University Study Finds a “Feminine Appearance” Helps Women Win Elections

dartmouthA new study led by researchers at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, concludes that women who tend to have “traditional feminine features” are more likely to be preferred by voters in U.S. elections. Here’s how the authors arrived at their definition of “traditional feminine features.” The authors stated, “Larger eyes and rounded features convey femininity whereas lateral bone growth and prominent upper brows signal masculinity.” They also state that the use of make-up and longer hairstyles convey a traditional feminine appearance.

The participants in the study were shown images of a candidate’s face on a computer screen. They were asked to identify the candidate’s gender as quickly as possible. The authors found that women who were more quickly identified as female tended to be the candidates who had won their election.

The study, “Early Processing of Gendered Facial Cues Predicts the Electoral Success of Female Politicians,” can be downloaded by clicking here.

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