigns. When they run for office, male and female candidates not only perform equally well on Election Day - they also face a very similar electoral landscape. The main reason women remain under-represented is that they’re less likely to emerge as candidates in the first place. Lawless will discuss the factors that contribute to this gender gap in political ambition and recommend strategies for closing it. The talk will be in the Women’s & Gender Center in Keefe Campus Center at Amherst College and is free for all. *Lawless' research is on women candidates running for Congress in general elections in 2010 and 2014. The women candidates in these years were all cisgender.