How looking feminine predicts whether women will win elections

by - May 15, 2014

"Female politicians with more feminine features tend to win election, while those with more masculine features tend to lose," write the study's authors. "Whether a female politician was going to win or lose an election could be predicted within just 380 milliseconds after participants were exposed to her face." And, the more conservative the participant's ideological leanings, the more likely they were to prefer a woman candidate with very traditional feminine features.  "Female politicians who activated the male category to a greater extent received less electoral support, an effect exacerbated in more conservative constituencies," reads the study. (Here's how the study defined gender features, relying on past studies on how we perceive male and female: "Larger eyes and rounded features convey femininity whereas lateral bone growth and prominent upper brows signal masculinity.")

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