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The Sciences

NCBI ROFL: Republican women look more feminine than Democrats.


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Appearance-based politics: Sex-typed facial cues communicate political party affiliation "Consequential political judgments often rely on facial appearance, yet the facial cues that compel such judgments remain unspecified. We predicted that judgments of political party affiliation, and by extension their accuracy, rely on the sex-typicality of facial cues (i.e., the degree of facial masculinity and femininity). In Study 1, we found that among Republicans/Conservatives in the 111th U.S. House of Representatives, women were significantly more sex-typical than men. This was not true for Democrats/Liberals. In Study 2, we examined the relationship between sex-typicality of facial cues and social judgments. We found that the accuracy of Republican categorizations was positively related to feminine cues in women but negatively related to masculine cues in men. In contrast, the opposite pattern was true for Democratic categorizations. Facial sex-typicality mediated the interaction between politician sex and party and perceiver party affiliation judgments. We discuss the implications that these findings have for electoral politics."


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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