Whether a woman (or man) votes Republican or Democrat may depend on several factors, including her upbringing, personal values, religion, geographical location, financial situation, etc. Most women, however, strongly feel that their hormones will not affect the decisions they make at the voting booth this November.
CNN learned that fact the hard way.
On Tuesday, CNN Health posted a story titled, “Do Hormones Drive Women’s Votes?” The title alone inspired a bit of online outrage (men’s hormones fluctuate too, you know), but some of the assertions made in the post were even more indelicate, including a statement claiming that women “feel sexier” when ovulating, which causes single women to vote more liberally and committed women to push back against those sexy feelings by voting conservatively.
Damn, I’d better make sure I’m not ovulating on Election Day, or I may vote for the wrong person in my hormone-induced stupor of sexiness. Yikes. Needless to say, after major social media backlash, CNN took the post down.
We know what you’re thinking: did a 19th century doctor/anti-suffragist who treated women for monthly “hysteria” write this sophomoric nonsense? Amazingly, the answer is no.
The article cited a new study to be published in the journal Psychological Science by Kristina Durante, an assistant professor in the department of marketing at the University of Texas San Antonio. Durante told Yahoo News that the CNN piece featured some “misunderstandings” of her research. Yeah, we should hope so.
The link to the CNN article now leads to a note reading, “Post removed: Study looks at voting and hormones. 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. We thank you for your comments and feedback.” While the note doesn’t cite which specific elements failed to meet CNN’s rigorous editorial standards, we have a hunch they may have been quotes like these. One example:
“Obama and Romney are both handsome, in good physical shape and could fit the type ‘provider of the family,’ so either could fit the ideal, depending on a woman’s preference.”
Dear CNN: The 1920’s called, and they want their stereotypes back.
PR lesson of the day: just because it’s “based on science” doesn’t mean it’s worth printing.