CNN wonders: "Do hormones drive women's votes?"

CNN Health has a theory


Jillian Rayfield
October 25, 2012 12:40AM (UTC)

Pursuing those women voters might be a lost cause for the 2012 candidates, CNN Health says, because their lady parts might be doing the voting for them:

"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."

Though CNN Health stipulates that "several political scientists who read the study have expressed skepticism about its conclusions," it still posts those conclusions, which are:

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"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 says."

“There is absolutely no reason to expect that women's hormones affect how they vote any more than there is a reason to suggest that variations in testosterone levels are responsible for variations in the debate performances of Obama and Romney,” Susan Carroll, a professor of political science and women's and gender studies at Rutgers, told CNN.


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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2012 Elections Barack Obama Cnn Mitt Romney War On Women

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