05.15.132:04 PM ET

More Women Politicians, Less Inspiration for Change

Complacency after initial success.

Having more female political candidates may suggest improvements in gender equality, but as it turns out more may mean less. A study recently published in the European Journal of Social Psychology showed that having more women in politics might actually foster complacency rather than encourage more social change. Results from three different experiments showed that, in general, "support for the status quo is increased in the presence of a female versus male candidates" and see the sociopolitical system as fair and just. In response to the results, researchers said, “The perception that the glass ceiling is beginning to crack does not necessarily mean that efforts toward gender equality should pause; instead, those who wish to see the ‘highest, hardest glass ceiling’ shattered need to guard against the complacency that might result from initial successes."