Objective. Several explanations suggest why women are not elected to C
ongress as often as men. In this paper, we examine the emergence, poli
tical experience, and financing of open seat congressional candidates
to determine the role played by gender in the most competitive congres
sional elections. Methods. Open seat congressional elections are exami
ned at the district level from 1982 to 1992. Multivariate regression m
odels are specified to test the impact of gender on open seat outcomes
. Results. Our analysis finds no direct influence of candidate gender
on congressional election outcomes in the 1982-90 decade or in 1992, '
'The Year Of the Woman.'' Conclusions. Women who won congressional sea
ts did so in the same manner as men: they had elective experience and
access to adequate financial resources. In 1992, female candidates ran
in greater numbers with ample resources. This trend did not continue
into 1994, when female advancement stalled due to a paucity of female
candidates and the preponderance of women running as Democrats.