Yep, you read that correctly: A team of UCLA psych students and professors used FaceGen — a program that analyzes jaw and eye shape, location of eyebrows, cheekbone placement, and more to define a subject as stereotypically female or male — to analyze members of the House of Representatives. The result? Republican females were rated "extremely feminine" more frequently than their Democratic counterparts. (However, researchers were quick to note that the study doesn't measure attractiveness — only the presence of pre-determined feminine features.)
So, what does it all mean? The study's authors have drawn the conclusion that the Republican party, which traditionally advocates more traditional gender roles, elects representatives who reflect the "party's ideals in both ideology and physiology." Translation? Female Reps tend to look more womanly, because the party's constituents want ladylike representatives. Dems, on the other hand, have made equality their platform, so a more gender-neutral appearance is acceptable.
Not annoyed enough already by this news? Other studies have shown that more feminine-looking employees are considered less competent in the workplace. So, it seems you can be girly and electable, but not girly and effective. Stellar. (Huffington Post)
Photos: Courtesy of Barack Obama campaign, Mitt Romney campaign