William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Scientists: GOP Women More Feminine Than Dems

Science! Unadulterated, peer-reviewed, glorious science! What else but science could have provided this picture, which was taken whole from the University of California press release on the shocking new scientific, peer-reviewed, wee-p-valued paper The GOP has a feminine face? I’ll tell you: nothing.

Here are the main “findings”, which “are forthcoming online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Experimental Social Psychology”:

“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,” said lead author Colleen M. Carpinella, a UCLA graduate student in psychology.

What’s worse—it makes you weep, but this is science—is this:

Female politicians with less stereotypically feminine facial features were more likely to be Democrats, and the more liberal their voting record, the greater the distance the politician’s appearance strayed from stereotypical gender norms [emphasis mine].

The study worked like this: participants rated pictures of both Right women and those women Not Right from the House of Representatives, and found that Right women matched “stereotypical gender norms” while Not Right women appeared to take their makeup cues from Rosie O’Donnell. Indeed, “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.”

Wait. Politically uninformed undergraduates? Never mind.

Since this is science, peer-reviewed science, published in a leading journal, and evincing small p-values, the findings are indisputable. They are true. They cannot be questioned. There must be a consensus. Nevertheless, I, being by nature untrusting and rebellious, decided to test the theory on new data.

A Republican Rosa DeLauro?

Using a sophisticated computer algorithm1, I therefore reconstructed Ms Rosa DeLauro’s image, assuming she first registered as a Republican and not a Democrat. Although the sample size is small, those polled rated this simulation as more “stereotypically feminine” than Ms DeLauro’s original image.

With this independent experiment providing the verification, I am therefore convinced the original findings are true.

Said study co-author Kerri Johnson, “[A]ssessing how much a face reflects gender norms may be one way of guessing political affiliations.” But just what are the keys to gender norms? Such things as “the shape of the jaw, the location of eyebrows, the placement of cheek bones, the shape of eyes, the contour of the forehead, the fullness of the lips.” Compare for example each of these dimensions between the original and the converted Rosa DeLauro.

The big question is of course why Not Right women are so radically distant from feminine norms.

“The Democratic Party is associated with social liberal policies that aim to diminish gender disparities, whereas the Republican Party is associated with socially conservative policy issues that tend to bolster traditional sex roles,” Johnson said. “These policy platforms are manifest in each party’s image — apparently also in the physical characteristics exhibited by politicians.”

I think we can agree that the woman in the image presented by the scientists as their exemplar for a Democrat has indeed diminished gender disparity to the fullest extent possible. Further evidence is easy to have. Simply compare, for example, females in sympathy with pro-abortion causes versus pro-life women (examples here and here). Or women who are for Mr Obama versus those for Mr Romney (here and here).

Now, as is somewhat well known, most men, crude creatures that they are, prefer to mate with females with stereotypically feminine features. Whether our universities can correct this obvious bias is a separate question. For now we are left with its consequences, which are that Republican women, because they possess what men want in greater proportion than Democrat women, have an easier time marrying and reproducing.

Therefore, if there is anything to this genetics business, we should in time see many more Republicans than Democrats. It’s science!

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1Modified from a coupled GCM kindly supplied by my pal Gav Schmidt.

Thanks to Juan Ramirez who alerted me to this most important topic.

15 Comments

  1. Some might argue that conservative women are more dependent on men for their self esteem than liberal women. But your conclusion that conservatives will outnumber liberals is clearly refuted by the fact that men will bed just about anything.

  2. The funniest post yet! I’m glad that I wasn’t drinking coffee or I might have had to sue someone. Are you sure that this is not a Mad Magazine parody? It is too extreme for The Onion.

  3. I thought everybody knew this. Why else would a man be a conservative? The free love mindset is on the other side, but once a guy reaches maturity he’s more likely to opt for quality than quantity.

  4. One thing that saddens me the utter lack of regard that the researchers have of the feelings of others. Didn’t their mothers tell them not to say anything if they can’t say anything nice? Poor Ms. DeLauro. My heart goes out to her.

    That said, the next research track would be to evaluate the individual appearance of men as related their voting patterns. I would hypothesize that men with traditionally Western feminine attributes (the sporting of long hair and earrings) would be more likely to be Dems and more “manly men” would favor the GOP.

  5. Katie,

    Your hypothesis could explain my GOP leanings.

  6. Katie,

    The researchers did’t single out Ms. DeLauro (Age 69) or Michele Michelle Bachmann (Age 56). Briggs did. Male Republicans are found to be less masculine than their Democratic counterparts.

  7. Briggs

    3 October 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Tom,

    No, sir: I did not. As I clearly stated, the picture (including caption) is lifted directly from the press release, which is just a click away.

  8. Let’s just cut to the quick, when the say “less stereotypical feminine facial features” they really just mean uglier.

  9. Scientists don’t refer to the “Pelosi Progression” for nothing, you know. There are volumes of research data behind those findings. Who are we to challenge scientists?

  10. When I was in my early teens my father took me to a presidential candidate’s rally in a place better known for rock concerts. The female members of the young republicans were beautiful. I don’t remember what the candidate said.

  11. There were a couple cute girls handing out Tea Party literature at the last gun show I went to. Although the sacral tatts gave me pause…

  12. You swindler! Presenting Ariadna Thalía Sodi Miranda as Rosa DeLauro. And here’s me thinking you’d trawled around for a picture of Ms DeLauro when she was younger to make some point about “which picture did they choose and why” and you just went off and snarfed a picture of a pretty girl. A very pretty girl. You’re not taking this seriously, are you.

  13. Rich, I can’t tell if Briggs is seriously,either. “Sarcasm gone wrong” is no fun. But, no matter!

    —-

    If I remember correctly, from working with a social science colleague many many years ago, masculinity and femininity are considered to be social constructs. Masculinity is associated with power and competence, and feminist with weakness and incompetence in the context of Social Studies. Who knows what they really mean based on a press report?

    When I am almost 70 years old, I hope I’ll have some masculinity qualities. Energetic, powerful authoritative and competence. Full of life.

  14. correction: “femininity” not “feminist”

  15. It’s one of those nature/nurture questions. Does imbibing of radical feminism *give* you a face like a bulldog licking horse tinkle off a stinging nettle? Or is it a political choice made by the coyote ugly?

    If the former can we run a sweepstake on when the Dworkin effect is going to hit Naomi Wolf….

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