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Voters like female politicians who look feminine, study show

A new study from Dartmouth University shows voters are fairly biased — they very much like their female politicians to look feminine.

“Female politicians with more feminine features tend to win election, while those with more masculine features tend to lose,” the authors of the study wrote. “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.”

Those who were more conservative also leaned more toward candidates with the more feminine features.

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,” the study states.

But how did they define male and female features?

“Lateral bone growth and prominent upper brows” are masculine features, while “larger eyes and rounded features” skew toward the feminine side.

The authors showed the participants’ a candidate’s face on a screen, in which they had to indentify that candidate’s gender as quickly as possible.

You can watch the video here demonstrating how it works.

The study’s authors then looked at the won-loss records of the candidates dating from 1998-2010, and compared it to which side of the masculine/feminine chart they end up on.

Recently, Buzzfeed looked at whether or not everything looks better with makeup, thanks to an app called Perfect 365.

This study tends to support their theory that not only does makeup make things look better, but now we know it may help at the polls as well.

Although maybe not with this photo:

h/t: The Washington Post