'Sup, girl. You feelin' sexy today? Do you feel like your womb is a verdant, flowering pasture of fertility? Are all those fuzzy little chemicals burning around your brainpan sending you free and easy vibes today? Or do you feel as if your maidenhead is a barren tundra upon which a seed can find no purchase? Answering these questions are going to determine how your pretty little brain is going to operate once you get into that voting booth on Election Day, according to cutting-edge CNN science.
Wednesday, over at CNN, they are asking, "Do hormones drive women's votes?" They are doing this because the debates are over, and there's nothing more to do than idly wonder as to whether estrogen levels are going to lead ladies to vote one way or the other. I mean, you could, I suppose, poll women, or have a focus group with women, or even just talk to a woman. But then, these interlocutors would inevitably ask, "Why am I listening to this lady talk about politics?" Let's leave it to weird pseudo-scientific speculation, instead.
While the campaigns eagerly pursue female voters, there’s something that may raise the chances for both presidential candidates that’s totally out of their control: women’s ovulation cycles.
You read that right. New research suggest that hormones may influence female voting choices differently, depending on whether a woman is single or in a committed relationship.
Seriously, new research? You realize that women are not the only people who have hormones, right? Right from the start, I'm left to wonder if seasoned political scientists aren't skeptical about the conclusions of this research.
Please continue reading with caution. Although the study will be published in the peer-reviewed journal Psychological Science, several political scientists who read the study have expressed skepticism about its conclusions.
Then why is CNN publishing this? Probably because they don't have anything better to do, two weeks before the election. But let's indulge this, and find out what the research says:
The researchers found that during the fertile time of the month, when levels of the hormone estrogen are high, single women appeared more likely to vote for Obama and committed women appeared more likely to vote for Romney, by a margin of at least 20%, Durante said. This seems to be the driver behind the researchers' overall observation that single women were inclined toward Obama and committed women leaned toward Romney.
Here’s how Durante explains this: When women are ovulating, they “feel sexier,” and therefore lean more toward liberal attitudes on abortion and marriage equality. Married women have the same hormones firing, but tend to take the opposite viewpoint on these issues, she said.
“I think they’re overcompensating for the increase of the hormones motivating them to have sex with other men,” Durante said. It’s a way of convincing themselves that they’re not the type to give in to such sexual urges, she said.
The implication here is that there is just something weird about women who are single or childless. Nevertheless, it seems pretty clear that what Mitt Romney needs to do is make single women feel real unsexy. The less sexy a woman feels, the more inclined they are to want to convert Medicare to a voucher system. This is just super-duper science, of the sort that delivers this sort of profundity:
Durante’s study on women noted that liberal attitudes favor social equality and tend to be less associated with organized religion. Conservatism is more about traditional values and is linked to greater participation in organized religion.
These same conclusions were also reached in more than 60 dissertations completed at MIT's Department of Totally Effing Obvious Studies in 2012.
One has to believe that any study that essentially concludes that women voters are not actually using cognition during their assessments of political candidates and their policies is going to come with some major caveats, right?
One of the major caveats this paper fails to address is that men also have biochemical changes, Kellstedt said.
“The reader may be left with the impression that women are unstable and moody in ways that extend to their political preferences, but that men are comparative Rocks of Gibraltar,” Kellstedt said in an email.
It's not strange that the reader might be left with this impression, because this impression is what informed the decision to study whether women's decisions are dictated by their weird lady-chemicals in the first place.
But you know what, I'm convinced! In fact, I would say that it's safe to conclude that the reason so many pasty dudes managed to rack up enough colossally stupid and interconnected mistakes to destroy the entire financial system in 2008 definitely stemmed from the fact that they were not menstruating enough.
UPDATE, 8:51 p.m.: And this post is no longer up at CNN. It has been replaced with this message:
A post previously published in this space regarding a study about how hormones may influence voting choices has been removed.
After further review it was determined that some elements of the story did not meet the editorial standards of CNN.
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