Feeds

Democratic congresswomen 'less feminine in appearance' than Republicans

Trick-cyclists discover 'Michele Bachmann effect'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Time-rich psychologists in the USA say they have discovered that female Democratic politicians are significantly less feminine in appearance than Republican ones - so much so that it's often possible to tell which party a woman politico belongs to just by looking at her.

Official pic of US Rep Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann (Republican)

"I suppose we could call it the 'Michele Bachmann effect,'" says Kerri Johnson, assistant professor of communication studies and psychology at UCLA, who led the team producing this remarkable insight. Ms Bachmann is a Republican congresswoman whose features are rated as highly feminine.

According to a UCLA statement announcing the "research", actual computers and stuff were used to figure out how masculine or feminine someone's face is:

[The trick-cyclists] started the project by feeding portraits of 434 members of the 111th House of Representatives into a computer modeling program used by researchers in their field. Loaded with a database of hundreds of scans of faces of men and women, the FaceGen Modeler allows researchers to measure how much the details of any one face approach the average for either gender ...

Official pic of US Rep Rosa Delauro

Rosa Delauro (Democrat)

The faces of Republican women rated, on average, twice as sex-typical — or feminine — as those of Democratic women.

And a survey among undergraduate volunteers showed that you can actually tell what party a US lady politico is by gauging how feminine she appears:

In fact, the relationship is so strong that politically uninformed undergraduates were able to determine the political affiliation of the representatives with an overall accuracy rate that exceeded chance, and the accuracy of those predications increased in direct relation to the lawmaker's proximity to feminine norms.

"Female politicians with stereotypically feminine facial features are more likely to be Republican than Democrat, and the correlation increases the more conservative the lawmaker's voting record," adds Colleen Carpinella, a UCLA graduate student in psychology.

We're told that feminine-featured Republican examples include Kay Granger (Texas), Cathy Rodgers McMorris (Washington) and Michele Bachmann (Minnesota). Comparatively masculine-looking Democrat congresswomen include Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (South Dakota), Rosa DeLauro (Connecticut) and Anna G Eshoo (California). The trick-cyclists' paper is to be published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Perhaps interestingly, Democratic congressmen also appeared more masculine than Republican ones.

"It may be unnecessary for Republican men to exhibit masculinity through their appearance," Carpinella commented. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.