Thursday, October 25, 2012

How Do You Make A Hormone?

CNN stirred up a foofaraw yesterday by posting the results of a scientific study that indicated a woman's hormone levels may affect how strongly she feels about a particular candidate. They have since pulled the article, possibly because of the stir, but more likely because it may have been junk science.
That didn't stop nearly everyone from talking about it:

In an Internet survey of 502 women, “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%.”

"Internet survey" should have been a warning flag from the get-go. Internet surveys are only as good as the paper they're printed on.

So we now have a survey that claims horny women are more likely to vote for one candidate over the other based on the status of their relationships.

Um, what?

Now, it's true, women have hormonal cycles, and it's also true that those cycles can play a role in social interactions. It seems unlikely those cycles would play any more of a role in a decision making process than the hormonal cycles that men have.

Ours are daily, however. You'd think if there was anything to cyclical hormone, men would be all over the map in supporting one candidate over the other.

Keep in mind that this study, such as it is, was produced by a marketing professor, Kristina Durante at UTexas/San Antonio.

Some in Blogtopia (© Skippy) have taken a more balanced approach to the study, pointing out that the study doesn't say single women are all about Romney until those juicier days and then BAM! all about Obama, or vice versa for "women in committed relationships". It seems to point out that on those days, women are firmer in their choice of candidate.

Still, this doesn't really address the whys and wherefores and how a woman's relationship status plays into this, which to me is the truly sexist aspect of the idiotic report. The suggestion is that a woman in a relationship is somehow buying into the patriarchy more, but that could be a function more of how that woman was raised, which may make her biased to being in a relationship because she is more conservative and adheres to those values.

Now THAT would be an interesting study to make.