Female Republican politicians look more feminine than their Democratic counterparts, according to a study published Thursday based on facial features of US women lawmakers.
Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann is a good example of the correlation, said the study by two Californian psychology graduates, which looked at features including cheek bones and fullness of lips.
Perhaps counter-intuitively, however, Republican male lawmakers tend to look less typically masculine than their Democratic counterparts, according to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) research.
The study, compiled by feeding portraits of 434 members of the House of Representatives into a computer modeling program, took no account of hairstyles, jewelry or makeup.
What’s more, “the correlation increases the more conservative the lawmaker’s voting record,” she added of the study, to be published online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
The model compared faces based on more than 100 features, including the shape of the jaw, the location of eyebrows, the placement of cheek bones, the shape of eyes, the contour of the forehead and the fullness of the lips.
For men, Republicans perhaps surprisingly are have less stereotypically masculine faces than Democrats.
But the researchers said they did not think this difference was particularly revealing.