Republican women are more feminine than their Democratic peers

Republicans versus Democrats 
By: Eva Fett 

A new study released this week shows that Republican women are more feminine than their Democratic peers.

U.S. Republican female lawmakers look more feminine than their counterpart Democrats, according to a study based on computer analysis of facial features.

Michele Bachmann is a good example of the scientific correlation, said the study by two graduates of psychology in California, who analyzed the characteristics including cheekbones and full lips.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, male Republican legislators tend to be less attractive than their counterpart male Democrats, according to the University of California Los Angeles UCLA research.

The study, by the power of the portraits of 434 members of the House of Representatives in a computer modeling program, disregarded hairstyles, jewelry and makeup.

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

Moreover, "the correlation increases the legislator's voting record more conservative," said the study, to be published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

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

The model was based on comparing faces with more than 100 functions, including the shape of the jaw, the location of the eyebrows, the placement of the cheekbones, the shape of the eyes, the contour of the face and the fullness of the lips.

"We were not looking at the hair, jewelry, or if a person is wearing makeup or not," said Carpinella. "We wanted to get an objective measure of how masculine or feminine the face is," he said.

The differences were so pronounced that 120 politically uninformed students could guess the political affiliation of legislators with accuracy above chance, just by looking at the pictures. Among Republicans classified as very feminine looking were Bachmann, Kay Granger of Texas, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.