In a recent article, Identifying Judicial Empathy: Does Having Daughters Cause Judges to Rule for Women's Issues?," Adam Glynn (Harvard--Govt.) and Maya Sen (Harvard--Kennedy School) explores the influence of circuit judges having daughters on judicial outcomes. What they finds is that while having a daughter generates a "liberalizing effect" in gender-related cases, they authors are less clear on "how the effect works." The paper's abstract follows.
“In this article, we consider whether personal relationships can affect the way that judges decide cases. To do so, we leverage the natural experiment of a child’s gender to identify the effect of having daughters on the votes of judges. Using new data on the family lives of U.S. Courts of Appeals judges, we find that, conditional on the number of children a judge has, judges with daughters consistently vote in a more feminist fashion on gender issues than judges who have only sons. This result survives a number of robustness tests and appears to be driven primarily by Republican judges. More broadly, this result demonstrates that personal experiences influence how judges make decisions, and this is the first article to show that empathy may indeed be a component in how judges decide cases.”