A more ‘womanly’ appearance can help women do better in politics

Recent research has found out that the women with feminine faces hold stronger chances to win political battles. Dartmouth College carried out a study and came to results that the facial features of female politicians can predict their success or failure in politics. Females with feminine faces and a smart personality tend to do better in influencing the electorate.


A special team of researchers – study’s senior author Jon Freeman, an assistant professor and director of the Social Cognitive and Neural Sciences Lab at Dartmouth – developed and used software named – Mouse Tracker. This technology tracks the movements a person make while making decisions using a computer mouse. This entire research was done to find out the reality status of the statement – women with feminine faces do better in politics.

The results of this research are more of a surprise, as for the first time some research has demonstrated that feminine faced female politicians have great chances of electoral success than the non-feminine faces.


Freeman said that it is very important to observe that how facial cues can inadvertently affect electoral success, especially taking into consideration the chances of a female becoming the future US president and the rising number of women in Congress.

A sample of 300 participants was taken, the researchers tracked the computer mouse movements of the participants who were shown the faces of politicians (the winners and runners up in US Senate elections) and they were asked to sort them out as male and female. The pictures of male and female politicians were flashed on the screen and the participants were supposed to identify their gender. Then after they identified the gender, they were asked whether they would vote for the candidate or not.


About 10 percent of the participants were Dartmouth students. They all were shown the faces of the politicians in a controlled lab setting and they were asked whether they will vote for the candidates shown in the pictures, they were not told anything about the background and the competence level of the candidates. They were simply asked to look at the pictures and answer that will they vote for them or not. The other 90 percent of the sample included participants who lived across the US. They took the facial test online.

The research observed that the participants were more drawn to select a male response before selecting a female response. Thus, female politicians with a feminine face are more likely to win the elections and the ones with the masculine features tend to lose.

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