Citing the adage “you can’t win if you don’t try,” Jennifer Lawless, an associate professor of government and director of American University’ Women & Politics Institute, said her research suggests women will continue to be unequally represented in the halls of power because, even today, women ages 18 to 25 are 20 percent less likely to consider running for public office, let alone decide to become a candidate.

“We would argue that the gender gap of the last decade is not going away,” she said.

The survey titled “Girls Just Wanna Not Run,” conducted with Richard L. Fox, a political scientist at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, concludes, “Given the persistent gender gap in political ambition, we are a long way from a political reality in which young women and men are equally likely to aspire to seek and hold elective office in the future.”