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Elizabeth (Libby) Sharrow - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Elizabeth (Libby) Sharrow Elizabeth (Libby) Sharrow

Assistant Professor of History and Political Science | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Libby Sharrow examines the ways public policy has shaped understandings of gender, race, sexuality, disability and class in U.S. politics.

Areas of Expertise (8)

Public Policy and Organizations

American Politics

Public Policy and Disability

Title IX

History of Public Policy

Politics of Sex and Gender

Title IX and Sports

Public Policy and Class


Libby Sharrow has brought her interest in the ways public policy has shaped understandings of gender, race, sexuality, disability, and class to national media, including the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and New York Times.


Education (4)

University of Minnesota: Ph.D., Political Science

with a minor program in Feminist and Critical Sexuality Studies

University of Minnesota: M.A., Political Science

University of Minnesota: M.P.P., Gender, Law and Sport Policy

University of Minnesota: B.A., Political Science

Press Coverage (1)

A.O.C. and the Daughter Defense

The New Yotk Times  print


In a study called “The First-Daughter Effect,” Elizabeth Sharrow, an associate professor of public policy and history at UMass Amherst and her colleagues, determined that fathering daughters — and firstborn daughters, in particular — indeed played a role in making men’s attitudes toward gender equality more progressive, particularly when it came to policies like equal pay or sexual harassment protocols. “Our argument is not that it is genetics or biology, but that it is proximity,” said Dr. Sharrow. In other words: The daughters help the fathers see the problems they may have previously dismissed.

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Publications (3)

Virginia Democrats’ political problems show us why intersectionality is so important

The Washington Post

Nadia E. Brown, Melissa R. Michelson, Libby Sharrow and Dara Strolovitch


"Characterizations of the problems facing Virginia Democrats as forcing them to choose between supporting women and supporting African Americans promote a misleading narrative about the politics of race and gender. This narrative misunderstands feminist and anti-racist politics and denies the humanity of black women. We will never address the issues on display in Virginia if we continue to treat women and African Americans as separate groups and racial and gender inequalities as separate issues. ..."

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Here’s how female candidates can sway fathers’ votes — if their first child is a daughter

The Washington Post

Elizabeth A. Sharrow, Jill Greenlee, Jesse H. Rhodes and Tatishe M. Nteta


"In the 2018 midterm election campaign, many female gubernatorial candidates have argued that their campaigns would be good for young women and girls in their states. In Idaho, for example, where Paulette Jordan and Kristin Collum are running for governor and lieutenant governor respectively, Collum declared, “Whether or not I win . . . I’ve given [young women] a role model. They can do this, too, and they should not let anything stop them.” Such statements echo Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s message during the 2016 campaign. Clinton frequently reminded voters that her election would mean that “a father can tell his daughter: Yes, you can be anything you want to be. Even president of the United States.”

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What would change public opinion on whether the Redskins’ name is offensive?

The Washington Post

Elizabeth A. Sharrow, Tatishe M. Nteta and Melinda R. Tarsi


Three weeks ago, the Supreme Court decided unanimously in Matal v. Tam to protect Americans’ ability to trademark names that may be considered offensive. In response, Daniel Snyder, longtime owner of the Washington Redskins football team, declared, “I am THRILLED. Hail to the Redskins!” Not everyone was equally thrilled.

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