Would anybody argue that the women on Fox News are both feminine and attractive? How about conservative women in politics?
Researchers at UCLA recently just published a study that gives some merit to a long held belief that conservative women in politics are more attractive than their liberal cohorts.
Psychologists Colleen M. Carpinella and Kerri L. Johnson predicted that judgments of political party affiliation rely on the sex-typicality of facial cues (the degree of facial masculinity and femininity.)
To test their hypothesis they conducted a two-part study in which they examined the influence of sex-typicality appearance-based cues.
First, the scientists used the “FaceGen Modeler,” a sophisticated computer program, to evaluate features of members of the 111th House of Representatives. The program assessed the features and compared them with typical facial characteristics of each gender.
In the second part, 120 UCLA undergraduates were shown photos of the 434 congressional men and women and were asked to guess the party affiliation of each.
The results of the first part of the study indicated that Republican congresswomen have more feminine faces than Democrats. There was a strong correlation between conservative ideologies and more feminine looks.
In the second part, the undergraduates were able to correctly identify the party affiliation at a frequency much greater than chance.
The full study, “Appearance-based politics: Sex-typed facial cues communicate political party affiliation,” was published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology .