Republican women more feminine

2012-09-28 13:01
Michele Bachmann (File, AP)

Michele Bachmann (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles - Female Republican politicians look more feminine than their Democratic counterparts, according to a study published on Thursday based on facial features of US women lawmakers.

Tea Party favourite Michele Bachmann is a good example of the correlation, said the study by two Californian psychology graduates, which looked at features including cheek bones and fullness of lips.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, however, Republican male lawmakers tend to look less typically masculine than their Democratic counterparts, according to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) research.

The study, compiled by feeding portraits of 434 members of the House of Representatives into a computer modelling program, took no account of hairstyles, jewellery or makeup.

"Female politicians with stereotypically feminine facial features are more likely to be Republican than Democrat," said lead author Colleen Carpinella.

What's more, "the correlation increases the more conservative the lawmaker's voting record", she added of the study, to be published online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

More than 100 features compared

"I suppose we could call it the 'Michele Bachmann effect'," added Kerri Johnson, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of communication studies and psychology at UCLA.

The model compared faces based on more than 100 features, including the shape of the jaw, the location of eyebrows, the placement of cheek bones, the shape of eyes, the contour of the forehead and the fullness of the lips.

"We weren't looking at hairstyle, jewellery or whether a person was wearing make-up or not," Carpinella said. "We wanted to get an objective measure of how masculine or feminine a face is."

For men, Republicans perhaps surprisingly have less stereotypically masculine faces than Democrats.

But the researchers said they did not think this difference was particularly revealing.

"It may be unnecessary for Republican men to exhibit masculinity through their appearance," Carpinella said. "Their policy advocacy and leadership roles may already confer these characteristics on them."

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.